Leigh coach Purtill: Ridyard proved a point in Featherstone’s win

Featherstone's Martyn Ridyard shows his delight as he scores the first of his two tries against his old club Leigh. Picture: Dec Hayes.

LEIGH caretaker coach Kieron Purtill praised former Centurions player Martyn Ridyard’s performance after the half-back starred in Featherstone’s 38-30 victory in the Betfred Championship at Leigh Sports Village last Sunday.

It was Ridyard’s first return to the club for whom he scored 1,797 points in 222 apearances. He turned down an offer to remain with Leigh for 2018 to join Rovers on a two-year deal.

“Martyn Ridyard played really well. He’s a smart footballer,” said Purtill.

“He kicks the ball really well and he gets his team around the park.

“He came back probably with a point to prove and he’s proved a point so you’ve got to give him the plaudits for that one.

“Defensively, we didn’t handle it well enough so we will have a look more this week at what we did rather than what Riddy did.”

Purtill took over as caretaker boss following the resignation of Neil Jukes early last week.

The Centurions, relegated from Super League last season, have now lost four of their first five Championship games.

“Obvioiusly, I was disappointed with the result,” added Purtill.

“We are putting a lot of pressure back on ourselves at the moment. On our own try line we are just not good enough defensively.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down and work hard in training and put things right again.

“The effort was there. It’s just about the smartness in what we are doing and having the steel not to give up too easily.

“There were some of our guys who tried really hard but there was probably just not the quality on the end of it. If we’ve got the effort there, we are half way going to where we want to be.

“We didn’t get much time on the field last week so the weather hampered us a little bit there so this week we will have a little more time together as a group and have a look where we are going and work on a few more things.

“Defence is the big area we need to improve. You can’t score that many points but concede that many as well. We’ll sharpen up on some of our skill but we’ll have a real focus this week on defending our own try line.”

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