Leigh Centurions were knocked out of the Betfred Challenge Cup by Huddersfield Giants last Sunday. Photo: Brian King

Leigh Centurions travel to the Mend-a-Hose Jungle this coming Friday to face Castleford Tigers in the Betfred Super League Round 3.

Traditionally, Castleford has proved a challenging venue for visiting sides are Leigh are no exception. In fact, you have to go back to 1987 for the last time a Leigh team came home with the points, a 22-18 win in the Stones Bitter Championship.

The Tigers are unbeaten in their last 12 meetings with the Centurions since then, having won 11 and drawn one.

Castleford have won their last seven home meetings with Leigh, with the Centurions’ last away victory against the Tigers being that same December 1987 fixture.

Daryl Powell’s side have started the Betfred Super League season very strongly with wins in their opening two games over Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos.

Last weekend, they secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Betfred Challenge Cup with a dramatic golden point win over Hull KR. Gareth O’Brien was the hero for the Tigers as he slotted over a drop goal to decide an epic encounter. Their reward was a home quarter-final tie against Salford Red Devils.          

It’s been a testing start to the Super League season for John Duffy’s Centurions who have suffered defeats against local rivals Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves in recent weeks. Last Sunday, Leigh were knocked out of the Betfred Challenge Cup by Huddersfield Giants at the third round stage.   

Leigh handed debuts to former Wigan prop Ben Flower (HN#1512) and Australian hooker Nathan Peats (HN#1513) last Sunday. Peats marked his first appearance in a Centurions shirt with a second-half try.

The Mend-a-Hose Jungle is a venue familiar to several of the Leigh squad with Ryan Brierley, Ben Reynolds and Jordan Thompson all having pulled on a Tigers shirt at various points in their career. Thompson made 78 appearances for Castleford between 2009 and 2013, scoring 28 tries. Leigh scrum-half Jamie Ellis, although currently injured, had two stints with Castleford.

There are several Castleford players with connections to the Centurions too including Peter Mata’utia, James Clare and Lewis Bienek.

It could be a significant fixture for Leigh Centurions skipper Liam Hood who, if selected, will be making his 100th appearance for the Club. Hood made his Leigh debut as a substitute in a 26-18 win at Halifax in March, 2016.

Click here to see the Leigh Centurions squad.

The game, which kicks off at 6pm, is once again being played behind closed doors but will be available to view on OurLeague for season ticket holders. A live match commentary will be on Twitter as usual.  

Coach’s Comments

John Duffy: “Castleford are a very classy team. They like to throw the ball about and will keep us honest for 80 minutes. They have some very good players but it’s our job to turn up and give our best.

“In Super League the games come thick and fast but we are learning every week. It’s been a bit of a struggle getting players back which has affected us but I’m enjoying the experience.”

“We are hoping to have James Bell available and he’s a player who will help us get around the field.”