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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 : 5751 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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RLFANS Match Centre

TABLES:
Matches on TV
Sun 26th Jun
SOO RND: 2
10:50
New South Wales-Queensland
SL RND: 16
15:15
Hull KR-Huddersfield
Mon 27th Jun
CH RND: 16
19:45
Barrow-Halifax
Fri 1st Jul
SL RND: 17
20:00
Castleford-Huddersfield
Sat 2nd Jul
SL RND: 17
18:00
Catalans-St.Helens
Fri 8th Jul
CH RND: 18
19:45
Newcastle-Bradford
Sat 9th Jul
SL RND: 18
19:00
Leeds-Castleford
SL RND: 18
16:45
St.Helens-Wigan
SLRND: 18
14:30
Wakefield-Toulouse
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
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
CH RND: 21
17:15
Bradford-Halifax
CH RND: 21
19:30
Featherstone-Leigh
Sat 25th Jun
L1 RND: 12 Hunslet24-32Rochdale
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
CH RND: 16 Sheffield4-58Leigh
SL RND: 16 Warrington4-0Hull FC
SL RND: 16 Wigan40-6Toulouse
Thu 23rd Jun
SL RND: 16 St.Helens42-12Leeds
Sun 19th Jun
NRL RND: 15 Canberra20-18Newcastle
NRL RND: 15 Canterbury36-12Wests
Sat 18th Jun
MINT2022 RND: 1 England18-4ALL STARS
WINT2022 RND: 1 ENGLAND36-10FRANCE
NRL RND: 15 Cronulla18-10Gold Coast
NRL RND: 15 NZ Warriors6-40Penrith
NRL RND: 15 Parramatta26-16Sydney
Fri 17th Jun
NRL RND: 15 Manly26-28NQL Cowboys
NRL RND: 15 Melbourne32-20Brisbane
Thu 16th Jun
NRL RND: 15 St.George32-12Souths
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2022 ROUND : 16
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Leigh 16 638 136 502 30
Featherstone 15 604 200 404 27
York 15 386 268 118 24
Batley 14 404 229 175 21
Halifax 15 428 248 180 20
Barrow 15 365 306 59 19
 
Bradford 15 325 329 -4 16
Sheffield 15 339 368 -29 14
Widnes 15 311 415 -104 10
Newcastle 15 288 433 -145 10
Whitehaven 15 226 510 -284 8
LondonB 15 230 424 -194 5
Dewsbury 15 205 504 -299 4
Workington 15 166 545 -379 2
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Betfred League One 2022 ROUND : 12
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Keighley 10 431 90 341 20
Swinton 11 420 157 263 18
Crusaders 10 369 192 177 16
Rochdale 11 422 258 164 16
Doncaster 10 300 248 52 12
Hunslet 11 286 258 28 11
 
Oldham 10 312 214 98 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
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Betfred Super League XXVII ROUND : 16
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St.Helens 16 404 170 234 28
Wigan 16 434 301 133 24
Catalans 15 340 202 138 22
Huddersfield 15 341 256 85 21
Hull FC 16 310 289 21 16
Castleford 15 317 334 -17 14
 
Hull KR 15 271 298 -27 14
Warrington 16 300 380 -80 12
Leeds 16 261 322 -61 11
Salford 15 291 385 -94 10
Wakefield 15 247 366 -119 10
Toulouse 16 236 449 -213 4
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National Rugby League 2022 ROUND : 14
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Penrith 14 416 213 203 24
Melbourne 13 462 204 258 22
NQL Cowboys 14 350 171 179 20
Brisbane 13 292 223 69 18
Cronulla 13 298 238 60 16
Parramatta 13 313 287 26 16
Souths 13 310 269 41 14
Sydney 14 303 264 39 14
 
Manly 14 294 296 -2 14
Canberra 14 250 291 -41 12
St.George 13 221 313 -92 12
NZ Warriors 14 242 393 -151 8
Newcastle 13 166 342 -176 8
Canterbury 14 194 325 -131 6
Gold Coast 14 224 362 -138 6
Wests 13 184 328 -144 6
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