Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Super League Round Five Review

After Huddersfield and Castleford secured their opening wins in the previous round, the two faced off on Thursday night while Friday saw a trio of close games ahead of a high scoring double on Sunday.

Great Giants Trounce Tigers

Traditionally, Yorkshire derbies are exciting close encounters but Thursday night's meeting between Huddersfield and Castleford was anything but close as the Giants eased to a 22-0 victory over the Tigers.  

A tight first half from both sides ended with the Giants taking the lead with a try from Jamie Ellis in the 38th minute with Danny Brough's conversion giving them a 6-0 lead at the interval. Ukuma Ta'ai extended the lead just four minutes into the second half and with Brough converting the lead moved to 12-0. 

Aaron Murphy made it three unanswered tries for the Giants in the 63rd minute with Brough maintaining his perfect record with the boot for a 18-0 scoreline which became 22-0 late on when Jermaine McGillvary completed the rout with a 78th minute try and despite Brough missing the conversion attempt, the Giants made it back-to-back wins. 

Warriors Win Halts Hull 

After both suffered huge defeats in round four, Wigan hosted Hull with both looking to get back to winning ways and in a cagey 80 minutes, the Warriors squeezed over the line with a 13-12 victory.

Joel Tomkins opened the scoring for the Warriors in the 11th minute with Matty Smith converting for 6-0 before adding a penaltty goal four minutes before the interval for 8-0 with Dan Sarginson crossing with just seconds left of the half for 12-0 at half-time.

Hull fought back and got on the board just three minutes into the second half as Fetuli Talanoa touched down after a mistake in the Wigan defence with Marc Sneyd converting for 12-6, Matty Smith added a drop goal on 65 minutes for 13-6 with Wigan wary of Hull's building momentum.

The drop goal proved pivotal as Hull would have otherwise been level when Callum Lancaster crossed in the corner with eight minutes remaining and a second conversion from Marc Sneyd made it 13-12. Hull blew the chance to claim a draw with the final play as rather then kick an easy drop goal they went for the win with a passing play which found touch as Wigan secured a lucky win.

Wonderful Wolves Ruin Rhinos Run

Friday's televised match saw Warrington host Leeds with the Wolves ending the Rhinos 100% start t the season with a 18-6 victory that saw join their opponents on four wins from five. Kevin Penny opened the scoring for the Wolves in the 11th minute with Stefan Ratchford converting for 6-0.

Ratchford added a try of his own before converting his score for a 12-0 lead which lasted into the interval leaving the Rhinos with a repeat task to the previous round having been 12-0 behind at Hull before scoring 43 unanswered points.

However, Warrington did what Hull couldn't as they scored the first try of the second half through Ryan Atkins with Ratchford converting for 18-0. Leeds mounted a response on the hour through Tom Briscoe with Kevin Sinfield converting for 18-6 which sadly for the Rhinos is how the game ended as their unbeaten run came to an end.

Super Saints Stop Valiant Vikings

St Helens extended their perfect start to the season with second half comeback from 14-6 down to win 30-20 away to Widnes. The Vikings took an early lead with Eammon O'Carroll crossing inside five minutes with Danny Tickle converting for 6-0.

Lance Hohaia got the Saints off the mark on 17 minutes with Travis Burns converting for 6-6 before Patrick Ah Van restored the lead for Widnes on 34 minutes with Stefan Marsh converting ahead of adding a penalty goal three minutes later for 14-6 at the interval.

The Saints revival began just two minutes after the break with Atelea Vea crossing with Burns converting for 14-12, Luke Thompson put the visitors ahead for the first time on 54 minutes before Jordan Turner extended the lead three minutes later with both efforts converted by Burns for 24-14.

Hohaia scored his second try of the evening on the hour with Burns' conversion opening up a 16 point lead at 30-14 but Widnes took until three minutes from the end to reduce the deficit as Aaron Heremaia crossed with Stefan Marsh converting but it proved to be the final say as Saints held on at 30-20. 

Red Devils Rise With Wildcats Win

Salford moved firmly into the top eight with their second win of the season as they secured a narrow 24-18 victory over Wakefield on Sunday. The Wildcats opened the scoring in the 16th minute through Jacob Miller with Craig Hall converting for 6-0. Salford drew level and soon went in front with two tries in three minutes as Greg Johnson and Weller Hauraki crossed with Josh Griffin converting both for 12-6.

The Red Devils led into the interval and extended their lead just four minutes after the break through Rangi Chase with Josh Griffin making it three conversions in a row for 18-6 before Paul McShane reduced the deficit for the Wildcats with a try on 49 minutes with Hall converting for 18-12.

Junior Sau restored the Red Devils' 12 point lead with a try on 55 minutes which Josh Griffin converted for 24-12, Wakefield cut the gap again on 77 minutes with Craig Hall crossing for a try which he then converted for 24-18 but they were unable to secure a draw despite a late charge.

Ruthless Robins Rout Dents Dragons

The final game of the round saw the recent trend of stunning comebacks continue as Hull KR defied a 20-4 deficit at home to Catalans Dragons to rout the French side in a 50-20 triumph on Sunday.

Willie Tonga put the Dragons in front inside two minutes before Ken Sio drew the Robins level on 16 minutes at 4-4. Three tries in nine minutes for the Dragons put them in control at 20-4 with efforts from Michael Oldfield, Remi Casty coupled with a a duo of conversions from Scott Dureau.

The Robins went into the interval at 20-10 with Ben Cockayne's 39th minute try which Josh Mantellato converted to give them insipration for what was to come after the break. Albert Kelly crossed for the first of seven unanswered tries in the second half with a 44th minute effort which Mantellato converted for 20-16.

Ken Sio crossed twice in the space of seven minutes to complete his hat-trick with Mantellato converting both for a 28-20 lead which soon became 38-20 with tries from debutee Shaun Lunt on the hour and Liam Salter two minutes later with just the former converted by Mantellato.

Lunt made it two debut tries on 68 minutes before Ben Cockayne completed the comeback with a 75th minute try with Mantellato converting both for a 14 point personal haul and a 30 point turnaround for a 50-20 win.