Super League: Leigh Centurions 26-18 Wakefield Trinity

Ryan Brierley
Ryan Brierley scored a hat-trick which took him beyond 200 career tries
Leigh (10) 26
Tries: Sidlow, Brierley 3, Stone Goals: Brierley 3
Wakefield (18)
Tries: Lyne, Tanginoa, Kershaw Goals: Lino 3

Ryan Brierley’s hat-trick ensured Leigh Centurions gave their fans a moment to savour in victory over Wakefield, despite their impending relegation.

Leigh raced into the lead after tries from Adam Sidlow and Brierley, before Reece Lyne, Kelepi Tanginoa and Lee Kershaw’s scores put Trinity 18-10 up.

Brierley picked up two more for his treble before Sam Stone crossed as the home side roared back in front.

Wakefield fought to the end, but Leigh hung on for a second league win.

This result, in the penultimate round of a tough campaign for the Centurions, also followed a public criticism of the players from owner Derek Beaumont in his programme notes for the game.

Whether or not the group were aware of the words, they showed a level of intent and intensity that would delight interim coach Kurt Haggerty and stun a Trinity side who have made strides under Willie Poching.

Not only was their attack, led by the electric Brierley, able to conjure up points, but the defensive mettle kept Trinity out on several occasions.

Iain Thornley made one huge tackle to deny Lyne a second score while treble-hero Brierley made a brilliant cover-tackle on Innes Senior to prevent a try.

Only an injury to Nathan Mason would have soured the afternoon for the Leythers, as he was withdrawn before half-time.

Trinity had been excellent under Poching’s command, winning four of their last five, but despite a late flurry at the end of either half, they fell short.

Kershaw had to be replaced late on in the opening 40, another blow to the Trinity outside backs with Tom Johnstone ruled out with a head injury.

Leigh head coach Kurt Haggerty:

“The effort was fantastic today, we had enough quality to get the win. It comes down to resilience and sticking in there when things don’t go your way and believing and doing it for each other.

“We were busted before the game, so to come away with the win and score the points we did is a really good win.”

Haggerty on Beaumont’s criticism of the team:

“You can either take it one or two ways, you either fire up or go the other way, but it was irrelevant to them really, they just went out there and played for each other.”

Wakefield interim boss Willie Poching told BBC Radio Leeds:

“It was pretty poor. From our attitude, especially defensively, we lacked a real zip to defend in the way we needed to.

“We had line-speed sporadically, but we just didn’t get enough control with bodies in front, we didn’t win the floor.

“Credit to Leigh, they ran hard and we didn’t catch up to them in the end. It hurts immensely because I didn’t see this coming.”

Leigh: Brierley; Elliot, Hellewell, Thornley, Logan; Bell, Mellor; Butler, Hood, Sidlow, Thompson, Stone, Whitbread

Interchanges: Gerrard, Mason, Ellis, Ashworth

Wakefield: Hampshire; Senior, Arundel, Lyne, Kershaw; Miller, Lino; Battye, Kay, Green, Batchelor, Tanginoa, Crowther

Interchanges: Wood, Fifita, Walker, Arona

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