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Leeds Rhinos v Leigh Centurions Preview

Leigh Centurions will be bidding for their seventh straight Qualifiers win on Thursday night when they take on Leeds Rhinos at Headingley. The game will be live on Sky Sports and it will give the public a hint of what to expect from Neil Jukes’ men in next year’s First Utility Super League.

Leeds Rhinos were beaten 22-14 by Huddersfield Giants last Sunday at the John Smith’s Stadium. Brian McDermott’s men fired blank in the first half as they went into the break 14-0 down. Leroy Cudjoe and Ryan Brierley were the try-scorers for Huddersfield, Danny Brough added a penalty goal. After the restart, Brough got on the scoresheet to extend the hosts’ lead to 20 points but Leeds did hit back through Adam Cuthbertson and Tom Briscoe. One conversion from Liam Sutcliffe saw the Rhinos get to within two scores of their opponents. Brough kicked another penalty with nine minutes remaining, however there was still time for Ash Handley to cross the whitewash for Leeds but it proved to be nothing but a consolation.

Leigh Centurions saw off fellow Championship side Batley Bulldogs 42-24 at the Leigh Sports Village. It was Batley who broke the deadlock on eight minutes courtesy of Dave Scott before the Centurions responded with tries from Fuifui Moimoi and Adam Higson. Alistair Leak levelled matters soon after but Leigh finished the half on the front foot as they crossed two more times before the break. Cory Paterson and Lewis Foster were the try-scorers and the Centurions were 24-12 up after the first 40 minutes. Travis Burns and Willie Tonga both extended the hosts’ lead with a try apiece before Keegan Hirst barged over in the final quarter. Dayne Weston and Wayne Reittie exchanged tries in the dying embers of the tie while Leigh’s celebrations continued.

Leeds coach Brian McDermott has made two changes to last week’s 19 man squad with young duo Sam Hallas and Cameron Smith coming in for Rob Burrow and Keith Galloway.

Leeds’ squad is as follows..

Ablett, Briscoe, Cuthbertson, Ferres, Golding, Handley, Hallas, Hall, Jones-Buchanan, Keinhorst, Lilley, Moon, Mullally, Segeyaro, Singleton, Smith, Sutcliffe, Ward, Watkins

Leigh travel to Headingley with five changes to their squad from round six. Liam Hood, Brad Fash, Lewis Foster, Cory Paterson and Tom Spencer have been replaced by Josh Drinkwater, Micky Higham, Gregg McNally, Martyn Ridyard and Danny Tickle.

Leigh’s squad is as follows..

Brown, Burns, Dawson, Dixon, Drinkwater, Hansen, Higham, Higson, Hock, Hopkins, Maitua, McNally, Moimoi, Ridyard, Smith, Tickle, Tonga, Weston, Worthington

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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