Ellis is key man: Black

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STOP Jamie Ellis, stop Leigh.

That’s the message from Halifax half back Ben Black as he prepares to go up against the Centurions’ “awesome” Super League-bound playmaker in Sunday’s Northern Rail Cup final in Blackpool.

Ellis, a former St Helens junior, has been a Championship sensation in 2011 and will join top flight big guns Hull next season.

And Black knows the clash of the number sevens will be pivotal in the Bloomfield Road decider.

“Ellis has been awesome this year and he is probably their main player,” said Black.

“Leigh have got a lot of quality everywhere, so we can’t afford to put all the focus on him, but he is very important to them.

“If we cut him down, we go a long way towards cutting Leigh down, that’s for sure.

“His kicking game is great, his all round game is great; that’s why he’s going to Super League with Hull next year.

“We need to concentrate on getting our defence right and if we do that we have a great chance of coming away with the win.”

Black was the star of Fax’s last appearance in a major final, starting and finishing the comeback that won the Co-operative Championship Grand Final against Featherstone last September.

And the Australian believes that big match experience - Leigh have been out of the limelight since winning the NRC back in 2006 - could give Fax a marginal edge this weekend.

“I think it’s an advantage,” said Black.

“We’ve played the last two Grand Finals so we know what to expect when you get on the big stage.

“The boys are excited, but everyone is pretty relaxed as well.

“There will still be nerves, and everyone has their own way of preparing for games like this, but not many people get to play in Grand Finals so having that experience is definitely a good thing for us.

“Leigh have been the form team of the year, they are coming off some great form and they are going to be really up for this game.

“It’s just going to come down to the team that comes up on the day and I am sure it’s going to be a great game.”

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