Leigh 16 – 20 Hull KR

Leigh Centurions’ hopes of Super League survival suffered a setback as Rovers won at LSV for the second time this season.

Inspired by two-try Shaun Lunt, Rovers followed up their 23-10 Challenge Cup victory in April with a nerve-jangling Qualifiers success in a dramatic game.

Lunt capped his own superb performance with the match-winning try five minutes from the end though the build-up was questioned by both coaches afterwards.

Leigh Centurions Head Coach Neil Jukes told the BBC: “Ultimately it was a game of inches – both teams competed high and kicked pretty well. Nobody gave each other an inch.

“There was a clear knock-on in the build-up to Lunt’s second try and even though it went to the screen they (the video ref) didn’t even look at it.

“In a game of that magnitude, you can’t get those things wrong. It’s a tough competition. Losing has not made it impossible. It has just added pressure on the next few games.”

Rovers head coach Tim Sheens said: “To win two out of two and one against a Super League side certainly helps, there’s no doubt about that. Leigh completed at a very high rate and they battered us in the middle.

“We got lucky on the play-the-ball for Lunt’s try on the try-line. And we hung in right till the end. We were not as clever as them with our kicking options but we managed to keep turning their fellahs around.

“We will enjoy the win but it means nothing if we don’t come out with the right attitude next week. London at home will be a tough game again.”

Leigh dominated the early stages when Lunt was still on the bench but had only a Daniel Mortimer try to show for the efforts. Lunt pulled Rovers level on the half-hour, twisting over from close range but a Josh Drinkwater penalty goal gave the home side a tenuous 8-6 interval lead.

Drinkwater extended Leigh’s advantage with a second penalty before Rovers hit the front for the first time when Ryan Shaw out-jumped the defence to ground the ball by the flag from Jamie Ellis’s hanging kick for a try confirmed by the video referee.

Leigh old boy Ellis added the touchline conversion and extended his side’s lead to 14-10 with a 64th minute penalty.

Leigh came back to regain the lead when the in-form Atelea Vea powered over on the right with 12 minutes remaining, Drinkwater’s conversion going over off the upright.

But Lunt kept his composure to emerge once again as Rovers’ match-winner as his side earned their second win of the Qualifiers in their bid to regain the Super League place they lost last season.

Rovers survived a pummelling of their line in the dying seconds and a team warning from referee Jack Smith for repeated infringements as they ate up the clock.

Leigh Centurions: Gregg McNally; Matty Dawson, Matty Fleming, Samisoni Langi, Adam Higson; Daniel Mortimer, Josh Drinkwater; Harrison Hansen, Micky Higham (capt), Antoni Maria, Atelea Vea, Cory Paterson, Lachlan Burr.
Interchange: Liam Hood, Greg Richards, Danny Tickle, Glenn Stewart.

Tries: Mortimer (12), Vea (68);
Goals: Drinkwater 4/ 4.

Hull Kingston Rovers: Kieran Moss; Ryan Shaw, Andrew Heffernan, Maurice Blair, Justin Carney; Matty Marsh, Jamie Ellis; Nick Scruton, George Lawler, Lee Jewitt, Danny Addy, Chris Clarkson, Ben Kavanagh.
Interchange: Shaun Lunt (capt), James Greenwood, Chris Atkin, Mose Masoe.

Tries: Lunt (30, 75), Shaw (58);
Goals: Ellis 4/ 4.

Referee: Jack Smith;
Half-time: 8-6;
Penalty count: 9-8;
Attendance: 5,335.

Main Match Sponsor: DMR Training.
Associate Match Sponsor: Pentre Group.
Match Ball Sponsor: BJs Bingo.
Programme Sponsor: Hilltop Products.

Leigh Centurions Mascots: Alfie and Louie Maden.
Leigh Centurions Man of the Match: Daniel Mortimer.

Photos courtesy of SWPix

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