BEN Crooks crossed twice as Leigh got their Betfred Championship campaign up and running at the second time of asking with a 34-6 win over Batley.

After the disappointment of the previous weekend’s home defeat to Toronto Wolfpack, Centurions bounced back with a six-try victory.

In contrast, the Canadians could only managed an eight-all draw at Barrow Raiders.

That leaves London Broncos and Featherstone Rovers as the only sides on the ladder with a 100 percent winning record.

“We were never going to at our best at game one or game two,’ said head coach Neil Jukes who handed a debut off the bench to Papua New Guinea international, Kurt Baptiste.

“People forget how much change we’ve had over the off season.

“It was really important individually and collectively that we improved some things and I thought we took the emotion out of it and played with a lot more common sense.”

Leigh kicked off firm favourites to open their win account, against a side whose opening league fixture at Rochdale had been postponed.

They were in front within seven minutes as Bodene Thompson provided an assist and Crooks did the rest with a strong run to the corner.

Ben Reynolds landed the first of five goals to turn it into a six point try.

Nathan Mason, promoted from the bench for a starting place at prop, justified his selection with the home team’s second touchdown after Batley’s attacking efforts were repelled.

Crooks increased Leigh’s lead in the 30th minute, finishing off after Peter Mata’utia’s astute pass.

Batley kept plugging away and were rewarded for their opening half endeavours when front row, Alex Rowe, crashed over for stand-off Pat Walker to convert.

The Bulldogs’ try was a wake-up call for Leigh who took control of the game with two tries in five minutes early in the second period.

Firstly, Drew Hutchison, later to receive the sponsors’ man of the match award, teed up Kevin Larroyer for the Frenchman’s first try of the season.

Next it was the turn of Matty Dawson-Jones to go over in the corner after a fine passage of handling play. Reynolds booted an excellent touchline goal to maintain his 100 percent kicking record.

There was still one more moment to cheer for a crowd of 3,216 as fans favourite, Jamie Acton, took advantage of another Hutchison assist to go over after 66 minutes

Batley boss Matt Diskin said: “I’m proud of my guys and thought the score line actually flattered Leigh.”

*Leigh’s home game with Toulouse Olympique on Sunday, February 25 will now kick-off at 5.30pm instead of 3pm. This Sunday, Centurions travel to face Barrow at Craven Park, kick-off 3pm.

Match stats: Leigh: Owens; Dawson-Jones, Crooks, Mata’utia, Bergal; Reynolds, Hutchison; Vaivai, Hood, Mason, Larroyer, B Thompson, J Thompson; substitutes: Baptiste, Acton, Patrick, Hansen.

Tries: Crooks (7 and 30), Mason (21), Larroyer (48), Dawson-Jones (54), Acton (66).

Goals: Reynolds 5/5.

Batley: Scott; Reittie, Crookes, Galbraith, Ainscough, Walker, Brambani; Gledhill, Leak, Rowe, Manning, Harrison, Brown; substitutes: Davey, Day, Holland, Ward.

Tries: Rowe (39).

Goals: Walker 1/1.

Half-time: 18-6

Referee: Greg Dolan

Attendance: 3216