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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 : 6828 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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TABLES:
Matches on TV
Fri 8th Jul
CH RND: 18
19:45
Newcastle-Bradford
Sat 9th Jul
L1 RND: 14
13:00
Cornwall-Doncaster
SL RND: 18
19:00
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SL RND: 18
13:00
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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
Fri 22nd Jul
SL RND: 20
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Hull FC-Castleford
Sun 24th Jul
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Whitehaven-Leigh
Sat 30th Jul
CH RND: 21
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LondonB-Sheffield
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Batley-Dewsbury
CH RND: 21
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Bradford-Halifax
CH RND: 21
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Featherstone-Leigh
Sun 3rd Jul
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CH RND: 17 Batley26-26Whitehaven
CH RND: 17 Bradford6-56Leigh
CH RND: 17 Dewsbury12-38Halifax
CH RND: 17 LondonB36-28Sheffield
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NRL RND: 16 NZ Warriors22-2Wests
NRL RND: 16 St.George12-10Canberra
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L1 RND: 13 Keighley86-0West Wales
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NRL RND: 16 Canterbury6-18Cronulla
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NRL RND: 16 Souths30-12Parramatta
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This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2022 ROUND : 17
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Leigh 17 694 142 552 32
Featherstone 17 680 250 430 29
York 17 442 308 134 26
Halifax 17 509 278 231 24
Batley 16 458 275 183 24
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Sheffield 16 367 404 -37 14
Widnes 17 375 437 -62 14
Newcastle 17 376 511 -135 12
Whitehaven 17 268 576 -308 9
LondonB 17 288 478 -190 7
Dewsbury 17 223 590 -367 4
Workington 17 188 649 -461 2
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Betfred League One 2022 ROUND : 13
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Swinton 12 432 183 249 18
Crusaders 12 417 234 183 18
Rochdale 12 464 292 172 18
Doncaster 12 352 278 74 16
Hunslet 12 322 282 40 13
 
Oldham 11 312 276 36 7
Midlands 11 312 381 -69 6
LondonS 12 212 480 -268 6
Cornwall 12 210 536 -326 2
West Wales 12 110 690 -580 2
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Betfred Super League XXVII ROUND : 17
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Catalans 17 376 237 139 24
Huddersfield 17 397 292 105 23
Castleford 17 360 368 -8 18
Hull FC 17 326 351 -25 16
 
Salford 17 397 419 -22 14
Hull KR 17 287 364 -77 14
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Warrington 17 324 412 -88 12
Wakefield 17 279 486 -207 10
Toulouse 17 264 455 -191 6
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National Rugby League 2022 ROUND : 15
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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
 
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