LEIGH Centurions coach John Duffy says he was "gutted" after watching his side let slip an 18-0 lead to go down 20-18 to Wigan in their first game back in Super League.

The Centurions had beaten Wigan 50-34 in their last season in Super League in 2017 and were on course for another famous victory after running in three tries without reply after 25 minutes through captain Liam Hood, former Wigan centre Iain Thornley and second rower Ben Hellewell.

But the Warriors dug deep, especially after losing new signing Jai Field with a hamstring injury 19 minutes into his debut, to score four unanswered tries, two of them from Jake Bibby, to get their season off to a successful start.

"I'm gutted for the lads," said Duffy. "I thought we should have seen out the game. It was a great effort but not smart enough.

"We should have built more pressure in the second half when we had the ball and we ended up getting burned by a champion team.

"I am really proud of the players and their efforts. We've just got to learn from it and move on because these games will come quick and fast.

"We can get better and we will, get some senior players back in the next few weeks."

Duffy said Matty Foster, one of nine debutants who is on loan from St Helens, suffered a suspected broken jaw.