KEANAN Brand admits Leigh’s first Super League win of the season was a long time in the making but can be the launchpad for more success.

A 32-22 derby victory over Salford is a timely confidence boost with trips to St Helens and Catalans coming up in the next five days.

Brand was one of Centurions’ top performers in an excellent team display against the Red Devils, touching down and also producing a crucial second half try saving tackle on Ryan Lannon.

The final hooter signalled an end to this season’s run of 16 defeats, marked a first club success since a 34-20 Championship win over Halifax on March 8, 2020 and a first regular season top flight victory since whitewashing Salford 25-0 on July 21, 2017.

“It was a magical feeling,” said full-back Brand. “To be honest, I couldn’t really believe it. I said to Joe Mellor at the end, ‘have we won, here?

“I know we have been losing every week. But this win had been coming for a while because we train hard enough. This time everything came together and just clicked.

“We always trust each other but games like this really cement it. When Salford went ahead at the start of the second half, in the past we might have thought ‘here we go again’ and stuck our head in the sand.

“But this time we stood up and took charge. We can certainly gain confidence from it going forward.

“In Haggy’s short time with us, he has done really well. Everyone on the team took on board what he has been saying and against Salford it was a credit to us how hard we have trained.”

Despite Leigh’s season of strife – and despite victory they remain odds on to suffer relegation – Brand, 22, is “really enjoying my rugby.”

The one-time Widnes prospect joined on loan from Warrington as a centre but has blossomed since switching to full-back.

“I feel really comfortable and it comes more naturally to me than the other positions I have played,” he explained.

“I came to Leigh as a centre and played bit of wing. I just felt I was not involved enough. I am one of those who needs to be involved all the time.

“While I know it has been a hard year, it has been good for me and my career. The lads and coaches are great.

“I have another year left at Warrington after this one but I am enjoying my rugby.”

*Former Salford owner Marwan Koukash was in the crowd to see Leigh upset his old club, fuelling speculation a future partnership between himself and Leigh counterpart, Derek Beaumont might come to fruition.