Thursday, 26 March 2015

Super League Round Six Review

In a season of unpredictability and excitement, round six of Super League XX continued such trends with just one away win from the six games while one side rose from bottom of the table to fifth due to the small gap between the sides outside the top three.

Saints Sixth Success Sinks Wishful Wire

St Helens remain atop the league ladder with a 100% record after a 32-24 victory at home to Warrington who remain third as a result. James Greenwood claimed the first try of the night with a 18th minute effort which Travis Burns converted for 6-0 before Daryl Clark responded for the Wolves just seven minutes later with Stefan Ratchford converting to level at 6-6.

Saints raced to 18-6 with two tries in four minutes from Jon Wilkin and Adam Swift with both converted by Travis Burns giving the hosts a 12-point lead at the interval. Mick Higham cut the gap for the Wolves with 49 minutes played with Gareth O'Brien's conversion making it 18-12.

However, Warrington were unable to score consecutive tries as Saints registered tries from Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Tom Makinson with Burns' conversions opening up a 30-12 lead with 16 minutes remaining of the 80.

Warrington did respond well in the final ten minutes with tries from Kevin Penny and Chris Hill followed by O'Brien's double conversion to leave the Wolves just one score away from securing a draw but Saints confirmed the win in the final minute with a penalty goal from Travis Burns for 32-24.

Classy Carney Double Downs Spirited Salford

Castleford secured their second win of the season with a 30-16 win at home to Salford who remain above the Tigers despite the result. The Tigers raced into a 12-0 lead with tries from Justin Carney and Liam Finn converted by Luke Gale inside 13 minutes. Salford responded with a try from Tommy Lee on 18 minutes which Josh Griffin converted for 12-6 before an effort from Michael Shenton made it 16-6 to Castleford. 

Weller Hauraki's 27th minute try and the resulting conversion from Josh Griffin reduced the lead to four at 16-12 but Castleford restored the ten point gap just before the interval with a try from Scott Wheeldon with Gale converting for a 22-12 half-time lead.

James Clare crossed on 48 minutes to extend the Tigers lead before Justin Carney's second score of the evening brought up the 30 point mark at 30-12 with 15 minutes remaining but Salford did have the last say as Ben Jones-Bishop crossed on 71 minutes to make it 30-16. 

Hull Hand Dragons Deja-vu Defeat

Catalans extended stay in Hull after defeat to KR in round five saw a second consecutive defeat as Hull FC claimed a 33-22 victory over the travelling Dragons. The Dragons opened the scoring with a 14th minute try from Vincent Duport with Thomas Bosc converting for 6-0.

However, the curse of a lead in Hull hit them again as the hosts ran in four tries in 18 minutes for a 22-6 lead with Jordan Rankin, Stephen Michaels and Fetuli Talanoa all crossing after an effort from Marc Sneyd who converted all four scores. Catalans ended the run with a try from Thomas Bosc in the final seconds for a 22-10 half-time score. 

Hull blitzed past the 30 point mark with a brace from Tom Lineham whose 12 minute spree saw a saw a single conversion from Sneyd setting up a 22 point lead at 32-10. Morgan Escare cut the gap with a try on 66 minutes with Bosc's conversion making it 32-16 before Marc Sneyd confirmed the win with a 76th minute drop goal at 33-16. Catalans had the last say as Zeb Taia crossed in the final seconds but despite Bosc's conversion at 33-22 they suffered back-to-back defeats up in Humberside. 

Resiliant Rhinos Ruin Warriors Wish

Leeds bounced back from their first defeat in the previous round with a 26-14 win over a Wigan side still without an away win this season. Wigan got off to a good start with a try, conversion and penalty goal from Matty Smith inside 15 minutes for an 8-0 lead but were soon 16-8 behind after tries from Adam Cuthbertson and Brad Singleton either side of a debut score for Ash Handley with Liam Sutcliffe converting two from three attempts at goal.

Joe Burgess responded for the Warriors witha try five minutes before the interval ans with Smith converting the half-time gap was just two points at 16-14. However, Wigan failed to score in the second half as Leeds extended their lead with three scored in six minutes after the hour with Sutcliffe and Rob Burrow crossing for tries either side of a penalty goal from Sutcliffe as the Rhinos secured the win. 

Glorious Giants Walkover Wildcats

Huddersfield moved up to fourth after a comfortable 44-14 Yorkshire derby win over Wakefield dropped to the bottom as a result. The Giants raced into a 18-0 lead inside nine minutes with a superb hat-trick from Scott Grix with tries on two, six and nine minutes all converted by Danny Brough.

Wakefield responded with tries from Dean Collis and Danny Kirmond to close the gap to 18-8 on 25 minutes before adding a third try on 49 minutes through Jordan Crowther which Craig Hall converted for 14-18. 

However, Huddersfield went on to score three tries in 15 minutes through Brett Ferres, Leroy Cudjoe and Danny Brough with Brough converting all three for 36-14. Jamie Ellis looked to have rounded off the win with a 79th minute penalty but soon added the gloss with a conversion to Ukuma Ta'ai's last minute try.

Victorious Vikings Ruin Robins Run

Widnes made the biggest move of the weekend as they rose from 12th to fifth with a narrow 20-16 win at home to Hull KR. Paddy Flynn gave the Vikings the perfect start with a fifth minute opener which Jack Owens converted for 6-0.

Ben Cockayne crossed for the Robins to make it 6-4 but a try from Danny Galea followed by a conversion by Owens put Widnes 12-4 up before Owens added a penalty goal just before the interval. Paddy Flynn claimed his second try of the afternoon on 54 minutes and with Owens converting, the lead stretched to 20-4. The Robins fought back with two tries in three minutes through Ken Sio and Kris Welham with Josh Mantellato converting both for a 20-16 score line which proved to be enough for the Vikings to hold on for the win.