Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Super League Round Seven Review

Ahead of a bumper Easter schedule for rounds eight and nine, Super League XX continued to shock and surprise the form book in round seven with the last remaining unbeaten record tumbling and a new team at the top.

Super Salford Vanquish Vikings

Thursday night's round opener saw Salford host Widnes with both looking to boost their mixed start to the season. The Red Devils started well and opened the scoring inside four minutes with a try from Ben Jones-Bishop with Josh Griffin converting for 6-0. Weller Hauraki added a second on 13 minutes with Griffin's conversion improving the lead to 12-0.

Widnes suffered a double blow on the half-hour mark with the sin-binning of Stefan Marsh for a professional foul swiftly followed by a try from Greg Johnson for 16-0 but despite being a man down, the Vikings clawed back with a try from Paddy Flynn, converted by Jack Owens who added a penalty goal for 16-8 at the interval.

However, Widnes' revival failed to continue into the second half as Salford raced clear with four tries in 20 minutes with Lama Tasi, Cory Paterson, Scott Taylor all crossing with Josh Griffin claiming a try along with two conversions to secure a comfortable 38-6 triumph. 

Wonderful Warriors Walkover Woeful Wildcats

Friday night featured four games with biggest winning margin coming at the DW Stadium as Wigan returned to winning ways with a rout of bottom side Wakefield. The Warriors raced into a 20-0 lead inside 21 minutes with a trio of tries from Liam Farrell, Tony Clubb and Dominic Manfredi converted by Matty Smith who also slotted over a penalty goal.

Wakefield responded with a try from Chris Riley on the half-hour mark but went into the interval 26-4 behind after a late effort from Anthony Gelling which Matty Smith converted. Wigan extended their lead with Manfredi's second effort on 49 minutes with Smith's conversion breaking the 30 point mark. However, Wakefield kept their slim comeback hopes alive with a clever effort from Paul McShane who crossed four minutes later with Craig Hall converting for 30-10 but the hopes soon evaporated with two tries in as many minutes from Lee Mossop and Liam Farrell with Smith's double conversion making it 42-10. 

Wakefield's last three trips to Wigan had seen them concede between 40-46 points but this time around, Wigan went even better as Anthony Gelling completed his hat-trick with efforts on 72 and 75 minutes and with Matty Smith converting both, he achieved a 100% record with the boot for the first time in 2015. 

Creative Castleford Continue Hull Horrors

Castleford continued their recent rise in form as they hosted a Hull side whose season had started to slide. Luke Gale opened the scoring for the Tigers with try on 25 minutes which he converted for a 6-0 lead. Hull responded with a try from Tom Lineham on 36 minutes but went into the interval behind at 6-4 before slipping to 12-4 with Gale's second try on 42 minutes which he converted.

Tom Lineham completed his hat-trick with two tires in five minutes before the hour mark with Marc Sneyd converting once from the two attempts to put the visitors ahead at 14-12 but the Tigers bounced back with a try from Justin Carney on the hour mark and a game sealer nine minutes from the end through James Clare for a 20-14 victory.

Resiliant Robins Ruin Saints Superb Start

The weekend's biggest shock of the round came at the KC Lightstream Stadium on Friday night as Hull KR edged a 24-22 win over St Helens which ended Saints perfect start to the season. St Helens opened the scoring with an effort from Jon Wilkin inside four minutes which Travis Burns converted for 6-0. The Robins responded with two tries in six minutes from Albert Kelly and with Josh Mantellato converting both, they led 12-6.

Tom Makinson crossed on 27 minutes for the visitors with Travis Burns' conversion levelling the game at 12-12 but the Robins restored the lead just before the interval with an effort from Ken Sio who crossed to ensure a 16-12 half-time lead. The Robins' narrow lead became eight points after Josh Mantellato scored two penalty goals either side of the hour mark for 20-12 before Kieron Dixon crossed for a 65th minute try for a huge lead at 24-12. St Helens' perfect start looked to be coming to a miserable end but they came close to completing a superb comeback with two tries in the final four minutes fromnni Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Jordan Turner but Travis Burns' single conversion from the two attempts meant a 24-22 final score.

Great Giants Win Guts Worrying Wolves

Another Friday night shock came at the Halliwell Jones Stadium as Warrington suffered a damaging 10-29 defeat to a Danny Brough inspired Huddersfield side. Jamie Ellis opened the scoring for the Giants inside six minutes with Brough converting for 6-0 before the Giants captain added a drop goal on the hooter for a 7-0 lead at the interval.

Aaron Murphy extended the lead with a try just four minutes after the break with Brough converting for 13-0 before two tries from the Wolves kept them in the game as Kevin Penny and Gareth O'Brien crossed with the latter converting just his own try for 13-6. Huddersfield regained their 13 point lead and more with three tries in the final 13 minutes with Aaron Murphy's second try followed by efforts from Jermaine McGillvary and Eorl Crabtree with Danny Brough converting twice from three attempts to complete the victory.

Rampant Rhinos Deliver Dragons Deja Vu

The round ended on Saturday evening as Catalans hosted Leeds with the Rhinos ending the Dragons unbeaten run at home in 2015. Carl Ablett opened the scoring for the Rhinos on seven minutes with Liam Sutcliffe converting for 6-0. Elliot Whitehead responded for the Dragons on 17 minutes with Scott Dureau converting for 6-6. Leeds regained the lead four minutes before the interval with a try from Stevie Ward for a 10-6 half-time lead.

Catalans battled back and took the lead after a trio of tries in just 11 minutes from Eloi Pelissier, Elliot Whitehead and Damien Cardace with Scott Dureau converting twice from three attempts for 22-10. However, Leeds also ran in a trio of tries as Brad Singleton, Danny McGuire and Liam Sutcliffe all scored in the space of nine minutes with the latter converting all but his own try for 26-22.

Leeds wrapped up the win with two late tries as Kallum Watkins and Zak Hardaker crossed in the final three minutes with Sutcliffe's two conversions securing back-to-back victories in Perpignan with a 38-22 victory.