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3 days ago
Leigh relegated after Rhinos loss
Leigh?s relegation from the engage Super League was confirmed as rampant Leeds ran in 14 tries in a crushing 74-0 win at The Coliseum.
Teenage debutant Ashley Gibson scored a hat-trick as the Centurions were condemned to an instant return to the National League.
Mark Calderwood, Danny McGuire and Ryan Bailey also touched down twice each as the Rhinos reclaimed top spot in the table from St Helens.
The Centurions had waited 11 years to regain a place among the game?s elite but they had been fighting an uphill battle since winning promotion.
Only last week they parted company with coach Darren Abram as they began to prepare for life back at a lower level.
Leigh caretaker coach Tommy Martyn could only watch on in admiration as the Rhinos clinically exposed the gulf in class between the top and bottom.
Leeds, who had Andrew Dunemann making a rare start in place of the injured half-back Rob Burrow, initially struggled to break down a committed Leigh defence.
But once Bailey crashed over from close range in the 17th minute for a try which Lee Smith converted, it was one-way traffic.
Leeds crossed again moments later when Keith Senior?s well-timed pass put Smith over and, with 13 minutes of the first half remaining, Matt Diskin offloaded superbly for the supporting Danny Ward to dive in. Smith converted to give Leeds a 16-0 lead.
Five minutes before the break, Leeds winger Calderwood scored his 23rd try of the season and in doing so became the 21st player in Leeds? history to score a century of tries for the club.
With time almost up in the first half, Senior crossed after some quick passing along the line. Smith was unable to convert and Leeds went in leading 26-0 at the break.
There was no let up from the Rhinos in the second half as they continued to pile up the points.
Within five minutes of the restart, Chev Walker finished off a thrilling attack which he actually started with a powerful break. Smith added the conversion.
Eighteen-year-old full-back Gibson marked a memorable debut with a 48th-minute try after some great handling had carved open the Leigh defence. Calderwood, who will join Wigan next season, then scored his second try after being set up by Walker.
Leigh continued to toil hard for little reward and as passes were forced, Leeds punished any mistakes in deadly fashion.
Chris McKenna crossed 17 minutes from the end, before rising star Gibson completed his hat-trick in style with two tries in as many minutes, which he also converted.
McGuire completed the rout with two long-distance tries and there was a second for Bailey, all of which Gibson converted.
Leigh: Wilshere, Maden, Cooper, Jackson, Smyth, Kent, J. Duffy, Fleary, Maddox, Stapleton, Marshall, Wilkes, Leafa. Replacements: Sturm, Stevens, Coleman, Owen.
Leeds: Mathers, Calderwood, Walker, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Dunemann, Bailey, Diskin, Ward, Poching, McKenna, Ellis. Replacements: Gibson, Lauitiiti, Scruton, McDermott.
Leigh: (0) 0.
Leeds (26) 74. Tries: Bailey 2, Smith, Ward, Calderwood 2, Senior, Walker, Gibson 3, McKenna, McGuire 2. Goals: Smith 4, Gibson 5.
Referee: R. Laughton (RFU)
Thanks to www.superleague for the above review