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Super League: John Duffy ‘gutted’ after Leigh Centurions defeat and Kristian Woolf delighted with St Helens | Rugby League News


Leigh head coach Duffy felt his side should have seen the game out after taking an 18-point lead over Wigan in the first half; Woolf was impressed with St Helens’ win over Salford and how his new signings performed

Last Updated: 26/03/21 11:42pm


Jake Bibby goes over for a try as Wigan fought back to beat Leigh

John Duffy was left feeling “gutted” after watching his Leigh side let slip an 18-0 lead to go down 20-18 to Wigan in their first game back in Super League.

The Centurions had beaten Wigan 50-34 in their last season in Super League in 2017 and were on course for another famous victory after running in three tries without reply after 25 minutes through captain Liam Hood, former Wigan centre Iain Thornley, and second rower Ben Hellewell.

But the Warriors dug deep, especially after losing new signing Jai Field with a hamstring injury 19 minutes into his debut, to score four unanswered tries, two of them from Jake Bibby, to get their season off to a successful start.

Wigan produce stunning comeback to beat Leigh

Wigan denied Leigh a dream return to Super League as they rallied from 18 points down to claim a 20-18 victory.

“I’m gutted for the lads,” Duffy said. “I thought we should have seen out the game. It was a great effort but not smart enough.

“We should have built more pressure in the second half when we had the ball and we ended up getting burned by a champion team.

“I am really proud of the players and their efforts. We’ve just got to learn from it and move on because these games will come quick and fast.

“We can get better and we will, get some senior players back in the next few weeks.”

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John Duffy said he’s both ‘devastated’ and ‘proud’ after Leigh put in a strong performance against Wigan before losing to a late comeback

John Duffy said he’s both ‘devastated’ and ‘proud’ after Leigh put in a strong performance against Wigan before losing to a late comeback

Duffy said Matty Foster, one of nine debutants who is on loan from St Helens, suffered a suspected broken jaw.

Wigan coach Adrian Lam says new signing Field, who played as a makeshift winger due to a shortage of three-quarters, is set to be sidelined for up to six weeks after tearing a hamstring.

“It’s up to six weeks plus depending on the severity which we’ll find out as soon as we can,” Lam said.

“I asked him if he would play out of position for us and he accepted that to get his debut. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see the best of him.

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Adrian Lam said he was grateful that his Wigan side managed to come back from 18-0 down to win 20-18

Adrian Lam said he was grateful that his Wigan side managed to come back from 18-0 down to win 20-18

“It’s sad for him but we’ll rally around him and make sure he gets through that.”

Woolf’s delight as Saints triumph

Kristian Woolf was delighted with St Helens’ performance as they began the defence of their Super League title with a 29-6 victory over Salford in the first game of the night

The Red Devils, who had five players making their debuts, had their moments and trailed only 13-6 until the champions cut loose with three tries in the final quarter.

Woolf was impressed with the debut of second-rower Joel Thompson and says fellow newcomer Agnatius Paasi caught his eye until being forced off with a head knock early in the second half which will rule him out of next week’s game against Hull Kingston Rovers.

Champions St Helens off to winning Super League start

St Helens began their quest for a third-straight Super League title with a 29-6 win over Salford on Friday night.

“You don’t want to see your team-mate go down but he’s fine, he’s recovered really well,” Woolf said.

“I thought he was really good the time he was on the field. He showed what sort of impact he’s going to have for us.”

Woolf left out full-back Lachlan Coote after he missed part of pre-season training with a few niggles and also brought centre Mark Percival off as a precaution shortly after he had scored his first try since the 2019 Grand Final.

“Mark had a little bit of a twinge,” Woolf said. “We don’t think it’s anything serious but obviously with his history, we needed to be smart.

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St Helens coach Kristian Woolf was happy to see the hunger in his side and was pleased with all the new recruits

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf was happy to see the hunger in his side and was pleased with all the new recruits

“Lachlan could have played but he’s had a couple of niggles and we just didn’t think it was a smart move to play him tonight. He should be available to play next week.”

Richard Marshall, who left his role as assistant coach at St Helens after November’s Grand Final, was able to take some positives from the defeat.

“There were moments we were really pleased about,” Marshall said. “At times our defence was really good, and we had that Salford never-say-die attitude.

“They had a couple of late scores which didn’t reflect our true efforts. There were a few individual errors which cost us as well.

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Salford Red Devils coach Richard Marshall said they need to learn from their adversity and look to improve on their ball control against Hull FC next week

Salford Red Devils coach Richard Marshall said they need to learn from their adversity and look to improve on their ball control against Hull FC next week

“We didn’t capitalise on our try. I thought the game was in the balance at that point and, if we had been a bit more resilient with the ball and more disciplined, it might have been different.

“It’s a new team and we were a bit rusty. It will take time for us to gel. Losing to St Helens won’t define our season.”





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