Northern Rail Cup preview: Leigh v Sheffield (Sat)

Leigh Centurions coach Paul Rowley will give fitness tests to Matt Gardner, Steve Maden, Simon Finnigan and Bob Beswick ahead of Leigh’s fifth Northern Rail Cup final.

The three-times winners prepared for Saturday’s final with a 34-22 win at Barrow Raiders, and Rowley insists his men are ready to cause an upset.

Rowley said: “We’re a club that takes every competition seriously and want to play in big games and big finals. You don’t get many opportunities to do that, and we want to be a part of every opportunity there is.

“We’re doing well. We like big games, we’re comfortable in big games and feel we know how to win them.

“This town and this club enjoys an occasion, and the atmosphere has been building since we reached the final. We’re happy to be here and we’re looking forward to getting out there.”

Sheffield’s 15-match winning streak came to an end with last week’s defeat against London Broncos, but coach Mark Aston believes his men can bounce back.

Aston said: “The guys are disappointed because we know we’re better than that (performance against London), but that will give us a bit more resolve and desire.

“We’ve never won the Northern Rail Cup. Leigh are a quality team with a great English coach, so we’ll have to be good and we’ll have to raise the bar – but we will do.”

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