The Super League weekend concludes at the Leigh Sports Village on Saturday afternoon when the Leigh Centurions go in search of their elusive first win back in the elite competition, when they play host to a rampant Catalans Dragons.
Unfortunately there is no TV coverage of this match so it will be the Super League streaming service to follow this one unless you are fortunate enough to have a ticket to be attending the contest in person, one which a win for the Catalans Dragons sends them top of the league.
The questions and accusations haven’t come yet but if the Leigh Centurions don’t pick up a win soon then people will be justified in asking if their inclusion in the competition was really the right move when better suited sides missed out on the final license. It might be the pressure of trying to justify that licence is why they are struggling to pick up results at this level. It could also be that they simply aren’t good enough of course.
They have been down the route of changing the coach and that never really worked last week. Maybe another week with new ideas on the training paddock will bring out a change in fortunes here but I don’t think it has been that Leigh haven’t been competing as to why they have been losing. I just don’t think they are quite at the level for this competition. This is a chance to prove me wrong but it is going to be extremely difficult.
The Catalans Dragons will head to Leigh in buoyant mood. In the last three weeks they have taken care of arguably the three best sides in the competition in Hull FC, St Helens and Wigan Warriors. The demolition job they did on the Warriors in their last outing wasn’t just any victory, it was a statement of intent that they mean business this term and that they have their eyes firmly on Old Trafford and their maiden Super League crown.
Catalans have that brilliant combination at the minute of piling up the points and not conceding many and when you are in that form you’re not going to lose many matches. As a result of that, a win here will move them to the top of the table with St Helens and Wigan Warriors having seen their matches postponed this week. After a week off last week, the Dragons will be flying over the Channel nice and refreshed too.
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Leigh bring some reinforcements back from injury for this match with Nathan Mason, Nathaniel Peteru and Matty Russell all returning from spells out injured while Ben Reynolds has served his suspension and he is back in the squad.
Catalans will bring four players into their squad as well. There is no Joel Tomkins, Gil Dudson, Jordan Dezaria or Corentin Le Cam for this match but the likes of Fouad Yaha, Jason Baitieri, Lambert Belmas and Paul Seguier came in for them.
It is extremely hard to see anything but a Catalans Dragons win here. The question is how big the win will be and in hot, humid and sticky conditions, the exact conditions that Catalans play in regularly at home, I expect the margin of the win to be quite a significant one. There is a gulf of class between these two, that much is evident by their results this season and although Leigh have been competitive at times, there is a spite and a ruthlessness to this Dragons outfit.
If things weren’t stacked against the Centurions enough in this match they played last week and emptied the tank against the Wakefield Trinity while Catalans had their feet up relaxing. The key ball players for the Dragons are all in sublime form at the minute so as long as Steve McNamara ensures the minds of his charges are right for this one I would expect them to cover a 16 point start with a fair bit in hand come full time.
Back Catalans Dragons (-16) to beat Leigh Centurions for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with Sky Bet