Date – Sunday 17th May
Kick-off – 2:15pm
Venue – Rapid Solicitors Stadium
The Centurions will be eying another win against a Super League team, after their successful exploit against Salford in the last round. Wakefield have been struggling in Super League and they currently sit at the foot of the table but a win against Leigh will give them confidence for the future, and maybe the middle 8’s against the same side?
Last Time Out
Wakefield went to the KC Lightstream Stadium in hope of ending their barren run without a win against Hull KR. Unfortunately for James Webster’s side, they were consigned to a Terry Campese masterclass and a 54-6 defeat. KR were 20-6 up at the break as tries from Kris Welham, Albert Kelly and a Josh Mantellato brace had put Wakefield in the lurch despite a lone Joe Arundel score for the visitors. The second half tries for Rovers came from Graeme Horne, Ken Sio, John Boudebza and Tyrone McCarthy plus a double from Kieron Dixon. A poor night at the office for Wakefield as they are still left searching for their third victory in this year’s First Utility Super League.
Leigh were given a bit of a fright by Halifax at the Leigh Sports Village, but the reigning Championship champions came through the match with yet another win under their belts. The hosts went into half-time down by 10 points to 6 as Liam Kay posted the only try for Leigh in the first half, Scott Murrell and Ben Heaton both crossed for Halifax as they seized the advantage. Heaton turned his single into a double after the break with a barnstorming score but it was the resilience of Leigh that shone through in the end when Greg Worthington, Tommy Goulden and Bob Beswick all scored without reply. They were two sendings off apiece in the match as Jamie Acton and Tom Armstrong of Leigh plus Andy Bracek and Steve Tyrer of Halifax were all given their marching orders. Kurt Haggerty of Leigh and Mitch Cahalane of Halifax both ended up in the sin-bin as well, resulting in a 10v10 match for the latter stages.
Martyn Ridyard and Ryan Brierley have been labelled as the best playmaking duo in the Championship for the last year or so, and not many would disagree. Despite this, Ben Reynolds came to the fore against Halifax and played a big part in the lead up to a few tries. Whether Reynolds starts on the bench again this weekend is up in the air, but the chosen half-backs will prove a big threat to Wakefield. Craig Hall and Tim Smith lined up in the halves for Wakefield against Hull KR but were played out of the game as Terry Campese and right hand man Albert Kelly took charge. The duo come into this tie without much confidence, as could be said for the majority of Wakefield’s side, but they do have talent and they’ll need to put it on show at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium should their team come out of the game with a much-needed victory.
In what is a big game for both sides, Leigh will be travelling to Wakefield with the hope of trying to pick up a second Super League casualty while the Wildcats need to find a win from somewhere to try and gain some form for the second half of the season. Tim Smith will be at the heart of all Wakefield’s good stuff and it’ll be of high importance for Leigh to keep the former Salford half-back quiet. I can’t see there being a hammering for either side, a close matchup with one score in it – Wakefield by 6