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It was fifth v second when Batley Bulldogs welcomed Leigh Centurions to slope at The Foxes Biscuits Stadium as round 11 of the Betfred Championship concluded in front of the Premier Sports cameras.

The Bulldogs entered the match unbeaten in their last five games, having drawn one game when they became the only team in the league to take a point off Featherstone back in March. Leigh's only loss in the  past six weeks was to Super League club Hull KR in the sixth round of the Challenge Cup.

Leigh kicked off down the hill while the hosts had first use of the ball - faced with the challenge of carring it 100m up the field and up nine feet in altitude in the first half. The Bulldogs were the first to make a mistake though, when Johnny Campbell knocked on trying to collect a high kick in the corner.

To spare his blushes, Leigh's Krisnan Inu lost the ball as he dived over the line at the end of that set. 

On a wet and windy night, losing posession of a greasy ball was a feature of the opening exchanges for both sides.

On nine minutes though, Inu ran onto a kick over the top of the Batley defence - but from an offside position which meant his second attempt to open the scoring was chalked off.

But five minutes later, the Centurions broke the deadlock with a sweeping movement across the line. Smooth hands from Caleb Aekins and Ed Chamberlain saw a pass out to the wing where Keanan Brand collected the ball just behind him and darted into the corner. Inu kicked the conversion and the visitors had a 6-0 lead

Leigh scored again when a repeat of the move saw Brand score in the same corner, again goaled by Inu for two tries in two minutes and a 12-0 lead.

With 20 minutes of the half left, the Bulldogs were struggling to get up the hill, regularluy kicking from within their own 40m.

Hooker Aaron Smith was the next to score for Leigh, charging over from dummy half and beating a retreating Batley defence to score despite the attention of three defenders.

He suffered a cut in scoring, though and was promptly taken to the dressing room for stitches to his forhead.

Inu made no mistake with his easiest kick of the night and the Centurions had racked up 18 points, while the Bulldogs had yet to trouble the scoreboard.

But Batley showed that they were a threat on a pitch they know well, forcing a goal-line drop out. They just couldn't secure a score.

Then when Batley knocked in in their own 20m, Leigh moved the ball rapidly out to the right straight from the scrum and Brand's hat-trick try was a formality on 33 minutes. This time, though, Inu's conversion attempt went across the face of the goal and the score stayed at 0-22.

The Centurions were making the most of the advantage that playing downhill with the wind at their backs offered them. Rolling forward on every set with their big men - especially Ben Nakubuwai and Edwin Ipape – charging up the middle and making yards on almost every carry.

And it paid off when Ipape ran from dummy-half to power over between the sticks. Inu slotted over an easy conversion and the score stood at 0-28 with the half-time hooter looming. And it stayed there as the players went into the  changing rooms.

Players who have experienced it say that playing downhill at the Mount Pleasant ground is worth 16 points - Leigh had almost doubled that and it was the hosts who would have a metaphorical mountain to climb in the second half, despite playing downhill.

The change in slope, though made little impression on the opening exchanges, with Batley starting sets on or around their 10m line as Leigh continued to press and kick well.

A penalty helped the Bulldogs down the hill and to a repeat set – only for fullback Luke Hooley to knock-on when fielding the drop-out. But it was Leigh who continued to out muscle their opponents and the challenges of the pitch.

And after 20 minutes of stout defence, it was the Centurions who broke the second-half deadlock.

Loose foward John Asiata beat the Bulldogs defence and passed inside to half back Joe Mellor, who sprinted 20m to score the half's opening try. Inu converted and the score moved on to 0-34 in favour of the visitors.

Two minutes later, Ben Reynolds reached the Batley line and was tackled as he crossed it. But as he went to ground he offloaded to Joe Wardle to his left who had the simplest tryscoring job of the night – falling forward to ground the ball for four points.

Inu's conversion was almost a formality and Leigh led 0-40.

As the game entered it's last 10 minutes, Batley conceded a scrum in their own 10m. Leigh went to the short side to Inu, who ran through to score the try he had been denied twice in the opening minutes.

He goaled his own conversion and the score approached the half-century at 0-46.

Ipape duly brought up the 50 when he broke from dummy half again, ran through the marker defence and rounded the full back to run 40 metres and score under the post. Inu's conversion made it 0-52 with just three minutes to go.

The Bulldogs defence still had tiime to hold up Nene McDonald in the corner though, not that Leigh stopped knocking on the Batley door. But time ran out and the final hooter sounded without another score.

Leigh had planted their flag on the Batley hill in style, and set mouths watering for their 1895 Cup Final showdown with league leaders Featherstone  in just under two weeks.

Full Time: 0-52

Half Time: 0-28

Score progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-10, 0-12, 0-16, 0-18, 0-22, 0-26, 0-28. HT. 0-32, 0-34, 0-38, 0-40, 0-44, 0-46, 0-52. FT.

Batley Bulldogs: Hooley; Johnson, Hodson, Buchanan, Campbell; White, Gilmore; Gledhill, Kaye, Reilly, Manning, Senior, Blake. Substitutes: Brown, Whiteley, Ward, Meadows.

