Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Super League Round Four Review

The excitement and unpredictability of Super League XX continued this weekend as round four featured the remaining two sides without a win breaking their duck while an 80-point thriller ended in a draw.

Rampant Rhinos Hammer Hull

The round began in style on Thursday night as the Leeds Rhinos fulfilled the 'game of two halves' cliché superbly by turning a 12-0 half-time deficit around to soar to a 43-12 victory away to Hull FC.

Leon Pryce opened the scoring for the hosts inside eight minutes before adding a second in the 23rd minute with Marc Sneyd converting both for the aforementioned 12-0 lead at the interval. Leeds comeback charge began just seconds into the second half with Danny McGuire crossing for the Rhinos first try which Kevin Sinfield converted for 12-6. Brad Singleton crossed just three minutes later with Sinfield levelling the match at 12-12 with the conversion.

McGuire scored his second and Leeds third with just 13 minutes of the second half played and the resulting conversion from Sinfield proved to be an historic one as he moved into fourth place in the all-time points scorers list with his side now ahead 18-12. 

Three tries in ten minutes put the Rhinos in control as Kallum Watkins, Kylie Leuluai and Rob Burrow all registered efforts which Sinfield duly converted for a huge lead at 36-12 before he added a drop goal with 74 minutes on the clock to make it 37-12. Leeds completed a stunning 40 minutes with another try as Rob Burrow collected his own kick to score his second try of the evening with Sinfield's seventh conversion completed a 43-12 victory.

Terrific Tigers Trounce Woeful Warriors

Friday night featured three ties with the most shocking result coming in the game between Castleford and Wigan with the Tigers claiming their first win of the season in emphatic style as the Warriors' woes in Yorkshire continued.

The Tigers raced into a 16-0 lead inside 14 minutes as Justin Carney scored twice either side on a try from James Clare with Luke Gale converting twice from three attempts at goal, Wigan fought back on 18 minutes with a try from Josh Charnley on his 100th Super League appearance but a tough angle meant no conversion was added at 16-4.

Luke Dorn pushed Castleford to 20 points just before the interval with Gale's conversion making it 22-4 at the break before the Tigers half-back added a penalty in the 46th minute for 24-4 leaving Wigan with a huge task to avoid back-to-back defeats and they reduced the deficit with Charnley's second try on 50 minutes but no resulting conversion left them at 24-8.

Castleford ended any hopes of a Warriors comeback with three tries in 16 minutes as Liam Finn, Oliver Holmes and Michael Shenton all breached the Wigan line with Luke Gale's trio of conversions taking the score to 42-8. Wigan had the last say as Matty Smith crossed for a clever try in the final minute and though he registered a first conversion of the night, it meant little as the Warriors suffered a 42-14 defeat, their worst to date under the stewardship of Shaun Wane. 

Giants Claim Victory Over Vikings

Huddersfield matched Castleford in claiming their first win of the season as they sealed a 24-12 win over Widnes who slipped to their second defeat in three games.

Widnes actually opened the scoring in the match as Joe Mellor crossed in the ninth minute with Danny Tickle converting for 6-0, Scott Grix put the Giants on the board in the 28th minute with Danny Brough's conversion bringing the sides level at 6-6.

Jermaine McGillvary put the Giants ahead with a 48th minute try before Joe Wardle extended the lead on the hour but with neither effort converted, Widnes were still in the hunt trailing 14-6. The Vikings reduced the arrears with a 65th minute try from Manase Manuokafoa with Danny Tickle converting for 14-12 before Wardle scored his second try of the evening for a 18-12 scoreline. Widnes' hopes of even securing a draw came to an end in the 73rd minute when a rare try from Eorl Crabtree, converted by Danny Brough sealed a 24-12 victory for the Giants.

Saints Edge Past Wildcats

The third of the East v West ties on Friday night was St Helens trip to Wakefield which saw them maintain their unbeaten start to the season but only just with a narrow 20-16 victory over a battling Wildcats side.

St Helens opened the scoring with a Paul Wellens try in the eighth minute with Mark Percival converting for 6-0 which became 6-6 on 21 minutes when Matty Ashurst scored against his former club with Craig Hall adding the conversion. Wakefield went into the interval with the lead as Reece Lyne crossed for the hosts with four minutes left of the first half and with Hall converting, the score was 12-6.

Joe Greenwood continued his fine start to the season with a 48th minute try which saw Tom Makinson converted for 12-12 before the Saints winger added a penalty goal three minutes later to put his side 14-12 ahead. Jordan Turner extended the visitors lead with a try on 56 minutes with Makinson adding the conversion for 20-12 before Richard Owen kept up the Wildcats' hopes with a 70th minute try but Hall's failure to convert left the score at 20-16 and despite a late rally from the hosts, St Helens held on for the win. 

Griffin Saves Red Devils Away to Dragons

Saturday afternoon saw what many saw as a potential mismatch on paper turn into the highest scoring game of the season so far as Catalans and Salford shared the points in a 15-try thriller which ended in a 40-40 draw.

Catalans are traditionally strong at home but found themselves 22-0 down inside 20 minutes as Salford ran in four tries from Junior Sa'u, Josh Griffin, Cory Paterson and Tommy Lee with Griffin converting three from four attempts at goal. Catalans battled back and went into the interval just four points behind at 22-18 as Zeb Taia, Vincent Duport and Ben Pomeroy all crossed for the Dragons with Scott Dureau converting all three.

The second half saw a rapid start as Theo Fages crossed for the Red Devils inside three minuted for 26-18 before Ben Pomeroy's second try and Dureau's conversion improved the score to 26-24 but the Dragons were unable to take the lead before Rangi Chase crossed for a try in the 54th minute with Josh Griffin converting for a 32-24 lead.

Catalans finally got on level terms in the tie with a try from Michael Oldfield in the 63rd minute added to by a conversion and soon after a penalty goal from Dureau for 32-32 but it got even better for the hosts as Elliot Whitehead and Ian Henderson crossed in the space of three minutes for a 40-32 lead. Dureau's failure to convert either try proved costly for the Dragons as they were pegged back late on, firstly by Cory Paterson's second try with Griffin converting and secondly by a controversial penalty in the final seconds from Griffin to salvage a 40-40 draw.

Winning Wolves Send Rovers Bottom

The round ended with Sunday's clash between Warrington and Hull KR with the Wolves coming from behind to seal a 32-24 win that resulted in Hull KR dropping to the foot of the table.

The Robins opened the scoring in the seventh minute through Josh Mantellato who converted his own try for a 6-0 lead before Matty Russell crossed for the Wolves with Stefan Ratchford converting to level the score. Joel Monaghan put Warrington ahead on 26 minutes before Academy product Joe Philbin extended the lead to 14-6 just three minutes later.

Mantellato crossed for his second try and converted to make it 14-12 at the interval before Kevin Larroyer put the Robins ahead in the 54th minute with Mantellato converting for 18-14, though the lead lasted just three minutes as Gary Wheeler crossed for the hosts with Ratchford's conversion regaining the lead at 20-18.

Matty Russell extended the lead with his second try before Ratchford converted for 26-18 but Hull KR were still in the hunt when Graham Horne crossed with ten minutes remaining with Mantellato's conversion making it a two point game at 26-24. However, Warrington sealed the win with five minutes left of the 80 as Ben Currie crossed for the winning try with Ratchford's conversion confirming a 32-24 victory.