24 years service to
the Rugby League

After the closest of finishes to the Saturday of Magic Weekend, Sunday began with a fixture which promised to be more one sides as a Leigh Leopards side on fine form, and having beaten the league leaders last time out, took on the bottom side in Super League, the winless Wakefield Trinity.

Wakefield had been given an eighteen-point start on the handicap coupon and only the most one-eyed of Wakefield supporters would suggest any other outcome than a big Leopards win which would see Leigh up to fourth place in the table, and if the win was by more than twenty-nine points then they would be into third, above near neighbours Wigan.

The expectation was of one-way traffic, Wakefield needed a miracle.

The coach’s lad opened the scoring when Lachlan Lam showed the Trinity chasers a clean pair of heels as he sprinted forty metres to dot down in the corner. Ben Reynolds was unable to add the conversion from wide, but the Leopards were up and running.

Josh Charnley had a try denied on twelve as the video referee decided that the referee had blown his whistle before he forced the ball to the ground. But three plays later Rob Mulhern took a short flat pass from Tom Amone to go through the Trinity line and jog over from fifteen metres. Reynolds hit the target for a 10-0 lead, Wakefield already with a mountain to climb.

On twenty-six Ben Reynolds got involved in an altercation with David Fifita and threw a punch which saw the Leigh man sent off, Leigh down to twelve for the rest of the game and without their first-choice kicker. To add to Leigh’s problems, Tom Nisbet was yellow carded on twenty-eight for a dangerous tackle, Leigh now down to eleven men until just before half time.

Two minutes before the interval Wakefield appeared to have opened their account but after the decision was sent to the video referee, he ruled that Tom Lineham knocked on in the act of scoring, Leigh taking a 10-0 interval into the break.

The twelve men extended their lead on forty-seven, Edwin Ipape completing a move started by Lam after the ball went through three pairs of hands before the hooker went in from fifteen metres out. Zak Hardaker took the conversion and hit the target for 16-0.

Hardaker added a penalty goal after a late hit on fifty-two to extend the lead to three converted tries.

There was a long break in play on fifty-eight as Wakefield’s Jack Croft was treated for an injury and helped from the field on a stretcher.

Any hopes of a Wakefield fightback were crushed on the hour mark when Josh Charnley took a Leutele fast pass to walk past Lineham for a simple try. Hardaker added the touchline conversion for 24-0, Trinity facing another nilling in the most awful of seasons.

The important fifth try from Leigh came on sixty-six, Lam taking a difficult pass and evading four Trinity tacklers to score from ten metres out. Hardaker added the conversion and as the live score stood it was enough to take Leigh above Wigan and into third spot in the table.

Nine minutes from time, Max Jowitt took a pass, stepped inside and scored from ten metres out to finally get some consolation for Trinity and avoid another zero. The kick was missed from wide, Leigh taking the win by 30-4.

Wakefield Trinity recorded a fourteenth consecutive loss of a dour 2023 season, to a side with a man down for fifty minutes after Reynolds sending off. Leigh are sending out a, loud and clear, message to the rest of Super League as they go into fourth spot in the table at the midway point of the season, and that message is that they are true contenders for top honours in 2023.

Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt (T), Lineham, Croft, Kay, Taufua, Dagger, Lino, Proctor, Hood, Bowden, Hewitt, Ashurst, Pitts. Subs: Crowther, Bowes, Battye, Fifita. 18th Man: Eseh.

Leigh Leopards: O’Brien, Briscoe, Leutele, Hardaker (4G), Charnley (T), Reynolds (G, SO on 26), Lam (2T), Amone, Ipape (T), Mulhern (T), Holmes, Nisbet (SB on 29), Asiata.  Subs: Mellor, Seumanufagai, Wildie, Davis. 18th Man: Chamberlain.

Half-Time: 0-10.

Full-Time: 4-30.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-8, 0-10, (SO), (SB) : HT: 0-14, 0-16, 0-18, 0-22, 0-24, 0-28, 0-30, 4-30 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Leigh.

Referee: Aaron Moore.

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 4th Jun 2023 2:02 PM | Views : 3455 | Replies : 1 | BACK TO STORIES