5th August 2017, 18:48 | Leigh
Josh Drinkwater and Daniel Mortimer pulled the strings as Betfred Super League side Leigh Centurions defeated Kingstone Press Championship side Featherstone Rovers 38-12 to get their Super 8s Qualifiers campaign off to a winning start.
Scrum-half Drinkwater scored a try and kicked five goals while Australian team-mate Mortimer touched down and assisted in two more of Centurions’ seven tries, including a Gregg McNally double.
Mortimer scored his first time for the club before sending McNally over for his first to put Leigh 12-0 up before Darrell Griffin crossed for the hosts, which Centurion centre Mitch Brown replied to make it 18-6 at the break,
Liam Hood extended the visitors' lead further before winger Matty Dawson grabbed his 13th try of the campaign and Drinkwater's score put Leigh in the driving seat.
Rovers, who finished with 12 men after Richard Moore’s sin-binning, pulled a try back through Misi Taulapapa but McNally had the last word as the Centurions completed a comfortable win.
Good start to our 8s. Fev r a tough side & made us work hard for it. Huge thanx to the fans you guys were awesome. We go again next wk 👍🏼— Cory Paterson (@CoryPato) August 5, 2017
Leigh head coach Neil Jukes hailed the significance to his side's winning start to the Super 8's Qualifiers.
He said “Getting off to a winning start in these 8’s s really important. I know how tough it is to come to this place if you are not on song with your game.
“I was really pleased with start especially going uphill and we knew they were going to come all over us in the first 15-20 minutes.
“But we managed to dampen their fire with the crowd and some of their players’ intensity levels dropped after we went try-try.”
Great to start the middle 8's off with a win! Thanks the mighty Leythers who traveled! 🔴⚪️🔴— Daniel Mortimer (@Danmorts) August 5, 2017
Featherstone boss John Duffy was disappointed to taste defeat in his first match in charge.
”We gave ourselves too much to do at the start of both halves with ill discipline and simple errors," he said.
“In patches we looked really good but we didn’t take the opportunities which you have got to do against any opposition, especially when you play Super League teams. You can’t knock the effort but we need to be smarter and start the game better.
“We showed desire after the start we had to get back in the game band we looked comfortable going set for set. But once your error against these big teams you get punished. We did too much defending across the board and we conceded some soft tries."