Championship favourites Leigh Centurions beat local rivals Wigan Warriors 26-20 in the first pre season match of 2016.
The hosts fielded several of their new signings including former Super League Man of Steel Rangi Chase, as well as former Australian international Willie Tonga, but went three scores down early on against their more youthful opponents.
An uncharacteristic error from Centurions’ Full Back Greg McNally gifted Josh Charnley the opening score of the game before the impressive young Winger Liam Marshall added two well taken tries to give Wigan a 14-0 lead.
The Warriors, who fielded a squad of mainly emerging youngsters, had five of last year’s losing Grand Finalists in there squad as well as new signing Willie Isa, who was showing up well on his first outing for the club.
Despite the experience of the like of Flower, Gelling and Powell; the Warriors couldn’t stave off a Leigh comeback, and Leigh subsequently turn the match on its head before the break.
Firstly, Liam Kay finished well in the corner after some good work from Tonga down the left, and this was swiftly added to by his opposite Winger Adam Higson who burrowed over after a fine pass by Chase. Sam Hopkins powered over next to the posts to give Leigh a 16-14 half time lead.
But Wigan soon switched the scoring momentum again thanks to a Lewis Tierney effort which was brilliantly created by the spritely Gabriel Fell, who dashed from within his own half after some good hands down the left edge before giving it to the supporting Tierney to finish the job.
After this however, the Championship side were thoroughly dominant. A sweeping right to left move saw Chase and Ridyard combine to put McNally through a gap to score and level the match.
The Centurions won it thanks to a typical bulldozing run from Forward Jamie Acton, who over powered several defenders to reach out and score.
By no means was this a classic encounter between two old foes, but it was certainly one to warm up the fans who braved the elements on a snowy afternoon.