After not being able to buy a win in the opening weeks of the 2021 Super League season Wakefield Trinity, under the coaching of Chris Chester, seem to have turned a corner and recorded good wins in their last two outings.
Leigh Centurions, on the other hand, remain pointless in the 2021 season after being promoted into the spot vacated when the Toronto Wolfpack were thrown out of the competition and came into today’s game knowing that this was one game in their fixture list that they would have had as a ‘must win’ coming into the season.
Assistant coach Kurt Heggarty has stepped into the role of head coach at the Centurions after they cut short the tenure of John Duffy earlier in the week in the hope of turning around their fortunes.
Joe Mellor stunned the home side when he chipped the ball over the full-back, collected himself, and went over the line for the opening try of the game. Ryan Brierley added the conversion to put the visitors 6-0 ahead after six minutes.
Wakefield had their opportunities but great defence from Leigh frustrated their attack and on twenty-eight Leigh were given a penalty with Brierley electing to put the ball between the uprights.
David Fifita broke the Leigh line on thirty-five with Jay Pitts taking the pass and finally getting the ball and going over the line for the first Wakefield points of the afternoon. Mason Lino added the extra two and the home side were now just two adrift.
Just before the interval Trinity took the lead when James Batchelor crashed over the line from close range on the back of two set restarts. Lino added the conversion for Wakefield to take a 12-8 lead into the sheds.
Wakefield extended their lead on forty-nine with Joe Westerman busting through the defensive line to crash over for a four-pointer. Lino added the conversion as Leigh started to wilt under the pressure.
Leigh reopened the door on fifty-three as Mellor got his second try of the afternoon, a long-range effort with Craig Mullen busting the line and finding his scrum half to go to the line. Brierley added the conversion, the Wakefield lead down to four points.
Leigh were level on sixty-five when Brierley weaved through the defence before finding Lewis Tierney in support to sprint for the line and bring the scores to 18-18. Brierley added the conversion and from looking as thought they were out of the game, Leigh were now back in front.
On seventy-one the home regained the lead as Liam Kay took a high ball from Jowitt to score in the corner. Lino converted brilliantly from the touchline for 24-20.
Mason Lino sealed the win on seventy-eight as he stepped past the defenders to go in and secure the third consecutive Trinity win as he dived over under the sticks. He converted his own try for 30-20.
It was a competitive game with Trinity just edging it, despite a couple of scares. Leigh fought back well to take the lead with fifteen minutes remaining, but Wakefield held their nerve and secured the win with two quality late tries to break Centurions hearts. Leigh are now looking even further down the barrel of relegation, and a return to the Championship after just one season in the top flight.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Kershaw, Lyne, Tupou, Kay (T), Miller, Lino (T, 4G), Tanginoa, Walker, Arona, Pitts (T), Batchelor (T), Westerman (T). Subs: Fifita, Battye, Wood, Arundel.
Leigh Centurions: Elliot, Tierney (T), Sa’u, Thornley, Gelling, Brierley (4G), Mellor (2T), Ioane, Hood, McCarthy, Hellewell, Gee, Bell. Subs: Wildie, Ellis, Mullen, Peats.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-8, 4-8, 6-8, 10-8, 12-8 : HT : 16-8, 18-8, 18-12, 18-14, 18-18, 18-20, 22-20, 24-20, 28-20, 30-20 : FT.