Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Wolfpack Tackle Leigh Centurions in Rugby League Battle of In-Form Teams

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Wolfpack Tackle Leigh Centurions in Rugby League Battle of In-Form Teams

Article excerpt

Wolfpack take on in-form Leigh Centurions


Something has to give Saturday when the Toronto Wolfpack play the Leigh Centurions.

The Wolfpack have won 10 straight in England's second-tier Betfred Championship, topping the table at 12-1-1. The Centurions, after a 1-4-0 start to the season that saw coach Neil Jukes step down, have won 11 in a row in a row in league and cup play. At 9-4-0, Leigh is fifth in the standings.

Adding spice to the matchup is the fact that the Wolfpack, rugby league's first transatlantic team, opened the season with a 34-12 win at Leigh. And Toronto coach Paul Rowley, who played and coached at Leigh, has stocked his roster with ex-Centurions.

Former Leigh players now wearing Wolfpack colours include Bob Beswick, Ryan Brierley, Andrew Dixon, Jake Emmitt, Adam Higson, Sam Hopkins, Liam Kay, James Laithwaite, Cory Paterson, Jonny Pownall, Nick Rawsthorne, Richard Whiting and Greg Worthington.

Wolfpack players going the other way to Leigh include former captain Craig Hall and Ryan Bailey, who was cut earlier this year after a training camp transgression.

Leigh was relegated from the top-tier Super League after last season while Toronto, in its inaugural year was promoted to the Championship after winning the third-tier League 1.

Rowley was not too keen about some of the chatter out of the Leigh camp prior to their Feb. 4 meeting.

"I think this day couldn't come soon enough because of the way we dismantled them in that first game after they talked so much," he said. "But we did our talking on the pitch that day."

Leigh, which took the interim tag away from coach Kieron Purtill this week, turned heads earlier this month when it upset Super League side Salford 22-10 in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

"They're the form team of the Championship, that's for sure," said Rowley.

Toronto bounced back from an embarrassing 66-10 Challenge Cup loss to Warrington by defeating second-place Toulouse 43-30 last weekend in a game that saw the French side score two late tries to make the score more respectable. …

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