Widnes Vikings moved into positive points after their 12pts deduction with a vibrant attacking display at Halton Stadium.
Kieron Purtill’s side dominated the early stages and built a 16-0 lead after 21 minutes and though Leigh fought back with tries by Josh Eaves and Jonny Pownall the Vikings went on to earn a convincing win.
Pownall’s try in the corner was his 100th in senior rugby league and was one of the few bright consolations for the visitors who finished second best.
Eaves, on dual registration from St Helens and earning heritage number #1485 scored within seconds of coming for his Leigh debut, having featured in the warm up game against London Broncos.
With temperatures pitch side in the high 20s Widnes made a bright start, Brad Walker scything through the Leigh defence for the opening score before Joe Lyons grabbed the first of his brace following Danny Craven’s high kick to the corner.
Anthony Gelling then cut through following a scrum move to confirm the Vikings’ early dominance.
Leigh’s recovery was prompted by Gregg McNally twice joining the attack to good effect, first of all creating a smart try for the supporting Eaves with a clever inside pass, then setting up Pownall to score by the right corner flag for his milestone try.
Trailing 16-12 Leigh looked very much in the game at this stage, but Widnes went in with a ten-point advantage after Lyons’ second try just before the interval following a break from home man of the match Jordan Johnstone.
The near 6,000 crowd which included a tremendous following from Leigh were left waiting until the last quarter for further scores as the visitors had plenty of possession and territory without breaking a resolute home defence.
Jack Owens’ pass picked out home debutant Calum O’Neil for the match-clinching try just after the hour and Owens tagged on the conversion and a late penalty goal to confirm his side’s victory.
Widnes Vikings: Jack Owens; Ryan Ince, Anthony Gelling, Keanan Brand, Sam Freeman; Danny Craven, Joe Lyons; Hep Cahill, Jordan Johnstone, Ted Chapelhow, Sam Wilde, Brad Walker, MacGraff Leuluai.
Interchange: Jay Chapelhow, Lloyd Roby, Liam Walsh, Calum O’Neill.
Tries: Walker (4), Lyons (14, 37), Gelling (21), O’Neill (63);
Goals: Owens 5/ 6.
Leigh Centurions: Gregg McNally; Jonny Pownall, Mitch Cox, Iain Thornley, Stefan Marsh; Martyn Ridyard, Josh Woods; Luke Douglas, Liam Hood, Sam Brooks, Toby Adamson, Andy Thornley, Joe Cator.
Interchange: Josh Eaves, Tom Spencer, Jake Emmitt, Nick Gregson.
Tries: Eaves (27), Pownall (34);
Goals: Ridyard 1/ 2.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas;
Penalty count: 6-8.