Leigh Centurions: Aekins; Inu (T, 6G), MacDonald, Chamberlain, Brand (3T); Reynolds, Mellor (T); Sidlow, Smith (T), Amone, Wardle (T), Stone, Asiata. Substitutes: O'Donnel, Nakubuwai, Ioane, Ipape (2T).

Referee: Ben Thaler.

Venue: The Fox's Biscuit Stadium, Batley.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 16th May 2022 9:54 PM | Views : 3950 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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TABLES:
Matches on TV
Sat 25th Jun
L1 RND: 12
15:00
West Wales-Cornwall
MINT2022 RND: 1
06:20
NZ-Tonga
MINT2022 RND: 1
08:40
SAM-Cook I
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10:40
PNG-Fiji
Sun 26th Jun
SOO RND: 2
10:50
New South Wales-Queensland
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15:15
Hull KR-Huddersfield
Mon 27th Jun
CH RND: 16
19:45
Barrow-Halifax
Fri 1st Jul
SL RND: 17
20:00
Castleford-Huddersfield
Sat 2nd Jul
SL RND: 17
18:00
Catalans-St.Helens
Fri 8th Jul
CH RND: 18
19:45
Newcastle-Bradford
Sat 9th Jul
SL RND: 18
19:00
Leeds-Castleford
SL RND: 18
16:45
St.Helens-Wigan
SLRND: 18
14:30
Wakefield-Toulouse
Sun 10th Jul
SL RND: 18
15:15
Catalans-Warrington
SL RND: 18
13:00
Huddersfield-Salford
SL RND: 18
17:30
Hull KR-Hull FC
Mon 11th Jul
CH RND: 18
19:45
Halifax-York
Mon 18th Jul
CH RND: 19
19:45
York-Batley
Thu 21st Jul
SL RND: 20
20:00
Leeds-Wigan
Sun 24th Jul
CH RND: 20
15:00
Whitehaven-Leigh
Fri 24th Jun
CH RND: 16 Sheffield4-58Leigh
SL RND: 16 Warrington4-0Hull FC
SL RND: 16 Wigan40-6Toulouse
Thu 23rd Jun
SL RND: 16 St.Helens42-12Leeds
Sun 19th Jun
NRL RND: 15 Canberra20-18Newcastle
NRL RND: 15 Canterbury36-12Wests
Sat 18th Jun
MINT2022 RND: 1 England18-4ALL STARS
WINT2022 RND: 1 ENGLAND36-10FRANCE
NRL RND: 15 Cronulla18-10Gold Coast
NRL RND: 15 NZ Warriors6-40Penrith
NRL RND: 15 Parramatta26-16Sydney
Fri 17th Jun
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NRL RND: 15 Melbourne32-20Brisbane
Thu 16th Jun
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This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2022 ROUND : 16
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Leigh 16 638 136 502 30
Featherstone 15 604 200 404 27
York 15 386 268 118 24
Batley 14 404 229 175 21
Halifax 15 428 248 180 20
Barrow 15 365 306 59 19
 
Bradford 15 325 329 -4 16
Sheffield 15 339 368 -29 14
Widnes 15 311 415 -104 10
Newcastle 15 288 433 -145 10
Whitehaven 15 226 510 -284 8
LondonB 15 230 424 -194 5
Dewsbury 15 205 504 -299 4
Workington 15 166 545 -379 2
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred League One 2022 ROUND : 12
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Keighley 10 431 90 341 20
Swinton 10 396 153 243 16
Crusaders 10 369 192 177 16
Rochdale 10 390 234 156 14
Doncaster 10 300 248 52 12
Hunslet 10 262 226 36 11
 
Oldham 10 312 214 98 7
Midlands 10 278 339 -61 6
LondonS 10 192 426 -234 6
West Wales 10 88 556 -468 2
Cornwall 10 138 478 -340 0
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Super League XXVII ROUND : 16
 PLDFADIFFPTS
St.Helens 16 404 170 234 28
Wigan 16 434 301 133 24
Catalans 15 340 202 138 22
Huddersfield 15 341 256 85 21
Hull FC 16 310 289 21 16
Castleford 15 317 334 -17 14
 
Hull KR 15 271 298 -27 14
Warrington 16 300 380 -80 12
Leeds 16 261 322 -61 11
Salford 15 291 385 -94 10
Wakefield 15 247 366 -119 10
Toulouse 16 236 449 -213 4
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
National Rugby League 2022 ROUND : 14
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Penrith 14 416 213 203 24
Melbourne 13 462 204 258 22
NQL Cowboys 14 350 171 179 20
Brisbane 13 292 223 69 18
Cronulla 13 298 238 60 16
Parramatta 13 313 287 26 16
Souths 13 310 269 41 14
Sydney 14 303 264 39 14
 
Manly 14 294 296 -2 14
Canberra 14 250 291 -41 12
St.George 13 221 313 -92 12
NZ Warriors 14 242 393 -151 8
Newcastle 13 166 342 -176 8
Canterbury 14 194 325 -131 6
Gold Coast 14 224 362 -138 6
Wests 13 184 328 -144 6
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