Leigh Centurions 22-36 Salford Red Devils

Leigh Centurions 22-36 Salford Red Devils


A clinical display from the Salford Red Devils saw them inflict yet another defeat on Magic Weekend newcomers Leigh Centurions to lift them to joint-top of the Super League table.

A double for Salford duo Ben Murdoch-Masila and Greg Johnson, along with a red card for Leigh’s Adam Higson early in the second half, saw Leigh remain second from bottom and favourites for the middle-eights.

The Red Devils had fought back from 12-6 down to lead 24-12 at the break, and had too much attacking power for the Centurions to see them solidify their top-four credentials.

Leigh opened the scoring after five minutes on the back of a Liam Hood break. The ball was shifted to the left where Matty Fleming was on hand to touch down for the opening points of the game. Josh Drinkwater added the conversion from the touchline to give Leigh a 6-0 lead.

An error on the first set from the restart by Leigh’s Lachlan Burr give Salford the chance to show their attacking prowess. A deflected Michael Dobson grubber kicked bounced nicely for Ben Murdoch-Masila to crash his way over from short range. A missed conversion meant Leigh held a slender two-point lead after ten minutes.

Poor handling and back-to-back penalties from Leigh gave Salford the chance to level the scores, Gareth O’Brien seeing his penalty goal sail over the uprights to bring the scores level at 6-6.

The Centurions hit back two minutes later when a blind side move saw Mitch Brown take a short pass from Drinkwater to go over to restore Leigh’s lead. Drinkwater added the extras to lead 12-6 after 18 minutes.

But that’s as good as it would get for Leigh in the first half, with Salford scoring three unanswered tries to finish the first half strongly.

Murdoch-Masila grabbed his second of the afternoon after a powerful run saw him evade three Leigh defenders to find his way to the line to level the scores. Further scores from Kris Welham and Greg Johnson, all of which were converted by Dobson, saw Salford go into the sheds with a 12-point lead.

Leigh started the second half the brighter, with great defence keeping Salford at bay before a lovely pass from Ryan Hampshire released Ben Crooks who had too much speed for Gareth O’Brien to cross for a crucial score. Drinkwater landed his third conversion from as many attempts to bring the score to 24-18 in favour of Salford.

But unfortunately for the Centurions, in the 55th minute, their hopes of winning the game were dealt a huge blow when Liam Higson was shown a red card for a high shot on O’Brien. 60 seconds later, Niall Evalds finds space out wide and cut back on the inside to increase Salford’s lead. Dobson duly converted to restore their 12-point advantage.

Leigh were still showing signs of a team fighting for Super League survival, and their hard work paid off when, on the back of an obstruction from Salford, Matty Dawson finished off a flowing blind-side move to cut the gap to eight points with 17 minutes to go.

Just when the Centurions thought they had a chance to force an upset, Salford forward Craig Kopczak came up with a huge tackle to dislodge the ball from the restart. The ensuing set saw Johnson grab his second try of the game when he showed great pace to cross in the corner, after good work from his centre partner Welham. The effort was sent to the video referee who awarded the try to take the score to 22-34.

Dobson missed the conversion but that did little to dampen the mood, with the half-back adding a late penalty to stretch the lead to 14 points and see out the game comfortably for the Red Devils.

Written by Jack Ireland.

Leigh Centurions

# Player Position Tries Goals Drop Goals Yellow Red Star Man
1Mitch BrownFull Back100000
3Ben CrooksCentre100000
5Matty DawsonWing100000
2Adam HigsonWing000010
7Josh DrinkwaterScrum Half030000
11Cory PatersonSecond Row000000
12Glenn Stewart 23Loose Forward000000
13Harrison Hansen 15Prop000000
17Atelea Vea 14Second Row000000
19Ryan HampshireStand Off000000
21Liam HoodHooker000000
22Matty FlemingCentre100000
29Lachlan Burr 8Prop000000
8Gareth Hock 29Interchange000000
14Eloi Pelissier 17Interchange000000
15Danny Tickle 13Interchange000000
23Sam Hopkins 12Interchange000000
 Total 430010

Salford Red Devils

# Player Position Tries Goals Drop Goals Yellow Red Star Man
1Gareth O’BrienFull Back030000
3Josh JonesSecond Row000000
4Junior Sa’uCentre000000
5Niall EvaldsWing100000
6Robert LuiStand Off000000
7Michael DobsonScrum Half030000
8Craig Kopczak 15Prop000000
9Logan Tomkins 20Hooker000000
11Ben Murdoch-MasilaSecond Row200001
14Lama Tasi 12Prop000000
16Olsi Krasniqi 13Loose Forward000000
21Greg JohnsonWing200000
22Kris WelhamCentre100000
12Weller Hauraki 14Interchange000000
13Mark Flanagan 16Interchange000000
15Ryan Lannon 8Interchange000000
20Kriss Brining 9Interchange000000
 Total 660001

Match Details

Date Time League Season Match Day
May 21, 2017 3:15 pm Super League 2017 Sunday


Team1st half2nd halfFinal score
Leigh Centurions121022
Salford Red Devils241236