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Rowley: We let ourselves down
LEIGH Centurions head coach Paul Rowley compared his side’s performance at Featherstone to that of St Helens, who also flattered to deceive in a heavy opening defeat.
For Leigh it proved another painful Featherstone away day as Rovers extended their voodoo sign.
“We were very much in the St Helens mould,” he said.
“It was a really bad day at the office. We did some basic things wrong. We certainly didn't play how we practised.
“You come away at the end of it thinking what did they do that was so special or so undefendable? Why did they break in certain areas?
“Featherstone are clinical and consistent in what they do, but my initial thoughts are that everything was solvable if we’d all stuck to our patterns and principals and unfortunately we didn’t do that.
“If everyone in the club had a bad habit, we as the collective all brought it and I include myself and members of my coaching staff.
“They gave us a harsh lesson and a harsh wake up call.”
Looking ahead, Rowley did not mince his words.
“I don’t think we can move on and put it behind us. There is an awful lot of review needs doing, some accountability, people knowing each other’s roles, so there’s some pressure from our peers.
“We all know what we bring to the table. We can’t brush anything under the carpet, it needs fixing.
“The one positive is there was certainly no lack of effort. We made 388 tackles against Featherstone which is the most we’ve done in a game since I’ve been at the club.
“Martin Aspinwall alone did 51 tackles in a little over 50 minutes. It was a pretty phenomenal number of tackles for 80 minutes, let alone 50. It was no lack of effort, just misdirected.
“I don’t think bodies switched off, I think brains did. We let ourselves down.”
Leigh have a second chance to start their season on Sunday when they host a Hunslet Hawks team fresh from a 42-12 defeat of Barrow.
“This time last year Hunslet were losing by 40 every week but they had a good win and a Challenge Cup finalist in their ranks.
“It’s unknown territory for us. We can preview the Hunslet game all we want but realistically we don’t know what we are up against in terms of personnel they have available.
“All we can do is worry about ourselves and performing each task as we know we can do. If we do that then we shouldn’t need to be worried about any opposition. We'll work hard this week and try and get up and running on Sunday.”
In other news, a young Centurions under 20s side lost 46-16 to Salford in a pre-season friendly.
Leigh held their ground for the first half hour before City Reds’ extra first-team knowhow shone through.
Leigh’s try scorers were Jimmy Taylor, Adam Barber and Matty Charnock, with Josh Ward kicking two goals.
Paul Anderson's side are in action again tonight, Thursday, against Halifax at Leigh East, kick off 7.30pm.