The remarkable Leigh Leopards run ended by Hull KR defeat

Ben Olawumi
Adrian Lam

Leigh Leopards boss Adrian Lam speaks to the media at Craven Park following defeat to Hull KR

Leigh Leopards’ 12-0 defeat at Hull KR on Saturday evening brought an end to a remarkable run which stretched two-and-a-half years, nilled for the first time during Adrian Lam’s tenure.

Having departed neighbours Wigan Warriors, Papua New Guinean Lam took charge at the Leigh Sports Village ahead of the 2022 season, when the club – newly-relegated – were still recognised as ‘Centurions’.

Beating Whitehaven 50-4 in January that year to kickstart his time in charge, the 53-year-old had been at the helm for 80 competitive games prior to the Round 13 trip to Craven Park.

21 of those 80 had ended in defeat, but remarkably, none of those defeats had seen Lam’s side – be it under the ‘Centurions’ or ‘Leopards’ taglines – beaten to nil.

KR therefore became the first-ever team to nil a Leigh side coached by Lam at the 81st attempt.

The Robins have been responsible for five of the Leopards’ 22 defeats under his tenure to this point across all competitions, winning each of the four meetings between the two sides since last August’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley which saw Leigh lift silverware courtesy of Lachlan Lam’s unforgettable drop goal in Golden Point extra time.

The remarkable Leigh Leopards run ended by Hull KR defeat: Adrian Lam’s tenure so far broken down

Following Saturday’s defeat at Craven Park which saw tries from Tom Opacic & Niall Evalds win it for the hosts, Lam’s record in charge of Leigh now sits as follows: Played – 81, Won – 58, Drawn – 1, Lost – 22.

The then-Centurions lost just one Championship game en-route to promotion in 2022, and that sole loss came at Featherstone Rovers in Round 2, when Lam’s side – in their infancy – were beaten 28-6.

Nene Macdonald was their only try-scorer that night, and come 2023 when they finished in the Super League play-offs as well as lifting the Challenge Cup, four defeats saw them score exactly six points.

One of those four occasions last term came, coincidentally, away at Craven Park against KR who progressed into the play-off semi-finals with a 20-6 victory on September 29.

So far this season, including the Round 13 defeat, the Leopards have been beaten eight times, including a 12-4 loss at St Helens in Round 3.

Until the Round 13 defeat at Craven Park, that scoreline at Craven Park was the lowest points return Leigh had achieved in a game during Lam’s tenure.

Now though, the long-lasting ‘un-nilled’ record is over.