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The Monday evening televised Premier Sports game between the top two in the Championship saw Featherstone Rovers travel to Leigh Centurions for an encounter which had more of a game of the season feel to it, than just a boring old game of the round.

The Centurions only league loss of the season was the round two defeat away at Featherstone, while it was the Centurions who emerged with the Trophy when the two sides met in the 1895 Cup Final a couple of short weeks ago. Honours shared so far in 2022 but this game would determine who sat at the top of the league at the end of round fifteen, and who was in pole position to top the table come the end of the season.

The home side were big favourites with the bookies, but despite several injuries it would be a fool that would write off Brian McDermott’s flat cappers from taking home the points.

The opening exchanges lived up to expectations with both sides showing aggression in attack and defence.

On four minutes Mark Kheirallah knocked on a high kick from Ata Hingano and on the fourth tackle from the restart the ball was moved fast to the left with Keenan Brand passing to Krisnan Inu for the Frenchman to stoop to score in the corner, the video replay showing that he was lucky to be given the try by referee Hicks. Inu was unable to add the conversion from the touchline.

On nine minutes Leigh were in again as John Asiata found his way through the smallest hole in the defensive line with a magical step to score by the left upright. This time Inu made no mistake with the conversion for a 10-0 lead, Leigh averaging a point a minute.

On fifteen Rovers got their first points after a Ryley Jacks pinpoint kick was chased and grounded by Kheirallah. The full-back added the conversion to his own try and the margin was back down to four points.

Twenty minutes were on the clock when Blake Ferguson leapt to tip on an Ata Hingano kick to the corner before collecting the ball and dropping to the floor to score. Again, Inu missed the conversion attempt, this one from tight to the touchline.

Featherstone were penalised for a shot clock breach when dropping out on thirty-four and Inu smashed his kick between the uprights for 16-6. Two minutes later and Kheirallah kicked within time but this time he didn’t make ten metres. Inu again took the penalty kick for an 18-6 half time lead.

It had been a breathless first half with some tremendous hits from both sides, the crowd was getting value for money.

Two and a half minutes after the restart Connor Jones took a Kheirallah tip on to go in on the overlap. Kheirallah added the conversion and again the margin was back down to six points.

Just before the hour, Ferguson went in for his second of the night after he took a looping pass from Hingano to go outside the Featherstone winger and dive in at the corner. Inu brushed the far post with his conversion attempt.

A Johnathan Ford off the ball push in the back gifted Inu another two-point penalty to extend the lead to two converted tries.

Ipape ensured that it would be Leigh who moved to the top of the league as he crashed over the line after spinning out of two tackles and using his tremendous strength to get over the line. Inu added the conversion for 30-12 with eight minutes of the game remaining.

Matty Wildie was sin-binned on seventy-four for a crusher tackle, Featherstone down to twelve for the rest of the game.

Krisnan Inu was red carded for a high tackle on Luke Briscoe with just under two minutes of the game remaining, a potentially costly mistake for a moment of carelessness depending on how the disciplinary see the incident. On the final hooter Sam Eseh was also shown a red card for a shoulder charge on Mark Ioane. Ben Reynolds kicked the resulting penalty to seal a 32-12 win.

Despite the fractious end, with two moments of madness seeing referee Hicks brandishing his cards and keeping the disciplinary committee busy, it had been a tremendous match.

Leigh were muscular, direct, relentless and persistent and it won them the points and the bragging rights over their closest rivals for promotion. These two will do it all again at the Summer Bash at the end of July, another mouth-watering prospect. With neither side looking like losing to anyone else in the competition, it will be that game at Headingley which will likely determine who will finish the season on top of the Championship.

Leigh Centurions: Aekins, Ferguson (2T), Inu (T, 4G, SO on 78), Brand, Chamberlain, Reynolds, Hingano, Sidlow, Smith, Amone, Stone, Wardle, Asiata (T). Subs: O-Donnell, Ioane, Jones, Ipape (T).  

Featherstone Rovers: Kheirallah (T, 2G), Briscoe, Leilua, Jones (T), Gale, Smith, Jacks, Kopczak, Wildie (SB on 74), Cooper, Davies, Hellewell, Moors.  Subs: Ford, Ferres, Hepi, Eseh (SO on 80).   

Half-Time: 18-6.

Full-Time: 32-12.

Score Progression: 4-0, 8-0, 10-0, 10-4, 10-6, 14-6, 16-6, 18-6 : HT : 18-10, 18-12, 22-12, 24-12, 28-12, 30-12, (SB), (SO), (SO), 32-12 : FT.

Lead Exchanges: Leigh.

