Tonight two clubs in good spirits collided at Leigh Sports Village.
The Leigh Leopards defeated Wakefield Trinity last Sunday to take them to four wins and eight points clear of relegation trouble demonstrating that the Leopards should be thinking about the clubs above them and chasing a place in the top six rather than worrying about relegation like many expected them to do so after promotion from the Championship.
One of those clubs they are chasing in the play-offs is the Leeds Rhinos who arrived in Leigh on the back of back-to-back wins over Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants.
Leeds have been winning games in spite of slow starts and they would have to do so again tonight as they fell 6-0 down early to an Edwin Ipape try as he chased a lovely grubber kick towards the posts to touch down.
By the 10 minute mark the Leopards led 10-0 as Kai O’Donnell scored from close range as set restarts were killing the Rhinos.
Leigh should have led 16-0 when Josh Charnley broke and looked to find Lachlan Lam but a last moment intervention from Richie Myler denied them.
The Leopards didn’t have to wait to extend their lead however with Ipape powering over from dummy half.
Leeds were lucky to not be further behind as ill-discipline and errors invited more pressure.
They did give themselves hope at the break as James Bentley hit a good line to cross and make it 16-6 on the stroke of halftime.
In the second half, Leeds asked some early questions but for the first 20 minutes the Leopards held on.
Then they were awarded a penalty and Ben Reynolds took the chance to make it 18-6.
Leeds thought they might have had a try back when a Rhyse Martin offload found James Bentley but the pass was deemed forward.
Late on, Leigh were given a chance to seal the win with another penalty from Ben Reynolds and he nailed it to make it 20-6.