Leigh 68 – 10 Rochdale

Leigh Centurions ran in 12 tries to boost their points-difference and earn their fifth straight win in Spring-like conditions at LSV.

Man of the Match Ben Reynolds led the way with a personal haul of 28 points from his two tries and ten goals from 12 attempts.

There were braces also for Ricky Bailey, Craig Hall and Jamie Acton as the Centurions scored 36 points in the first half and another 32 in the second.

They finished with five tries in the last 15 minutes, four of them while Hornets prop Joe Taira was in the sin bin, after referee Jack Smith had issued team warnings to both sides during a second half littered with 17 penalties.

Caretaker Coach Kieron Purtill said: “I am really happy with that. We spoke about the Easter period being an important period for us and we have come through it really, really well. We have worked really hard for each other and have got the results we wanted so as a club and as a group we can’t be any happier than what we’ve done.

“We talked about being ruthless and not taking our foot off the pedal and executing our plays. We scored some good tries today and it was good to see us playing to the end as well. We are a team that likes to move the ball and the conditions suited us and we came through Easter pretty healthy which helped us.

“The forwards laid the foundation and the half backs played off the back of it so it was a good team effort from everyone. What we have talked about in our group is doing the right things in training and taking that into games. Everyone has bought into that work ethic and back each other and we are doing it on the field.

“It’s good to get those wins but all it has done is give us an opportunity to get back where we should be. We’ve got to keep winning and working hard for each other. We’ve not achieved anything and we are a long way behind where we should be. But we are looking forward and working hard and rising to the challenge at the moment.”

Hall got the home side off the mark, cutting through from a scrum and Reynolds finished off a high-speed move to get his first try before Acton crashed under the posts to complete a dominant first quarter.

Rhys Evans raced 80 metres for an interception try before captain Harrison Hansen got in on the scoring act.

Hornets scored their first points through Lewis Hatton’s close range try before Bailey fastened onto Jack Owens’s kick to send in his side with a 36-6 interval lead.

Declan Kay registered Hornets’ second try and it took Leigh 17 minutes of the second half action to break through when Bailey fought his way over in the corner.

With Taira in the sin bin Leigh ruthlessly took full advantage, Acton bursting over before Hall went in by the flag. Reynolds then cut through and Liam Hood darted over from dummy half. Almost on the hooter Jack Owens completed Leigh’s victory by taking the try tally up to a round dozen.

Leigh Centurions: Jack Owens; Ricky Bailey, Ben Crooks, Craig Hall, Rhys Evans; Ben Reynolds, Drew Hutchison; Nathan Mason, Liam Hood, Jamie Acton, Harrison Hansen, Bodene Thompson, Jordan Thompson. Interchange: Micky Higham, Greg Richards, Larne Patrick, Kyle Lovett.

Tries:
Hall (8, 68), Reynolds (14, 71), Acton (18, 65), Bailey (38, 57), Evans (26), Hansen (30), Hood (73), Owens (79);
Goals: Reynolds 10/ 12.

Rochdale Hornets: Declan Kay; Alex Gaskell, Earl Hurst, Deon Cross, Rob Massam; Lewis Palfrey, Declan Patton; Joe Taira, Ben Moores, Luke Adamson, Toby Adamson, Lee Mitchell, Gary Middlehurst. Interchange: Dec Gregory, Lewis Hatton, Patrick Moran, William Brickhill.

Tries:
Hatton (35), Kay (46);
Goals: Patton 1/ 1, Palfrey 0/ 1.

Sin bin: Taira (64);
Referee: Jack Smith;
Attendance: 3,144;
Penalty count: 13-10;
Attendance: 3,144;

Leigh Centurions Man of the Match: Ben Reynolds.
Main Match Sponsor: Lyndon Scaffolding PLC;
Associate Sponsor: Fitfield Ltd;
Match Ball Sponsor: Struktura Engineering Services;
Programme Sponsor: Armstrong Interiors;
Matchday Mascot: David Lloyd.

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