Leigh Centurions Match Preview

Leigh Centurions Match Preview widnesvikings.co.uk

1st September 2017

Widnes Vikings take on Leigh Centurions on Sunday 3rd September at the Leigh Sports Village, kick-off 3pm.

Denis Betts' side will be wanting to record a victory over the Centurions as they look to record their third straight victory in the Super 8s, The Qualifiers following victories over Halifax RLFC and Featherstone Rovers.

Take a look at all the information you will need to know ahead of Sunday’s huge game.



Tickets for this game are available to purchase. They can be bought through the ticket line on 0151 495 2250 or by visiting the Vikings Superstore, located within Tesco Extra, Widnes. For full ticket information and details on how to purchase, please click here.


Squad News 

The Vikings make one change from the 19-man squad that took on Featherstone Rovers in Round Three of The Qualifiers last weekend, as Chris Dean comes into the squad to replace Jordan Johnstone. 

Widnes Vikings: Bridge, Buchanan, Burke, Cahill, Craven, Dean, Dudson, Hanbury, Houston, Manuokafoa, Marsh, Mellor, Olbison, Runciman, Thompson, D.Walker, White, Whitley.

Neil Jukes has named a strong side for Sunday’s clash, as they aim to record their first victory over the Vikings in the 2017 season. 

Leigh Centurions: Brown, Higson, Dawson, Drinkwater, Higham, Paterson, Stewart, Hansen, Tickle, Maria, Via, McNally, Reynolds, Hopkins, Clare, Burr, Mortimer, Langi, Richards.



Denis Betts’ side head into the game on the back of two consecutive victories over Kingstone Press Championship sides Halifax RLFC and Featherstone Rovers in the Qualifiers. Those wins, in which the Vikings ran in 18 tries, puts them into 3rd position in the table heading into Round 4. 

The Centurions come into this fixture following a brilliant victory over Catalans Dragons in the south of France. Like the Vikings, Neil Jukes’ side has won two of their opening three games, beating Catalans and Featherstone, whilst losing out narrowly at home against Hull Kingston Rovers. 

Widnes Vikings: LLLLWW            Leigh Centurions: LLWWLW


Previous Meetings

The Vikings hold the edge over their opponents on Sunday afternoon, and can boast a Super League double over their opponents in 2017. The Vikings claimed their first victory of the season in April with a 37-24 win at the Leigh Sports Village, then comfortably beat the Centurions in June on home soil.

As mentioned, the Vikings ran out 36-10 winners in June to then move above their opponents in the table. Tries from Bridge, Houston (2), Thompson (2), Ince and Matt Whitley was enough to see the Vikings over the line, and those two victories could act as motivation for Sunday’s game.


Players In Common

Gareth Hock

Making over 240 appearances for Widnes, Leigh, Salford, and his hometown club Wigan, Gareth made his name as a strong and tough forward with the eye for an offload. 

Hock played his junior rugby with local amateur side, Wigan St Jude’s. He made his debut for Wigan under head coach Stuart Raper in 2003. That very same season, Hock was crowned Super League Young Player of the Year and made an appearance in the 2003 Grand Final, which Wigan lost to Bradford Bulls. 

With a Rugby League World Cup also on the CV with England, as well as four appearances for Great Britain, Gareth has proved himself at the highest level.

Hock made 18 appearances for the Vikings during his year on loan from Wigan in 2013, scoring 10 tries. He famously signed off his time at the Club with a goal from the touchline in his final appearance against Salford Red Devils!

Following a spell at Salford Red Devils, Hock signed for then Championship side Leigh in 2015. He was part of the side that was promoted back into the Betfred Super League for the 2017 season. Hock has already passed 50 appearances for the Centurions, scoring 12 tries to date. 


Aaron Heremaia

The current Vikings Vice-Captain is more famously known on these shores for his spells at Hull FC and Widnes Vikings. However, Aaron first played in England with tonight’s opponents, Leigh Centurions. 

Joining the Centurions in 2006, Aaron went on to play for the Club over 50 times, scoring 21 tries, including against the Vikings in a game at Hilton Park.  

Aaron returned home, and eventually played for his boyhood Club, New Zealand Warriors between 2009 and 2011. He also represented his country at international level in the 2011 Anzac Test in Melbourne. In this time, Heremaia converted from a half-back to a hooker, a position in which he has since thrived. 

The season after, Heremaia moved to the North of England once more, with Hull FC. The hooker had three successful seasons with the Yorkshire club, and helped Peter Gentle’s side reach the 2013 Challenge Cup final.

Heremaia joined Widnes Vikings for the 2015 season. Heremaia moved to Widnes Vikings in 2015, becoming a mainstay of the team. In this time, he has been named the Players Player of the Year and been appointed as a Vice-Captain in the Club's Leadership Group.


Widnes Vikings Milestones 

If selected:

Danny Craven                2 goals will take Danny to a career total of 50 goals


Joe Mellor                      1 point will take Joe to 250 career points


Stefan Marsh                  2 points will take Stefan to a career total of 300 points

Leigh Centurions Match Preview widnesvikings.co.uk