Leigh Centurions boss Paul Rowley praises award-winning Ryan Brierley

Leigh Journal: Ryan Brierley, who scored a hat-trick against Barrow Raiders Ryan Brierley, who scored a hat-trick against Barrow Raiders

LEIGH Centurions welcome Whitehaven to Leigh Sports Village this Sunday and will approach the game in good spirits following a second successive 50-point victory.

In just two games Leigh have racked up 18 tries, with halfback Ryan Brierley claiming eight of them on his way to winning the Kingstone Press Championship player-of-the-round award.

Head coach Paul Rowley said: “It’s clear to see Ryan’s development.

He works hard, he studies the game; he’s always willing to come in and do video on a one-on-one basis.

“We often sit down and review the opposition and chat about it. He takes things onboard and at the weekend we were seeing more and more that he’s not just getting on the end of tries, he’s creating them too for other people and himself.”

Bob Beswick earned the praise of his boss too, winning a spot in the team of the week alongside Brierley and Jake Emmitt.

“Bob was a mountain,” said Rowley.

“I wanted to take him off and give him a rest but he just kept going and going.

“Jake is a very low maintenance and consistent player, we’ve just said for him to keep doing what he is doing.”

Sunday’s match perhaps provides a stiffer test to Leigh’s recent scoring form.

Whitehaven have recruited shrewdly in the close season, bringing in the likes of former Leigh and Warrington second row Lee Mitchell and ex-Widnes and Wigan winger Shaun Ainscough.

They will be itching for a game after losing their season opener at Keighley and then seeing last weekend’s clash with North Wales postponed.

Winger Johnny Pownall is on the comeback trail and was set to have made his first playing appearance of the year in the reserves league opener against Featherstone Rovers last night.

Off-field, the Centurions have continued strengthening with the appointment of Rob Parker as general manager.

Parker was originally appointed business development manager during his final playing year and has now been handed a fuller role incorporating matchday operations, community liaison and day-to-day management at the club.

Chairman of Leigh Centurions John Roddy said: “The board have been greatly impressed not only with Rob’s transition from his playing career into commercial management, but also in his natural instinct and capability to develop great relationships and energy to deliver results.

“Rob will lead the support team within the club, including an enhanced sales team shortly to be introduced and clearly he is the natural choice to take on this wider role and to support our ambitions for the 2014 season.”

Parker added: “The faith shown in me from John Roddy and his board of directors from day one has been key to my progress and transition into my new role as general manager of Leigh Centurions.

“I genuinely look forward to helping my hometown club grow from strength to strength in the 2014 season and beyond.”

Centurions also learnt their Challenge Cup third round fate on Monday, with Rowley’s side set to travel to Wigan St Patricks over the weekend of March 15/16.

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