Facing their fifth game in a row on the spin, Leigh will travel to Cumbria on Sunday for their latest match of the season. Whitehaven welcome the Centurions to the AEL Arena, as the two teams face off in the 20th round of the Betfred Championship. The match will take place on Sunday 24th July, kicking off at 15:00pm.
The hosts have struggled this year, with wins coming few and far between. Haven currently find themselves without a win in five games and have only picked up three points in their last 11 outings. However, their only win in 11, coming against Dewsbury Rams, sees Whitehaven sit five points clear of the relegation places in the league with eight rounds to go.
The visitors travel north in high spirits. In their last four matches on the road, the Centurions have scored 240 points and conceded juts 16 points. Their latest win against Dewsbury Rams saw Leigh stretch their winning run to 15 matches and also secured the clubs place in the Betfred Championship Play-Offs at the end of the season.
LAST TIME OUT:
This is the second time these two sides have met this year, with the reverse fixture at Leigh Sports Village coming on the opening round of the season. A new look Centurions side started the Adrian Lam era at the club with a convincing 50-4 victory – including a hattrick on debut for Nene Macdonald.
Macdonald became one of only five Leigh players of the summer era to score a hattrick on debut for the club. Stuart Donlan (HN#1117) in 1997, Miles Greenwood (HN#1273), Nathan McAvoy (1293) in 2008 and Jamie Durbin (HN#1315) in 2009 the others to achieve the feat.
Highlights of that game can be watched below:
Adrian Lam spoke to us earlier this week and has expressed his delight at the level at which his squad are training at currently.
“We’ve got really good at turning each week around and getting straight back into training, preparing for our next game. We’re training really professionally and at a high intensity.
“There’s a good buzz around the squad on the training pitch – I know as a coach, that when the boys have that feeling, they’re focused on the task at hand.”
With the end of the season beginning to come into view, despite being happy with where his side is at present, he is always looking for new ways to improve his squad week in week out.
“This season is coming to an end really quickly – I think there’s only eight games to go. Those games are going to come really quick, and we don’t have much time left together as a group.
“We’re always trying to find a way to improve ourselves as a collective. The game this week, another tough test away from home, poses a real challenge for us to make sure we tick all the boxes leading up to our huge game next weekend at the Summer Bash.
“But we’ve said all year, we’re not ones to look too far ahead and we’ve got a tough game to get through this week before we even think about that. We’ve got a really strong team travelling to Cumbria, so I’m excited to see how the boys handle the challenge.
Chris Green’s injury nightmare has an end in sight. The prop has been included in the 21-man squad set to travel to Cumbria this weekend – the first time he has been included since Round 2 of the Betfred Championship in February.
After being rested for last week’s game at Dewsbury Rams, the trio of Blake Ferguson, John Asiata and Adam Sidlow could all be recalled to the team. However, prop Tom Amone will be missing the match this weekend after coming off with a knee injury last weekend. This one is not feared to be too serious and should see the stellar forward return to the squad in the next week or two.
New signing, Lachlan Lam, will not feature in this week’s squad. The Papua New Guinea international utility back is yet to arrive in the UK but could be in line to feature in next week’s blockbuster showdown with Featherstone Rovers at the Summer Bash.
Backs Jy Hitchcox, Kieron Dixon, Luis Roberts and Ata Hingano all remain on loan away from the club, playing for their respective loan sides in the latest round of fixtures.
Blake Ferguson is just four tries away from his 150th club try of his career. The former NSW and Australia international has touched down 149 times so far in his career – 138 of those coming in the NRL with spells at Cronulla Sharks, Canberra Raiders, South Sydney Roosters and Parramatta Eels. Ferguson has 11 tries so far for the Centurions in his eight appearances this season.
In what is turning into a season of personal milestones, Ben Reynolds is closing in on yet another personal accolade. Fresh off the back of his 1000th career point last weekend, the half back currently sits 7th on the list of the Centurions’ all-time top scorer list – just 6 points behind Ryan Brierley (HN#1354).
The man leading the officiating team for this one will be referee, Mike Smaill. Smaill’s last game in charge of a Centurions fixture came in April 2022, as Leigh defeated Dewsbury Rams 44-0 at Leigh Sports Village.