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Leigh Centurions 6 Dewsbury Rams 30
FROM the highs of a big win at Widnes to the lows of a home defeat against Dewsbury – life at Leigh Centurions is a rollercoaster.
Ian Millward’s men now face an uphill battle if they are to claim second spot in the Co-operative Championship.
Leigh were poor, a shadow of the team that did so well the previous week and the Rams fully deserved their five-try success.
Leigh did not do too much wrong in the opening minutes as their first set took them 60 metres and Martyn Ridyard delivered a good kick.
And the first chance of points fell the Centurions way, too, when Robbie Paul dabbed through on the last tackle and the ball just trickled dead ahead of Paul Smith.
Dewsbury then gave notice of their intentions with their own attack after five minutes.
Dominic Brambani sliced through the centre of the defence only for the solid Stuart Donlan to steal the ball in a one-on-one tackle.
After 14 minutes the first try finally came, somewhat against the run of play.
Castleford dual contract man Ed Barber dived over at the side of the posts for Brambani to convert, while Leigh’s own dual-registered Lee Mitchell and Tyrone McCarthy went through the horrors with a succession of missed tackles and dropped passes and looked like fish out of water.
Even the usual spark of John Duffy was countered as Centurions fluffed another chance through James Taylor.
Brambani was at the heart of everything good about Dewsbury and his clever long kick from a scrum in the 32nd minute saw the speedy Powell latch on to the end of it.
A couple of minutes later, the Rams attack was flowing again and he was twice involved in the move that led to Pat Walker claiming a stunning try after James Craven had followed up a chip kick from the star scrum half who then converted for a shock 16-0 Rams lead.
Although Leigh pressed at the start of the second half, with Ricky Bibey and Duffy going close, it was Dewsbury who claimed a deserved fourth try. Nanyn attacked the line but when he knocked on, Barber countered and handed on to Powell for him to run clear from 60 metres. Pat Walker converted to make it 22-0.
Centurions were well out of the contest when Brambani was fouled after passing the ball and Walker added a penalty.
Things were just not working for Leigh and predictable attack forced Millward to haul Ridyard and Nanyn off the field.
Looking for a reaction, Dave McConnell returned to hooker with Duffy into half back and MacGraff Leuluai to the centres.
It seemed to work as Leigh pulled a try back from McConnell, converted by Nick Stanton.
Sadly for Leigh that was as good as it got and after a fourth line break from the outstanding Chris Hill came to nothing, Brambani hammered the final nail in the Centurions coffin with a quick pass to Craven and he raced over from 65 metres.
Leigh: Donlan; Stanton (1g), Blythe, Nanyn, Maden; Ridyard, Paul; Hill, McConnell (1t), Bibey, Goulden, Smith, Taylor. Subs: Duffy, Mitchell, Leuluai, McCarthy.