Leigh Miners travel over to Yorkshire on Saturday to take on East Leeds in Round 20 of the NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division, Kick off 2-30pm at Easy Road.
Miners made it seven wins on the trot last weekend with 30-20 victory against West Hull, being pushed all the way and made to work very hard for the two points by a relegation threatened Wests outfit. The win keeping Miners at the top of the table and they are now four points clear of Siddal and Rochdale Mayfield with three games remaining, their destiny now is definitely in their own hands if they want to finish on top of the pile after Siddal comfortably beat Mayfield 48-12 last weekend.
This week’s game will certainly be a stern test to Miners minor premiership ambitions with East Leeds being a tough place to visit. The players know they are going to be in for a very hard game against a big physical Easts outfit, but with their being competition for places all over the park the team selected will again be looking to impress and keep their place in the team with the Conference Challenge Trophy final being just over two weeks away.
Coaches Allan Coleman and Paul Whitworth will be forced into making at least two changes from the side that beat West Hull with Harry Gagen and Mike O’Boyle both being unavailable this weekend. Coming back into contention for a place in the side are Martin Gray, Ellis Grimes, Danny Jackson, Danny Jones and Adam Thomason.
Speaking about last week’s win against West Hull, joint coach Paul Whitworth said “Some referred to it as an ‘Ugly’ win but they were tough to crack.
“They turned up with a lot of pride, and as always in this division, they had some quality to put us under pressure for periods.”
“Our completion was good and right up there, as good as it has been all season with 100% in yardage, we were going set for set with them for long periods.”
“Kerman kicked us back early all game and I thought our whole team worked particularly hard in getting us back up field.”
“Our structure wasn’t at its best but it was the effort in the tough carries that gave us the opportunity to produce some smart individual plays.”
Looking ahead to the East Leeds game, Whitworth added “Before we go to East Leeds on Saturday we’ll sit down as a group and look at the video of last weeks game, there was shortfalls in some areas and we will adjust some things and have some honest conversations.”
“East Leeds are a big tough middle unit and we need to ready for that, they are in a position to make the top six and will be fighting for that.”
“We’ve learnt to adjust our style for these games and the lads will be very aware of the task in front of them.”
“There is good energy in training, we continue to grow as a group and everyone wants to be part of it.”
“If we turn up with the right attitude and do the things we practice, in the right areas, we’ll get the performance we deserve.”
East Leeds go into Saturday’s game having beaten bottom of the table Oulton Raiders 34-12 last weekend, the win keeping Easts in seventh spot and easing their relegation worries as they will be now looking to finish the season strong in their bid to make the playoffs.
When the two sides met at Twist Lane back in June, Miners ran in six tries to win 30-12. The tries coming from Darryl Kay, Connor Partington, Mike O’Boyle (2), Brad Hargreaves and Tom Farrimond.
Leigh Miners second team are at home on Saturday against Widnes Tigers in the league, Kick off 2-30pm at Twist Lane.
Leigh Miners Ladies are not in action until the Sunday 4th October when they take on Brighouse Rangers in the Women’s Rugby League Plate Final.