Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Happy Easter For Hosts

After a mixed first part to the Easter double-header, round ten certainly was a day for home comforts with all seven home teams winning comfortably at the expense of their travelling opponents.

Giants Extend Wakefield Woes

Huddersfield completed an Easter double with a comfortable 36-16 win over Wakefield who are on a run of six defeats as a result.

Broughton put the Giants in front in the eighth minute with Brough converting for 6-0, Sammut pulled Wakefield level in the 16th minute with a try and conversion for 6 all.

Lawrence and Ta'ai  (Brough convs) put Huddersfield in control either side of an effort from Walshaw meaning they led 18-10 and went further ahead just before the interval with a try from Cudjoe with Brough converting for 24-10.

Chan crossed in the 51st minute with Brough converting to bring up the 30 point mark for the hosts, Wakefield reduced the deficit when Molloy scored and Sammut converted for 30-16 with Lunt confirming a 20 point win with a try five minutes from the end with Brough ending with 100% success from the boot. A close on prediction wise (36-22) so only one try out and perfect on the Hudds score.

Hull Rout Lacklustre London

London remain winless in 2014 after a 40-4 defeat at Hull who bounced back well from defeat in the Hull derby.

Hull led 18-0 inside 26 minutes with scores from Shaul, Crooks and Thompson all converted by Crooks and it was 22-0 at the interval after Rankin's try and Crooks missed conversion.

Two tries in six minutes put Hull firmly in control at 36-0 with Shaul claiming his second and Miller also crossing with Crooks converting both.

London avoided a nilling as Caton-Brown scored his third try in two games for the Broncos but even with 23 minutes left it would surely only serve as consolation as Rankin ended the rout with a try ten minutes from the end with Crooks converting to bring up the 40 point mark. A wide prediction but close on Hull's score (36-18).

Saints Tickled By Vikings

After losing their 100% record on Friday to Wigan, St Helens lost for the second time in a row as Widnes bounced back from their derby defeat to Warrington.

Hanbury gave the hosts the perfect start with a third minute try with Tickle converting for a 6-0 lead over their former tenants. Isa extended the lead in 19th minute with Tickle converting again for 12-0.

Soliola crossed to reduce the gap to eight but Gerrard's try seven minutes later and Tickle's third conversion put Widnes 18-4 in front. Masoe and Wellens crossed with Makinson converting both to close the gap to 18-16 at the interval.

Hanbury scored his second five minutes after the break for 22-16 and Flynn (Tickle conv) put Widnes in control at 28-16 though nerves crept in when Makinson scored with his traditional one-handed technique to make it 28-20.

Dean put Widnes past the 30 point mark with Tickle kicking his fifth conversion for 34-20 but when Hohaia  crossed for a try and Makinson converted for 34-26,Saints began to believe the comeback was on but were it failed to materialise and Leuluai confirmed the win for the Vikings three minutes from the end with Owens converting for 40-26. A correct result and one not many predicted but the score was higher than expected (25-22).

Rhinos Rise To The Top

After Saints loss at Widnes, Leeds overtook their rivals to go top of the league with a comfortable  32-4 win against Salford making it an unhappy return for Salford head coach Iestyn Harris, a former Rhinos legend.

A tight first half saw Leeds lead 6-4 after a sixth minute try and conversion from Sinfield was met by a first try for Wigan loanee Tomkins just before the half-hour mark.

Hardaker increased the lead four minutes after the interval with Sinfield converting for 12-4 with two tries in five minutes after the hour putting the hosts in control as Burrow (Sinfield conv)  and Jones-Bishop with crossing with the latter converting his own try for a 24-4 lead.

Hall and Briscoe confirmed the win with tries in the 74th and 79th minutes to ensure the Rhinos ended the Easter double -header top of the pile. A correct result an score for Leeds but Salford didn't show up for me (32-26).

Warriors Crush Broken Bulls   

Wigan secured an 84-6 win on Easter Monday for the second year in a row as Bradford were demolished by a youthful Warriors pack.

Wigan led 34-0 inside the half hour with efforts from Green, Gelling, O'Loughlin and Farrell accompanied by two tries and five conversions from Hampshire.

Bradford's woes continued as Wigan eased over the line twice more before the break with Hughes and Powell scoring and Hampshire taking his tally to 24 points and 46 for Wigan overall.

Bateman scored against his former side with Goulding making it ten tries for the hosts with the second period only eight minutes old with Williams taking over the kicking duties with a conversion for 58-0.

Three tried in eight minutes saw Wigan edge towards pass 70 points with Green and Gelling claiming their second tries either side of a score for Williams with the latter kicking all three for a 74-0 lead.

Manfredi added to his successes on loan at Salford with a try just after the hour-mark for 78-0 leaving their record only one score away from being equalled and the chance of a perfect repeat of 2013 came when Gale crossed for Bradford and converted for 78-6.

Both sides made mistakes which ended the scoring spree but the 84-6 record was equalled in the final minutes with a first competitive try for Dudson and a eighth conversion for Hampshire who ended the day with 26 points. Far better than expected for Wigan but Bradford not far off my hopes (48-12).

Tigers Out Roar Wolves

Castleford moved up to second in the table after an easy win over a poor Warrington side.

Clare put the hosts in front with Sneyd converting for  6-0 with Monaghan and a Ratchford conversion

Warrington's chance of a comeback ended with 20 minutes to go as Owen crossed and Sneyd converted for 34-6 with the rout completed seven minutes from the end when Shenton sealed his hat-trick and Sneyd made it six out of seven from the boot for a 40-6 win. A result I predicted, one many didn't but a bigger one than expected.

levelling the score in the 23rd minute. A double from Shenton three minutes before the interval coupled with conversions from Sneyd gave Cas and 18-6 lead which increased with two scores in three minutes from Clare and Ellis with Sneyd's single conversion putting the Tigers in control at 28-6.

 Dragons Comeback Against Rovers
Catalan completed a perfect Easter with a 37-24 win over Hull KR whose good run came to an end.

Tries from Escare, Whitehead and Oldfield and two conversions from Bosc put the Dragons 16-0 up but Rovers came back with scores from Eden, Cox and Caro coupled with a trio of conversions from Burns giving them a 16-18 lead.

Millard and Caro exchanged tries with Bosc and Burns converting as Rovers led 22-24 but Oldfield put the Dragons in front in the 52nd minute with Whitehead crossing for his second on the hour-mark and Bosc converting for a 32-24 lead.

Two penalties from Bosc put Catalan clear at 36-24 with the win sealed in the final minute with a Bosc drop goal. My only fail of the round and 19 point switch from my hopes.

A third successive 6/7 success for me but the return of the Cup could see a first perfection of the season.