LEIGH boss Adrian Lam spoke of his pride after the club's fantastic day out at Spurs saw them return with the 1895 Cup and a psycholgical boost in the chase for a Super League spot.

After a nip-and-tuck first half Centurions got on top as the game wore on and the final score was an emphatic 30-16.

There were some initial signs of big match nerves early doors, with lost balls and penalties.

But Lam said that was part and parcel of these big occasions that he believes the club will be better for.

Lam said: “I am very proud for the club. We haven’t had too many good moments like this in the past.

“So, I am pleased for the town, the fans and the players.

“We did some uncharacteristic things in the first half but that’s what big games do.

“We seemed to be emotionally caught up in it but that’s what half-time is for. We have always responded well after half-time this year.

“We weren’t giving ourselves a chance with the errors and a few undisciplined things-all emotionally driven."

He had special words of praise for Papua New Guinea compatriot - man of the match Edwin Ipape, explaining his journey to this stage of his career.

Lam continued: “It is an amazing-the story with Edwin and where he is from and how he has got to Leigh is an incredible story for rugby league.

“I had this feeling last night; I said to my parents he would be man of the match. It has been coming and he was outstanding.

“I am really pleased for him, and it is a special moment for PNG with Edwin, Nene Macdonald and myself.

“Where he is from in PNG is the story. A little town in the Highlands; not a big place but massively into rugby league, how he got selected in a one-off game in PNG, performing there he was brought into the PNG Hunters side and then left there not on good terms.

“I followed him quite closely and always wanted to get him over here. To get the communications to him where he was the hard part.

“I finally rang him and said I wanted him to come over and be a part of this with me and my club, I had to convince the players when he first came into the squad in January that he was this talented player."

It is the first time Rovers have been beaten this year - adding another notch to the rivalry that will play out this year. 

“Fev were in the game for a long time; the great thing about this competition is it gives teams outside Super League an opportunity to perform and play on a big stage.

“I think it was deserving the two teams at the top of the competition played in the game. It was reward for what both teams have been through.

“I was pleased with the resilience of the team. We understand there is a long way to go but it is a nice stepping stone on the way.

“Regardless of the outcome, this will take us to another level as a team. That’s why we were so desperate to play well here and perform well.

“It wasn’t going to be the end of the world had we lost today. It was more a mark of where we are at."

And Leigh, says Lam, will only get better with players to come back in. 

“We still have a couple of players to come in the squad yet, still recruiting heavily so everything is heading in the right direction.

"We have got to keep our feet grounded and do what we are doing.

“We have got the job done but what did we not do well in this big moment.

"It just sets you up for the future, whether that is the Million Pound Game if we are fortunate to get there or Super League next year.

"You can’t train those emotions like we had today.

“It was a real good experience for the whole group.”

Leigh Journal:

He gave a fitness update on Aaron Smith who came off at one stage in the first half.

“He has had a niggling shoulder, neck back of the head issue for the last couple of weeks. He was strong at the start and hopefully he is okay.

“He is courageous and is our starting hooker ahead of Edwin. He understands his role in the team.

"He has come through the Saints system so what you see is who they are.

"He has been great for us.”

Lam hailed the squad he has assembled here as the "best group" he has been involved with.

Leigh Journal:

He said: "At the end of last year, we only had five players we kept leading into this season.

"So, it was always going to be challenging to build a squad but more importantly get cohesion to perform as a group.

“In my heart they are probably the best group I have been involved with in my life. That’s saying something because I have been around a long time.

“I genuinely mean that. They are a good bunch of boys and feed off each other.

“We have played a lot of Monday night games in this competition and our fans have travelled to some cold, wet places. This win is as much for them as it is for us.

“The town will be buzzing.”

The fans were singing Derek Beaumont's name at the end as they celebrated.

Leigh Journal:

And Lam explained what the Leigh owner said to him.

“He just said ‘you are a legend and making a massive difference with my club and I love you for it.' 

"That was special to me.

 “He is an extrovert and certainly passionate. Rugby League at times is doing it tough in the North West of the UK and when you have people like him supporting clubs like Leigh, the game will always be alive.

“I am sure the club, the fans and the players want to thank him for what he has done upto this point. I think he was more excited than the players because it is his competition.”