Referee: Robert Hicks.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 13th Jun 2022 9:45 PM | Views : 6383 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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TABLES:
Matches on TV
Fri 1st Jul
SL RND: 17
20:00
Castleford-Huddersfield
Sat 2nd Jul
L1 RND: 13
13:00
Cornwall-Hunslet
SL RND: 17
18:00
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Fri 8th Jul
CH RND: 18
19:45
Newcastle-Bradford
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L1 RND: 14
13:00
Cornwall-Doncaster
SL RND: 18
19:00
Leeds-Castleford
SL RND: 18
16:45
St.Helens-Wigan
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14:30
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Sun 10th Jul
SL RND: 18
15:15
Catalans-Warrington
SL RND: 18
13:00
Huddersfield-Salford
SL RND: 18
17:30
Hull KR-Hull FC
Mon 11th Jul
CH RND: 18
19:45
Halifax-York
Fri 15th Jul
SL RND: 19
20:00
St.Helens-Huddersfield
Sat 16th Jul
SL RND: 19
15:00
Castleford-Warrington
Sun 17th Jul
L1 RND: 15
13:00
Keighley-Cornwall
Mon 18th Jul
CH RND: 19
19:45
York-Batley
Thu 21st Jul
SL RND: 20
20:00
Leeds-Wigan
Sun 24th Jul
CH RND: 20
15:00
Whitehaven-Leigh
Sat 30th Jul
CH RND: 21
12:45
LondonB-Sheffield
CH RND: 21
15:00
Batley-Dewsbury
Thu 30th Jun
NRL RND: 16 Manly36-30Melbourne
Mon 27th Jun
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Sun 26th Jun
CH RND: 16 Bradford48-6Dewsbury
CH RND: 16 Featherstone20-28Batley
CH RND: 16 Newcastle66-22Workington
CH RND: 16 Whitehaven16-40York
CH RND: 16 Widnes26-22LondonB
SOO RND: 2 New South Wales44-12Queensland
L1 RND: 12 Crusaders18-26Doncaster
L1 RND: 12 Keighley62-0Oldham
SL RND: 16 Castleford17-16Catalans
SL RND: 16 Hull KR10-38Huddersfield
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Sat 25th Jun
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L1 RND: 12 LondonS4-24Swinton
L1 RND: 12 West Wales22-48Cornwall
MINT2022 RND: 1 NZ26-6Tonga
MINT2022 RND: 1 SAM42-12Cook I
MINT2022 RND: 1 PNG24-14Fiji
Fri 24th Jun
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This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2022 ROUND : 17
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Leigh 16 638 136 502 30
Featherstone 16 624 228 396 27
York 16 426 284 142 26
Batley 15 432 249 183 23
Halifax 16 471 266 205 22
Barrow 16 383 349 34 19
 
Bradford 16 373 335 38 18
Sheffield 15 339 368 -29 14
Widnes 16 337 437 -100 12
Newcastle 16 354 455 -101 12
Whitehaven 16 242 550 -308 8
LondonB 16 252 450 -198 5
Dewsbury 16 211 552 -341 4
Workington 16 188 611 -423 2
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred League One 2022 ROUND : 13
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Keighley 11 493 90 403 22
Swinton 11 420 157 263 18
Crusaders 11 387 218 169 16
Rochdale 11 422 258 164 16
Doncaster 11 326 266 60 14
Hunslet 11 286 258 28 11
 
Oldham 11 312 276 36 7
Midlands 10 278 339 -61 6
LondonS 11 196 450 -254 6
Cornwall 11 186 500 -314 2
West Wales 11 110 604 -494 2
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Super League XXVII ROUND : 17
 PLDFADIFFPTS
St.Helens 16 404 170 234 28
Wigan 16 434 301 133 24
Huddersfield 16 379 266 113 23
Catalans 16 356 219 137 22
Hull FC 16 310 289 21 16
Castleford 16 334 350 -16 16
 
Hull KR 16 281 336 -55 14
Salford 16 365 395 -30 12
Warrington 16 300 380 -80 12
Leeds 16 261 322 -61 11
Wakefield 16 257 440 -183 10
Toulouse 16 236 449 -213 4
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National Rugby League 2022 ROUND : 15
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Penrith 15 456 219 237 26
Melbourne 14 494 224 270 24
NQL Cowboys 15 378 197 181 22
Cronulla 14 316 248 68 18
Brisbane 14 312 255 57 18
Parramatta 14 339 303 36 18
Sydney 15 319 290 29 14
Souths 14 322 301 21 14
 
Manly 15 320 324 -4 14
Canberra 15 270 309 -39 14
St.George 14 253 325 -72 14
Canterbury 15 230 337 -107 8
Newcastle 14 184 362 -178 8
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Gold Coast 15 234 380 -146 6
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