Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont says his team’s game against Featherstone Rovers at the LD Nutrition Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 6pm) feels like “another grand final”.
Featherstone will be looking to do the double over their top four rivals after beating them 38-30 at the Leigh Sports Village when the two sides last met, with former Centurions star Martyn Ridyard providing a man of the match performance.
The importance of the return game can be seen with four points now separating the third-placed Rovers and Leigh, in fifth.
The Centurions come into the match in red hot form, however, after recording 10 victories on the spin in all competitions.
Owner Beaumont helped guide Leigh to the Betfred Super League in 2016 and knows victory could be crucial for both clubs going into the business end of the season.
He said: “This is a massive game for both ourselves and Featherstone as the race for the Championship’s top four hots up.
“Since losing to Halifax in March we have been playing grand finals every week and this fixture will be no different.
“I really enjoy visiting Featherstone and am sure it will be a great occasion on Saturday evening.
“Featherstone are travelling really well under John Duffy and will be looking to repeat the success they enjoyed at our place earlier in the year.
“Martyn Ridyard will again be hoping to prove people wrong, as he did at the Leigh Sports Village that day.
“We are quietly confident and the players are in good spirits. We have a few bodies back from injury and the squad is in a good place.
“The coaching staff have been working very hard and the results are beginning to show on the field.
“It will all come down to the 80 minutes, though, and we will need to be at our very best to get the win.”
Rovers will be without Misi Taulapapa and their ex-Leigh forward Gareth Hock, who received bans this week after being charged with offences in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup game against Hull.
Taulapapa is out for two matches following a grade B off the ball offence while Hock will miss one game for a grade A punching offence.