Leigh travel to the Haliwell Jones Stadium in search of a win to keep their heads above water in the qualifiers series. Both sides come into this off underwhelming performances, though Leigh the side with a loss.
Last time out
Leigh and Widnes went into the game with the knowledge that the loser would go into the Million Pound Game slots regardless of other results. Widnes capitalised early on through Lloyd White. Two penalty goals put Widnes 8-0 up before Jack Buchanan crossed for his first of the season under the sticks. James Clare got one back for the home side with a top class finish, but Widnes replied and Corey Thompson went over in the corner. Chris Bridge converted and restored Widnes’ lead before Matty Dawson crossed for Leigh. That was to be all for the hosts though and Widnes added two more penalties late on to seal the game 24-8.
On the other hand, Broncos led early against Warrington with tries from Kieran Dixon, Rhys Williams, and Jarrod Sammut, Warrington, however, were able to peg back London’s 14-0 lead in the last twelve minutes of the half through Tom Lineham and George King. With the score standing at 14-10 at the start of the second half it was all to play for and Warrington took a firm hold of the lead in the early stages of the second half. Pita Hiku scored their first before Kevin Brown and Declan Patton scored a quick fire double to thrust Warrington into a definite lead. Ben Westwood chipped in with a soft effort though the middle of the Broncos defence to seemingly put the game out of reach but Jarrod Sammut got one back for the hosts to make the score 20-34. Warrington restored their twenty-point lead in what was a try filled half with Kevin Brown completing his brace. It looked as though it was over but Man of the Match Jarrod Sammut catalyzed a late comeback from the Broncos. Sammut cracked in with his third try of the evening in the 72nd minute.
Not long after Sammut had converted his own effort, Andy Ackers crossed from short range and Sammut converted once again to cut the Warrington lead to 10 with five minutes to play. The Broncos continued to ride the momentum towards the back end of the game and Kieran Dixon raced 70 metres off the back of a Warrington 5th tackle kick to dot down under the posts. As a result, with two minutes to go, Broncos trailed by two points. It looked as though Warrington had sealed the win with Broncos caught on the 5th tackle with Dixon tied in a clinch, but an unnecessary cannonball tackle from a fiery Ryan Atkins looked as though Broncos were to have a final penalty from which to get a return, however referee Liam Moore provided an archetypal refereeing cop out and turned a blind eye. Warrington saw out the final set and survived what was a massive scare for the Cheshire side.
Up Front. Warrington boast a great pack that once again did not fire on all cylinders last time out. They were matched by an under-done Broncos pack that on occasion has fallen foul of other Championship packs. They need to up their game if they are to get a return from this one because they are coming up against a tough Centurions pack. As we saw last week, Warrington can be punctured through the middle as well as out-paced on the flanks and as a result, if the Leigh forwards are at their best they’ll walk over Warrington. Neither side has a consistently good defence so whichever pack takes a hold of the game and dominates will get their side the two points.
Leigh have far more to gain in this one but the Warrington home advantage should just help the Wolves edge it. Both sides have been far from there best in recent weeks and it’s a case of who can limit their errors and do the basics well in this one, starting in the forwards. Warrington by 8.