Leigh chief urges town to get behind giant-killing bid
Rugby League legend Richie Blackmore has issued a rallying call to the people of Leigh as the Centurions prepare to welcome his old club, Leeds Rhinos to Leigh Sports Village for an intriguing Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-final on Friday night (8.00).
Blackmore, a member of the last Leeds team to win at Wembley in 1999, is now general manager at Leigh and knows full well the advantages any side gains from playing in front of a big home crowd.
And whilst the Championship club will start as underdogs on Friday, Blackmore insists local support can make a huge difference, especially given the home side’s blistering form in the last two months.
Leigh have won their last seven matches in the Championship and Carnegie Challenge Cup and Blackmore is convinced the Centurions have giant-killing potential.
“It’s an exciting game for everyone involved at Leigh Centurions, the staff, the players and the fans.” said Blackmore. “It’s going to be a huge occasion, the players are really positive and are on a good run at the moment.
“We had a good win against Sheffield at the weekend and the boys will go into the game on Friday night feeling good.
“People often talk about the crowd being the ‘14th man’ and that’s what we need against the current Super League and World Club champions.
“Leeds are a star studded team and it’s not often that our fans get to see players of this calibre. As good as the Leeds players are, they’re also human and this is a fantastic opportunity for us to show that.
“Anything can happen in the Challenge Cup, it’s hard not to let yourself dream a little about what could happen: look at Featherstone they beat Castleford so it does happen.
“We just want to enjoy the experience, if we could cause an upset then it would be wonderful but as a whole we just can’t wait for Friday.”
Having tasted Challenge Cup glory in the Rhinos’ victory over London Broncos in the last final played at the old Wembley Stadium, the former Kiwi international knows that Leeds will have their sights fixed on securing the trophy that has eluded them for so long.
“Playing at Wembley for Leeds back in 1999 was a brilliant experience and I would love our Leigh team to experience that,” he said.
“Leeds will want to win, they haven’t won the Challenge Cup since 1999 so they will come here with determination.
“It’s a great occasion for the fans to see some of the best players in the world, I’m sure it will be a great atmosphere on the night.”
Tickets for the Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-final between Leigh Centurions v Leeds Rhinos at Leigh Sports Village on Friday May 11 (8.00pm) cost from just £16 Adults, £9 Concessions, £5 Juniors (12-16 years old) and Under-11s go free if accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets can be purchased on the day.
Tickets for the 2012 Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 25 cost from just £21 and are now on sale. Family tickets giving access to one of British sport’s most historic fixtures to two adults and two children are also available, priced £55 or £79.
To purchase tickets please call the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or visit www.carnegiechallengecup.co.uk/