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Batley Bulldogs

Leigh Centurions v Batley Bulldogs Preview

It’s party time at the Leigh Sports Village after the Centurions secured promotion to the top tier with a victory over Huddersfield Giants last weekend. Neil Jukes’ men have won five matches from as many games in the Qualifiers and they’ll be looking to keep up unbeaten record going when they face Batley Bulldogs on Sunday. The Bulldogs are the only Championship club to beat Leigh this year so the question remains whether they can do it again, but this time in the Centurions’ back yard.

Leigh Centurions won promotion to the top tier of European rugby league in front of their home fans as they got the better of Huddersfield Giants. The Centurions won 48-40 but were 42-10 up at the break after an hat-trick from Matty Dawson and a brace courtesy of Martyn Ridyard. Other tries were scored by Greg Worthington and Cory Paterson while Huddersfield got on the scoresheet through Michael Lawrence and Aaron Murphy. Mitch Brown extended Leigh’s lead with a four pointer in the 48th minute but Huddersfield did stage a fightback but they just couldn’t complete it in time. Cudjoe and Jamie Ellis bagged braces in the final quarter after Jake Connor got the ball rolling on 53 minutes. But Leigh managed to hold on and seal their Super League status for 2017, a well deserved reward after dominating the Championship for the past few years.

Batley Bulldogs put up a brave fight against Leeds Rhinos but the latter ran out 32-0 winners at Headingley as they also made sure of their Super League status for next season. Leeds were 16-0 up at the break following a try from Tom Briscoe as well as a brace thanks to Kallum Watkins. After the interval, Ryan Hall crossed the whitewash twice to put the game beyond doubt and Rob Burrow finished the job with a 70th minute score.

After gaining promotion against Huddersfield, there’s four changes to the Leigh squad for this Saturday’s game. Gregg McNally, Martyn Ridyard, Josh Drinkwater and Mickey Higham have been replaced by Tom Spencer, Lewis Foster, Brad Fash and Travis Burns.

Leigh’s squad is as follows..

Brown, Burns, Dawson, Dixon, Fash, Foster, Hansen, Higson, Hock, Hood, Hopkins, Maitua, Moimoi, Paterson, Reynolds, Smith, Spencer, Tonga, Weston,

Batley coach John Kear has opted to stick with the same 19 man squad as last week. The Bulldogs gained a lot of respect from their performance against Leeds and they will be striving to back that up with another big effort against Leigh.

Batley’s 19 man squad is as follows..

Ainscough, Blake, Brambani, Bretherton, Chandler, Day, Davey, Gledhill, Harrison, Hirst, Leak, Lillycrop, Reittie, Rowe, Scott, Smeaton, Southernwood, Ulugia, Walker.

I study Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland. Write about the Kingstone Press Championship for a few websites, as well as doing match reports and previews for Sheffield Eagles.

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