Leigh Leopards started their season magnificently on Friday night.
After a terrific performance from band Scouting For Girls, a sublime fireworks display all the while a great atmosphere built, Leigh showed what they can do when a lovely Lachlan Lam pass allowed Josh Charnley to cross.
Though they eventually lost 20-10 against the Red Devils, it was a great performance that shows the Leopards can compete in 2023.
The display also left Sky Sports pundits wax-lyrical about one Leigh star in the shape of Lam.
Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan said of the young halfback:
“Young Lachlan Lam was outstanding with his short kicking game. The little nuances and the shows of patience in it.
“He really helped them create pressure. He produces a lovely pass for the try. He’s a developing young kid. We’re all talking about how much quality he’s got.”
Meanwhile, Phil Clarke suggested that he could be this year’s Brodie Croft and win the Man of Steel:
“Could he be the Brodie Croft for Leigh this season? Could he go on and win the Man of Steel. We saw Brodie Croft win it last year from an unexpected position. Lam has to try and step up.”
So, all round it was a terrific night despite the defeat for Leigh. Off the field they showed that they are more than just a rugby team and on the field they demonstrated that they can compete with the very best.
But did the Leopards break the attendance record they were chasing.
Going into the game, owner Derek Beaumont made it clear that he wanted to surpass Leigh’s best Super League attendance from 2017.
He said on Twitter:
“9012 v St Helens in 2017 is Leigh’s biggest Super League attendance! Can we beat it against Salford Red Devils live on Sky Sports this Friday 17/2?
“Not far to go to beat it. See Scouting For Girls and the Fuel Girls pre match.”
He then confirmed that they had sold 8500 tickets before the game hoping that walk ins would take them beyond the 9012 record:
“We are nearly ready ready for the heat freaking night of your life 8500 sold can we get a walk up to take us over the 9012 record for SL at LSV. People at the ticket office buying now so hope everyone has a great night.”
Sadly, the Leopards only reached an attendance of 8589 on the night.
Still a strong crowd nonetheless.
Scouting For Girls and the Fuel Girls, A Novelty, which seemed to attract little attention from fans, hopefully it is just a novelty which will soon end, when most Club’s did attract large attendances, it was never needed, same with the mass handing out of flags? I am not s supporter of either of the two clubs, though it was clear the Salford Red Devils fans were the more enthusiastic from start to finish! I don’t think the leopard skin coat the Leigh Chairman wore will take off at all!