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London Broncos 29 Leigh Centurions 20: Kingstone Press Round 16 Match Review

Well it finally happened after 27 games unbeaten Leigh’s record run and the bid to through the full league season unbeaten has came to an end at the hand “of the best 80 minutes they have seen from any team in the championship this season.” That was the view in the press box as the game had went the way not many people could have been predicting or expecting including me earlier in the week on this very website although I was 450 miles up in West Cumbria.

In a game which the champions and current League leaders never led, it was a performance that Leigh coach Paul Rowley was spoke about being out-enthused by the home side and it was really dissapointing, we were beaten in several areas of the game.”

The opening quarter was where London really took the game to Leigh and they were 16-0 up after 22 minutes with an opening try from Oscar Thomas and two from winger Illies Macani seeming to shock the Centurions but they managed to hit back quickly.

Jonny Pownall scored in the 26th minute but it was more mistakes that allowed London to score again and Wes Naiqama crossed just 4 minutes later.

Leigh hit back with a rapid response with  two tries just before half time with Pownall getting a second and and Tom Armstrong crossing the whiteline. Ridyard had converted two tries out of the three and the scoreline was 22-16 at the half time break.

Jamie Thackray got the crucial first score of the half with a break after a blocked Martyn Ridyard kick on the final play meant Thackray had a clear run to the line with open air in front of him as he went 45 metres to score. McNally scored for Leigh in the 64th minute but Leigh were guilty of trying too hard and forcing too many plays causing unforced errors galore in their attempt to get back into the game.

The final points of the game came through a Elliot Minchella drop goal 30 metres out with 10 minutes left on the clock, Broncos coach Andrew Henderson who recently came out of playing retirement to star for the London side again was delighted with the result. “It was a fantastic performance and a must-win game for us. We are starting to play the way we’ve trained. I am very pleased with the result and the manner that we played. We made another great start and it was really important not to soft in the second half.”

Speaking about losing the unbeaten run, Rowley said “After 27 wins we need to endure some short-term pain and kick on from here, but we can reflect on the long period of success and be very proud of it.”

 

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