Sunday, 30 March 2014

Seven Not Out For Saints

The build up to round seven foresaw a number of tight games, especially between four of the league's big five but close was far from the truth for one of the fierce ties while three sides posted 40+ points in strong wins.

                               Castleford Roar At London

London's woes continued on Thursday as they were hammered 6-54 by Castleford.

Castleford raced into a 0-18 lead through tries from Channing, Holmes and Shenton with Ellis converting all three due to Cas' main kicker, Marc Sneyd starting on the bench.

Vea was sin binned in the 32nd minute for London with Cas being denied a try instantly after a review before extending the lead as Finn went over and Ellis struck his fourth conversion for 0-24 at halftime.

Huby went over six minutes into the second period and Ellis' conversion gave the visitors a 30 point lead and surely securing the two points.

That was confirmed with a three try rally in the space of four minutes as Carney and Dorn scored either side of Shenton's second with Ellis converting the lot for a 0-48 lead.

Castleford posted their last score in the 66th minute when Carney claimed his second and Ellis made it 9/9 for a personal tally of 18 points but London avoid a nilling when McMeeken went over two minutes from the end with Drinkwater converting for 6-54. A correct result for me but my hopes of a 12pt gap seem to have been a delusion.

                               Super Seven For Saints

Friday night's standout tie saw St Helens host Leeds and it certainly lived up to the expectations of a close game with the score 6 all at halftime after McGuire's 18th minute opener (Sinfield conv) was cancelled out by Walker's try six minutes later with Makinson converting.

Sinfield kicked a penalty to make it 6-8 but Makinson scored a try to put Saints 10-8 up and with ten minutes to go, Sinfield kicked a second penalty for a 10-10 score but Saints made it seven wins in row when Makinson scored his second try in with a minute to go.

I expected Saints to stutter with their number of absentees but this win shows they are a real force in 2014.
Hull Shock Red Devils
Hull stunned Salford 30-8 for their first win in three but the first half was close with scores from Miller and Shaul (Crooks 2 convs) sandwiched a Johnson effort giving the hosts a 12-4 lead.

Crooks scored four minutes after the break and converted with further success five minutes later when Horne scored a fifth try for Hull extending the lead to 24-4.

Sa'u scored for Salford but a second missed conversion left the gap at 24-8 and the win was completed in the final minute when Watts went over for a try with Crooks kicking a fifth successive conversion for a haul of 14 points.

Bowen Double Stuns Dragons
Wigan hosted Catalans under heavy rain and fell behind early on with scores from Escare and Pomeroy coupled with Bosc's single conversion giving them a 0-10 lead.

Wigan hit back with a nice passage of play allowing Bowen to over for the try but Smith missed with the boot and the visitors led 4-10 at the break.

Catalan extended the lead as Escare capitalised on a loose ball from Bowen to claim his second try and Bosc converted for 4-16 with scores from Charnley and Farrell both converted by Smith bringing Wigan level at 16 all.

Wigan sealed the win in style as Bowen raced the length of the field to score his second try of the night in the final minute and Smith's third conversion made it 22-16 to the joy of the home crowd. The weather helped to dampen my hopes of an 18 pt. win.

Widnes Fourth After Narrow Win
Bradford's good week off the field didn't carry on to the pitch today as they lost narrowly at Widnes.

The hosts led 16-0 after a try from Owens and a double from Brown with Tickle adding two conversions but Bradford pulled one back through Sutcliffe just before the break and Gale's conversion made it 16-4.

Kear reduced the gap further with Gale kicking for a 16-12 score but four minutes later Ah Van's try put Widnes further in front with Tickle's third success giving them a 22-12 lead.

Kearney reduced the gap in the 67th minute with Gale kicking his third conversion but it wasn't enough to prevent the Vikings from claiming a 22-18 win. Another correct result but with a smaller gap than my 10pt guess.
KR Thrash Woeful Wakefield
The shock of the weekend came as Hull KR claimed their second win in a row in a mauling of Wakefield.
Rovers led 16-0 inside the half-hour after scores from Costigan, Caro and Hodgson with Burns adding two conversions.

Welham added an effort two minutes before halftime with Burns' third success making the score 22-0.
Wakefield managed to stem the scoring spree but only until  11 minutes into the half as Caro bagged his second try and Keating added one of his own six minutes later with Burns converting for 32-0.

It was a case of when rather than if Hull would score again and that came on the hour as Hodgson scored his second try (Burns conv) for a staggering 38 point lead which was made even worse with eight minutes to go when Welham crossed for his second try and Burns made it 12points from the boot for 44-0.

Wakefield avoided a nilling when Godinet scored with five minute remaining and Sammut kicked the goal for what was only consolation at 44-6.

Wire Fightback Against Giants
After the fierce game between Saints and Leeds on Friday another massive face-off took place between Huddersfield and Warrington this afternoon with Grix putting the hosts in front after only eight minutes with Brough converting before adding a penalty before the break with Evans scoring for Warrington before Broughton went over and Brough converted for a 14-4 lead.

Warrington responded only five minutes into the second half when Myler crossed for the try and Ratchford converted for 14-10 while Westwood levelled for the visitors in the 64th minute but a missed conversion meant it 14 all.

Russell put Warrington in front with a try and Bridge took over the kicking duties with instant success for a 14-20 lead, Ratchford kicked a drop goal to put the gap at seven points but two late tries from Ormsby and Monaghan sealed a superb comeback with Bridge kicking 3/3 for a 14-33 win. I had said it would be close but Huddersfield really didn't show up in the second half like I had expected.