Leigh won’t get carried away after first Super League victory of season
Leigh coach Adrian Lam says they still have work to do, despite picking up their first win of the new Super League season.
The Leopards won 30-25 at Hull KR, sending the Robins to their first defeat of the season.
Lam said: “We’re still a way from where we want to be. We left five or six tries out on the field. They’ve been playing some good rugby and it’s always difficult to come here and get a win. All we can do is focus on us and stick to our processes and our beliefs.
“We’re just getting on with it and there were a lot of hard lessons to learn over the last two weeks. We’re working hard to make sure our combinations come together.
“Very happy for the group, we have had two pretty hard hit-outs. I’m just happy we’ve hung in there and got our first win.
“With my experience, I know it takes time for the group to gel. I’m aware that it’s going to take a lot of time and we needed a moment like this. We got a lot of luck tonight.
“Through the two losses we’ve stayed positive through that process and learnt along the way.”
MORE: Five takeaways from Friday night’s Super League action
Story of the game
Hull KR started well and forced Tom Briscoe into a mistake on the first set as he dropped Jordan Abdul’s high kick.
The home side made the most of the opening as another kick from Abdull was caught and offloaded by Kane Linnett for Shaun Kenny-Dowall to touch down from close range, with Will Dagger adding the extras.
The Leopards were soon level as Tom Amone opened their account and a Ben Reynolds conversion tied the scored at 6-6 after 12 minutes.
But Rovers hit straight back as Mikey Lewis found a gap on the left from Abdul’s pass and raced clear to score in the corner and Dagger made it 12-6 from wide on the left.
Briscoe made up for his earlier error with a try on the right and Reynolds’ tricky conversion levelled it up once more.
Rovers took the lead for a third time as Sam Luckley’s brilliant pass put in James Batchelor from close range just before half-time and Dagger kicked his third goal.
Abdull still had time to add a drop goal and Rovers led 19-12 at the break.
Leigh claimed the first try of the second half when Josh Charnley dived over in the corner and Reynolds made it a one-point game after 47 minutes.
Some brilliant defence by Leigh kept Rovers at bay as the home side seemed certain to score but Leigh could not deny Abdull whose dummy created the gap for him to score and Dagger’s simple kick saw Rovers 25-18 ahead.
Leigh thought they had hit back again but a forward pass by Lachlan Lam saw the home side survive as the struggle for supremacy continued on the hour.
Leigh would not lie down as Briscoe went over on the right with seven minutes remaining and Reynolds made the difference one point with his fourth kick.
Leigh grabbed the victory as Charnley dived in for his second try and the Leopards’ fifth as Rovers were punished for their poor game management.
Although Leigh lost their opening two games against Salford and Catalans, there were some promising signs in both.
After Hull KR’s fine start under new coach Willie Peters, this may well go down as an unexpected result, but is an early sign that Leigh will put up more of a fight than any other newly-promoted team in recent years.
Peters might see it as a missed opportunity for Hull KR, with only Warrington and Catalans now left with perfect records from three rounds.
Hull KR: Dagger, Ryan, Opacic, Kenny-Dowall, Hall, Lewis, Abdull, Sue, Litten, Kennedy, Batchelor, Linnett, Minchella. Subs: Parcell, King, Halton, Luckley.
Tries: Kenny-Dowall, Lewis, Batchelor, Abdull Goals: Dagger 4 Drop goal: Abdull
Leigh: O’Brien, Briscoe, Hardaker, Leutele, Charnley, Reynolds, Lam, Amone, Davis, Mulhern, Shorrocks, O’Donnell, Asiata. Subs: Nakubuwai, Seumanufagai, Chamberlain, Ipape.
Tries: Amone, Briscoe 2, Charnley 2 Goals: Reynolds 5
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