Leigh Centurions (25/1 to win 2023 Challenge Cup) are back in Super League next season following a comprehensive 44-12 win against Batley Bulldogs in the play-off final.

A year on from being relegated from the Super League for a third time, the Centurions were professional as they ran in eight tries past the Championship part-timers.

Batley held on for 20 minutes before Lachlan Lam – son of coach Adrian – Kristian Inu and Joe Wardle all crossed before the break to give Leigh an 18-0 lead.

Inu scored a second try, while Caleb Aekins, Joe Mellor, Nene MacDonald and Kai O’Donnell all crossed in the second half to give Leigh what was an expected win.

Batley were rewarded for their efforts in the second period with a brace of tries as Dale Morton and Adam Gledhill scored.

It was always likely to be an uphill battle for the Bulldogs, who stunned Featherstone Rovers to reach the final.

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Leigh can now look forward to playing in the top-flight, which will have the same line-up as two years ago following the relegation of Toulouse.

Speaking after the game, former Wigan Warriors boss Lam said that he was proud of his team’s efforts and believes he has learned from the errors he made while Wigan boss.

“It’s been a long season,” Lam said. “We’ve played some great rugby and we’ve got what we deserved. I knew the guys were going to carry themselves well.

“Batley were courageous and never gave up, but I’m proud of the way the boys have come through and I just feel very pleased for the fans, who were superb, and the owner Derek Beaumont.

“I know in my heart of hearts that I made some mistakes at Wigan but I also learned so much and feel confident I’m now a better coach for it.”

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