Adrian Lam: Leigh must ‘respect the process’ on quest for promotion


Leigh Centurions head coach Adrian Lam has re-affirmed the need for his side to keep their feet grounded and their heads firmly focused on the task at hand after winning 52-0 away at Batley Bulldogs.

That their ninth consecutive win in the Betfred Championship, Lam’s side still trail unbeaten league leaders Featherstone Rovers by a point with both sides giving everything for promotion up to Super League.

There’s also an 1895 cup final against the Rovers to come later this month, and while delighted with the result at Batley, Lam remained level-headed post-match.

“We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves, I’ve got to keep reminding myself and the group of that. We’re looking for improvements every week at training, ticking off boxes, and the last two weeks have been at another level for us so we’re getting there.

“There’s still a long way to go though, and we’ve got to make sure that we respect the process.

“The Gods of Rugby League – I’ve been involved in the sport for a long time – and the minute that you disrespect the process, it comes back to bite you. We’ve got to make sure that we stay true to the process.

“We’ve got to keep our feet grounded and keep working hard.”

Earlier this season, Batley managed to take a point off table toppers Fev, drawing 20-20. That point is still the only one dropped by Brian McDermott’s side, and the Rovers boss was at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium to watch his counterparts Leigh stick 52 points on that same Bulldogs team.

Leythers boss Lam had high praise for his free-flowing side, with Tom Amone and Edwin Ipape his ‘standouts’.

“At half time, we’d completed [our sets]at 90% which is international level. In the second half it was at 85% and in rugby terms, that’s big game mentality.

“I thought it was an 80-minute performance, one of our strongest this year so far. Apart from the simple game plan and being disciplined in everything that we did, the highlight was nilling them.

“They didn’t look like scoring with all respect to Batley, and I can’t remember any sort of threat being there which is credit to our defensive work. I thought that was awesome.”

While Batley were self-admittedly lacklustre as Bulldogs boss Craig Lingard told Premier Sports, there’s no doubting that Leigh’s performance was close to perfect for the vast majority of the contest.

The Centurions ran in nine tries with winger Keanan Brand sealing a first half hat-trick and the only disappointment for their fans will be that Australian Blake Ferguson didn’t make his debut, as some were expecting.

Lam confirmed that he had only made the decision in the 24 hours prior to the Monday night game but revealed that winger Ferguson’s first appearance isn’t too long away.

“I had a decision to make yesterday and at the last minute, I just thought that it wasn’t worth risking it.

“He’ll play on Sunday though, he’ll definitely be in the 17. It’s great that he’s going to be added to the team along with Chris Green who’s on the mend now [broken arm]too.

“I don’t know where I’m going to fit Blake to be honest, that’s the hardest part of rugby league management. I’ve outlined the plans to the players with clear communication though.”

Leigh will again go into the game as heavy favourites on Sunday, bolstered even further by the result at Batley.

In truth, there won’t be many second division games that the Centurions don’t come out on top in this season as one of the league’s only full-time sides.

Every game is about getting the job done and they did that in style at Batley, it’s more about building up a head of steam for when the games against Featherstone come around.

Onto the next one for Lam’s men.

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