Leigh Centurions v Catalans Dragons Million Pound Play Off 2017 Preview

Leigh Centurions

Leigh Centurions v Catalans Dragons
Date: Saturday 30th September 2017
Kick Off: 15:00
Venue: Leigh Sports Village Leigh)

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Catalans Dragons


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TV: Live on SkySports Arena HD, Highlights on The Super League Show BBC 1) and Super League Fulltime SkySports)

Radio: Live on BBC Local Radio and via the BBC Website

SQUADS
Leigh Centurions: Brown, Burr, Clare, Crooks, Dawson, Drinkwater, Fleming, Hampshire, Hansen, Higham, Hood, Hopkins, Langi, Maria, Paterson, Reynolds, Richards, Stewart, Tickle
Catalans Dragons: Inu, Wiliame, Yaha, Walsh, Myler, Moa, Aiton, Anderson, Horo, Bird, Bousquet, Garcia, Baitieri, Duport, Thornley, Albert, Margalet, Belmas, Tierney

Leigh Centurions v Catalans Dragons

Whether you class the Million Pond Play Off match as a car crash or as one of the most intense and exciting matches of the season, there can be no denying that it is compelling viewing and is simply a must watch for any Rugby League fan.

The good news is that the match can be watch live online via Sports Stream Super League

When Leigh won promotion last season they would have gone into the season knowing how difficult the step up to Super League is that they would likely be in the Qualifiers come the end of the season.

No matter who you are in those Qualifiers, there is always a chance of been dragged into the Million Pound game and that is where Leigh find themselves.

The shock would have been much greater for the Dragons as they are a side with the financial muscle to be challenging it out at the very top of Super League and with the ability to attract the highest quality from the NRL they are a team that should be fighting it out in the play offs this weekend or at least licking their wounds for just missing out.

Such as been the disappointing levels of their performances this season and the ill-discipline they have suffered from, it is sad to see that in reality as the season has gone on the prospect of the Dragons been in this playoff game has seemingly increased week on week.

With no player at the Dragons able to look at themselves and say that they have given their 100% best this season and with 2 sets of coaching staff in a similar position, this match is as much about saying face for the Dragons club as it is about survival but of course that is the ultimate goal as these 2 Super League teams battle it out to avoid demotion to the Championship in 2018.

Form

Both teams won 4 and lost 3 of their 7 matches in the Qualifiers.

Each of the Dragons wins came against those sides who were in the Championship in the regular season whilst Leigh ran out 6-30 winners when the 2 sides met in the South of France.

Team News

Leigh name both Mitch Brown and Micky Higham in their squad but former Dragons favourite Eloi Pelissier is missing.

The Dragons bring in Greg Bird and Laurent Belmas for this showdown.

Prediction

This has to be the toughest match to predict as form goes out the window and it comes down to which team can handle the pressure the best.

As Salford showed last year, home advantage isn’t everything in this match and it can easily be a negative as much as a positive.

If Leigh can start strongly, the crowd will get behind them and that could help the players become at ease and paly somewhere near their best whilst if the Dragons start well, the tension will build in the stands and the fans will make things harder for their players.

We wouldn’t be surprised if this came down to extra time or a late try/drop goal but if we have to pick a side, and we do, we are going to back Leigh.

The Dragons have failed to stand up when it matters time and time again this season and we can only see that continuing. The lack of discipline in this Dragons side has cost them time and time again as well and in a match were the margins will be so tight, that could come to bite them once again.

Our Prediction: Leigh Centurions by 2

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