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It’s just eleven miles between the home stadia of the Leigh Leopards and Salford Red Devils but a massive nine points on the Super League 2024 table as the home side look to build on the single point which they picked up in last weekend’s draw with the Castleford Tigers while Salford knew that a win would keep them joint top of a congested table.

The bookies had made the home side slight favourites for the win and handicapped them by six points on the coupon but the recent news of the departures of Asiata and Hardaker to Hull FC must have caused some disquiet in the ranks.

Salford won the encounter between the two sides in March by 36-24 but despite the gulf in table points, this was likely to be a close encounter.

After a tentative start Leigh drew first blood thanks to an Umyla Hanley juggle and regain after a bullet pass from Matt Moylan saw the winger over. Moylan added the extras for a 6-0 lead.

On twelve minutes, Josh Charnley chased down a Lachlan Lam grubber to the corner and got his left hand to the ball to ground by the corner flag. A terrific touchline conversion from Moylan made it 12-0.

On nineteen the Red Devils were back in the game when a lovely Kallum Watkins offload went straight to the hands of Ryan Brierley who went through the line to score from five metres out. Marc Sneyd added the touchline conversion to get Salford back within a converted try.

Hanley got his second with seven minutes of the half remaining as he took a pass from Lam to outpace the sliding defence and dive in at the corner. Moylan was unable to convert from wide, the home side with a ten-point lead.

The half was concluded with a Moylan penalty attempt from forty metres which dropped short of the cross bar, Leigh with a comfortable lead at the break.

A sensational Charnley try on forty-three extended the Leigh lead as he sprinted eighty metres downfield and withstood the tackle of Brierley to ground in the corner. Zak Hardaker added t he touchline conversion for 22-6.

The flood gates were opening for Leigh on forty-seven with Matt Davis taking an inside pass from Kai O’Donnell after the second rower had chased and collected a Lam grubber kick. Hardaker added the goal for 28-6, the points going to Leigh Sports Village.

Approaching the hour mark the Leopards were in again, Brad Dwyer going from acting half back and weaving his way through a broken Salford defence to score under the sticks enabling Hardaker to add his third goal of the game.

The seventh Leigh try of the night came on sixty-six as Lam took a Dwyer pass to sprint in after Moylan had returned the ball fifty metres from behind his own sticks. Hardaker kicked the conversion to bring up the forty.

Some consolation for Salford on seventy-three as Tim Lafai scored an individual solo effort to put the Red Devils into double figures, Sneyd adding the conversion off the upright for 12-40.

This was a great performance from Leigh who put the weeks manpower troubles behind them and let their play do the talking as they pull closer to the sides above them and increase the points difference between themselves and the sides struggling below them. This is a humiliating loss which the Red Devils won’t take lying down, expect them to come back with interest when they face the Wigan Warriors in a fortnights time. Leigh now set their sights on the Huddersfield Giants who they play in round twelve as they look to put in a run towards the top six.

Leigh Leopards: Moylan (2/3 G), Hanley (2T), Hardaker (4/4 G), Leutele, Charnley (2T), McNamara, Lam (T), Amone, Ipape, Mulhern, O’Donnell, Halton, Trout.  Subs: Dwyer (T), Davis (T), Hughes, Chamberlain. 18th: McIntosh.

Salford Red Devils: Brierley (T), Ryan, MacDonald, Lafai (T), Cross, Atkin, Sneyd (2/2 G), Singleton, Cust, Ormondroyd, Stone, Watkins, Partington. Subs: Bourouh, Vuniyayawa, Hellewell, Hankinson. 18th Man: Morgan. 

Half-Time: 16-6.

Full-Time: 40-12.

Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 10-0, 12-0, 12-4, 12-6, 16-6 : HT: 20-6, 22-6, 26-6, 28-6, 32-6, 34-6, 38-6, 40-6, 40-10, 40-12 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Leigh.

Referee: Liam Moore.



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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 10th May 2024 9:53 PM | Views : 4546 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES



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