JOHN Duffy finished his first game in charge of Leigh Centurions with mixed emotions as Super League newcomers London Broncos ground out a four-try win.

Duffy’s squad, bolstered by three dual registration recruits from St Helens, Matty Costello, Josh Eaves and Joe Batchelor, kept the visitors scoreless until nearly half-time.

James Cunningham’s try broke the deadlock and David Ward’s side added three more after the break.

“I am proud of their efforts,” said Duffy. “The way we defended our line in the first half was outstanding.

“You could see the pride in the jersey straight away. But we have got to be smarter.

“Toulouse will throw more at us than London did,” he added looking ahead to next Sunday’s Betfred Championship opener against the flamboyant French outfit.

“We knew we would be rusty in certain areas. But I thought we might have handled scenarios in certain areas better than we did.

“We had chances throughout the game but our one on one finishing could have been better.”

Two quick penalties put Leigh under the cosh early on but stout defence forced an error. When Centurions attacked for the first time, Broncos were forced to drop out as Jonny Pownall closed in on Gregg McNally’s clever grubber kick.

Sam Brooks’ strong drive to the try line set-up another good attacking position only for Pownall to be bundled into touch at the corner flag.

Leigh’s togetherness was again evident as Rhys Williams smashed his way through three tackles before caught by a pack of bodies by the corner post.

Referee Hicks put Broncos on a team warning after just three penalties so when Greg Richards fell foul of the Oldham official at the ruck after 22 minutes, the ex-Centurion was sent to the sin bin.

Both sides were down a man on the half hour as Batchelor sinned after a team warning. Leigh were already under the cosh but delighted he North Stand with their resolve to keep their line intact.

Just before the break Leigh were finally undone as Jordan Abdull’s towering up and under eluded McNally. The bounce took the ball towards the try line where Cunningham reacted quickest to touch down. Abdull converted.

Leigh were so eager to get out for the second period, they momentarily had 14 men on the pitch before Joe Cator sheepishly trotted off just before kick-off.

However, it was London upping the tempo and they added a deserved second try after 50 minutes. Mark Ioane was held up on the line but substitute Sadiq Adebiyi couldn’t be repelled on the crash ball. Kieran Dixon missed a routine conversion attempt.

When Broncos attacked again another crash ball enabled Luke Yates to run over the top of Andy Thornley.

Leigh weren’t devoid of try scoring opportunities, but Marsh put a foot in touch after good link-up between Ridyard and Iain Thornley.

Leigh suffered double blow after 63 minutes, Matty Costello yellow carded for trying to prevent a quick re-start and Josh Woods forced off with what appeared to be a rib injury.

Woods was later to return for Ridyard while Marsh’s latest attempt to score ended in similar fashion after McNally’s emergence into the attacking line.

Broncos showed Leigh how to finish with a final and deserved try from Williams after Elliot Kear’s off load.

Match stats


McNally; Pownall, Thornley, Costello, Marsh; Ridyard, Woods; Spencer, Higham, Brooks, T Adamson, Thornley, L Adamson; substitutes: Russell, Cator, Bracek, Gregson, O’Donnell, Cox, Sims, Batchelor, Brogan, Eaves.

Tries: None

Goals: None


Fleming; Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams; Abdull, Cunningham; Mason, Pelissier, Richards, Pitts, Gee, Yates; substitutes: Battye, Ioane, Fozzard, Lovell, Smith, Adebiyi.

Tries: Cunningham (38), Adebiyi (50), Yates (56), Williams (75)

Goals: Abdull 1/2, Dixon 1/2

Referee: Rob Hicks

Half-time: 0-6

Attendance: 2,028