Leigh 40-6 Halifax: Mitch Brown leads Leigh to victory
Last Updated: 15/09/17 11:47pm
A hat-trick of tries from winger Mitch Brown inspired Leigh to their first home win in the Betfred Super League Super 8 Qualifiers against Halifax.
The Australian scored two tries in the first half before adding his third midway through the second at the Sports Village as the Centurions kept their hopes of avoiding the Million Pound Game alive with a dominant performance against the Championship side.
Brown's fellow winger James Clare chipped in with two tries as Leigh won 40-6, giving their points difference a much-needed boost ahead of their final qualifier at London next Friday.
Halifax, coached by former Centurions forward Richard Marshall, came into the game having lost their last five games and bottom of the Super 8 Qualifiers without a point.
They made the worst possible start, conceding a fifth-minute try as Clare went in at the corner after Cory Paterson and Samisoni Langi combined on the left edge. Ben Reynolds, who went on to kick just two of six attempts, could not convert.
Leigh extended their lead in the 16th minute when Reynolds kicked ahead then regained the ball via Antoni Maria's pass off the floor. Reynolds also added the goal for a 10-0 lead.
Neil Jukes' men were narrowly beaten at Warrington last Saturday but they looked to be on their way to a precious two points when Brown scored out wide after being put clear by Gregg McNally's pass.
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Having been starved of attacking field position for much of the first half, Halifax got off the mark three minutes before the break when prop Mitch Cahalane barged over from close range. Steve Tyrer kicked the conversion but Halifax's comeback was interrupted by a Leigh breakaway try on the stroke of half-time.
A loose pass was kicked ahead and Brown scooped up the ball to race 30 metres to the corner. Reynolds' conversion from the touchline made it 20-6 at the turnaround.
Leigh continued to post tries at regular intervals after the restart. Matty Fleming put Clare over in the corner for his second try in the 44th minute, before Josh Drinkwater's inside pass put Harrison Hansen over.
On the hour, a move from the scrum saw Brown complete his hat-trick and Drinkwater kicked the conversion from touch. Moments later, Reynolds made a break and his reverse pass put McNally under the posts for a try which Drinkwater converted.