Lacklustre Leopards lose in Round 1


Following a disruptive week both on and off the field for Leigh. They were left beaten 16-8 at the hands of Ian Watson’s Huddersfield Giants in Round 1 of the 2024 Betfred Super League season.

After the signing of new recruit Matt Moylan from NRL side Cronulla Sharks in which the stand off spent five years. There was a lot of excitement heading into the season with the potential of Moylan and Lachlan Lam being one of if not the best halves partnership in the league.

Unfortunately for Leythers fans, the partnership did not ‘click’ as they would’ve expected, with the attacking plays looking very chaotic and rushed. There was one sign of magic from the boot of Moylan, whose neat kick into the in-goal found the onrushing Josh Charnley who was first to pounce on the loose ball to score, having fallen behind to a Esan Marsters try. But that was as good as it got for Adrian Lam’s side in the first half as things went from bad to worse.

Edwin Ipape was forced off after 20 minutes which has now been confirmed as an injury that could keep him out from 5-12 weeks, a huge loss for Leigh at the start of the season, considering how good the hooker was last year. Moylan was then forced off for a HIA putting him in doubt for the rest of the match, but thankfully he did reappear for the second half. To compile the misery further, John Asiata found himself in the sin bin for a professional foul on Adam Swift. Just moments later Huddersfield took full advantage with Adam Milner wrestling his way over next to the uprights.

Heading into the second half Leigh appeared to have been reenergised, with Lam’s half time team talking ringing in their ears. However, it was very much more of the same in attack. Excellent field position thanks to a misplaced kick from Jake Connor handed the hosts possession 20 metres out but yet again a handling error halted any threat to the Giants line.

The side from Yorkshire dug deep in defence and provided Leigh with very little opportunities, but it was clear to see the lack of creativity in attack. Having kept Leigh at bay, Huddersfield were able to mount some pressure of their own with a lovely flowing move down the right hand side seeing Elliot Wallis dive in at the corner.

The Leythers did finally break down a stubborn Giants team with 7 minutes remaining, providing Zak Hardaker  an opportunity to reduce the deficit to 6 points, but his conversion went agonisingly wide to give Ian Watsons side the perfect start to the season.

Leigh now have two weeks to prepare for a trip to St Helens due to their games against Wigan next week being postponed because of the Club World Challenge. Huddersfield themselves host Paul Wellens side next Saturday evening.


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