Yesterday Leigh Leopards defeated Leeds Rhinos 14-12.
They won it at the death but started the better too. Ricky Leutele showed why so many teams were interested in his signature for 2023 when he got on the outside of his man and produced a flick pass to put Josh Charnley in at the corner. A statement try against the club who signed the man he replaces on the left: Nene MacDonald.
After being slightly caught out for that try, a former Leigh man made amends with a cracking try at the other end. Quick hands created a bit of space for young Luis Roberts who bumped off the defence to tear through and showed great confidence to dummy passed fullback Zak Hardaker to score on debut and against his home town club.
That battle proved interesting as Leutele made amends. Not the prettiest try this though it followed some sweeping rugby from Leigh which was met by some good Leeds scramble. But after that, their was a longer than usual delay and then Leutele burrowed over.
Leeds then produced a lovely pattern play down the right to take the lead once more. A number of runners down the right, moving the ball at speed, Sezer popped a short ball through for Walters who then offloaded to allow Leeming to score under the sticks.
Mere minutes into the second half, the game burst into life as Leigh put plenty of pressure on young Jack Sinfied who was hit late resulting in a bit of a brawl and a penalty for Leeds.
Around the hour mark, Leigh heaped pressure on Leeds but the young Rhinos stood up to the pressure with Levi Edwards tackle on Leutele a highlight.
Late on Leigh levelled the scores and who else but Zak Hardaker to do it. After a break from Kai O’Donnell, Leigh went out wide and the fullback burrowed over against his former club. On the third time of asking, Leigh finally converted a try through Reynolds to win the game.
A number of players stood out, but which ones dr so the most?
In many ways Leigh’s star signing, he caused problems for the Rhinos defence. He got on the outside of his opposite number for the opening try and took his try well.
On the other side of this battle, Luis Roberts scored the try of the game bouncing off Leutele. He defended brilliantly as well and showed some great composure.
The match winner, he carried the ball well out of his own end well and bounced off tackles again and again. He showed the class with the brilliant touches he had including the way he took his try.
Rohan Smith wants his halves to play differently in 2023 and Sezer looked settled in this new structure. He was brilliant in Leeds’ second try and was productive throughout.
When coming onto the field, Lam made a real difference and showed why he is going to cause Super League teams lots of trouble in 2023.
Derrell Olpherts did what he does best again yesterday as he busted tackles left right and centre. A great signing for the Rhinos.