NEW Featherstone boss Jon Sharp got a taste of how difficult life in the Kingstone Press Championship can be as they were soundly beaten by leaders Leigh for the third time this season.
Rovers, who recently enjoyed a shock win at Bradford, made a fantastic start and were good value for a 12-6 lead after 23 minutes. The home side had opened the scoring after seven minutes through a Fuifui Moimoi try from close range converted by Martyn Ridyard.
But Featherstone were soon level. Centre Brad England was quickest to react to a kick in-goal, grounding the ball as Leigh seemed content to it run dead. Paul Sykes added the extras.
Rovers were controlling the rucks with the forwards were also enjoying themselves with Paul Wood and Tim Spears heavily involved.
Their pressure was rewarded in the 23rd minute when Reni Maitua did the damage with a driving run before offloading to Ian Hardman who scored. Sykes added the extras.
But Leigh scored four tries before half-time. Ex-Rovers centre Greg Worthington went in at the corner before Gregg McNally showed clever footwork to score. Ridyard was unable to convert but Leigh regained the lead straight from the restart. A quick-fire attack saw McNally and Ridyard combine to send Brierley racing clear. Ridyard again converted.
Just before half-time, Leigh scored their fifth try. Again it was Brierley on the end of a multi-player attack where Sam Barlow and McNally played crucial roles. Ridyard’s conversion made it 28-12.
Moimoi completed his hat-trick within nine minutes of the restart. Brierley claimed his hat-trick with a long-range interception try and all Rovers could offer in reply was a try 10 minutes from the end through Blackmore. Sykes also added the extras. With time almost up, Gareth Hock touched down for Leigh, goaled by Jake Emmitt.
Leigh: McNally, Pownall, Worthington, Armstrong, Kay, Ridyard, Brierley, Moimoi, Beswick, Emmitt, Haggerty, Dixon, Hock. Subs: Higham, Barlow, Wilkes, Hopkins
Featherstone: Hardman, Blackmore, Sykes, England, Hitchcox, Cooke, Moore, Baldwinson, Ellis, Wood, Cording, Maitua, Spears. Subs: Cooper, Ormondroyd, Bussey, Foster.
Referee: Chris Kendall.