Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Super League Round Three Review

After the excitement and somewhat despair of the World Club Series for the Super League, the regular programme resumed with round three which saw the continuing mantra of 'Every Minute Matters' continue as half of the games were settled by less than one score.

Rhinos Late Show Denies Giants

Leeds continued their perfect start to the season with a narrow 28-24 victory over neighbouring rivals Huddersfield whose recent run of wins at Headingley ended on Thursday night. The Rhinos raced into an 18-0 lead inside 26 minutes with efforts from Carl Ablett, Adam Cuthbertson and Ryan Hall all converted by Kevin Sinfield. 

Huddersfield battled back with tries from Jamie Ellis and Joe Wardle with Danny Brough converting both to send them into the interval just one score behind at 18-12 but Tom Briscoe put Leeds past 20 points just seconds into the second half at 22-12.

A superb turnaround from the Giants saw them take the lead after two quick scores in the space of five minutes as Kyle Wood and Brett Ferres crossed with conversions from Danny Brough making the score 24-22. Leeds excelled at securing late victories last season and the trend resumed in this instance as a first Rhinos try from Paul Aiton in the 74th minute put them in front with Kevin Sinfield's fourth conversion sealing the two points. 

Saints Battle Past Tigers

St Helens remain top of the table with three wins after securing a 21-14 win over a Castleford side who remain without a win this season. The hosts opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a try from Adam Swift which Mark Percival converted for 6-0. Tom Makinson added a second score five minutes before the interval and with no further conversion, Saints led 10-0 into the break.

Josh Jones extended the lead with a try just two minutes into the second half for 14-0 before two tries in three minutes from Justin Carney put the Tigers back in contention at 14-8 before Mark Percival's try and conversion just after the hour made it 20-8. Saints were wary of a late comeback which was proven when Jon Wilkin kicked his first drop goal for ten years before the Tigers reduced the deficit in the final minute with a try from Jordan Tansey and conversion from Luke Gale for a final score of 21-14.

Fiery Dragons Humble Wolves

Saturday afternoon saw Catalans host Warrington in Perpignan with the Wolves looking to become only the third visitors to defeat the Dragons in the last year. Catalans raced into a 18-0 lead in the opening half hour with efforts from Willie Tonga and a brace from Vincent Duport all converted by Scott Dureau.

Warrington fought back with two scores in the first ten minutes of the second half with Joel Monaghan and Gary Wheeler crossing for tries with Gareth O'Brien converting both for 18-12 before Scott Dureau added a penalty for the Dragons on 54 minutes.

Catalans shrugged off the Wolves comeback with a quick brace from Zeb Taia and conversions from Scott Dureau opening up a 32-12 lead, Warrington reduced the gap with a try from Joe Philbin with Gareth O'Brien converting for 32-18. The Dragons had the last say as Michael Oldfield crossed for a try in the 74th minute with Dureau's conversion completing the win and a personal tally of 14 points.

Chase Inspired Devils Edge Out Hull

Saturday evening saw a meeting between Salford and Hull with the Red Devils edging a narrow 32-28 victory in which a potential 'try assist of the season came from Red Devils' Rangi Chase.

The hosts raced into a 10-0 lead with efforts from Niall Evalds and Theo Fages with s single conversion from Josh Griffin before Jordan Rankin crossed for Hull and Marc Sneyd converted for 10-6. Evalds crossed for a second time with Griffin's conversion making it 16-6 but Hull battled back with a try from Jordan Thompson followed by Sneyd's conversion and a quick penalty for a 16-14 score at the interval.

Setaimata Sa crossed to put the visitors ahead on 54 minutes at 18-16 before Salford regained the lead in style with a double from Josh Griffin with his second created by an amazing flick pass from Rangi Chase which just defied logic, Griffin converted both efforts for 28-18 but again Hull failed to give up as Jordan Thompson scored his second score of the game and with Sneyd converting for 28-24 on 73 minutes, the game was still in the balance. Junior Sa'u crossed with four minutes left to surely give Salford the win at 32-24 but a late effort from Tom Lineham made it 32-28 and set up a tight finish as Salford held on for the the two points. 

Robins Comeback Stuns Warriors

Sunday afternoon saw unbeaten Wigan travel to face winless Hull KR with the Robins eager to get off the mark against a Warriors side who denied them of a win in last season's meeting.  The Robins opened the scoring in the 24th minute with an effort from Ken Sio which Josh Mantellato converted for 6-0. Joe Burgess made it 6-4 with a 29th minute effort before a quick double for the Warriors from Lee Mossop and Josh Charnley with a single conversion from Matty Smith gave them a 14-6 lead at the interval.

A rapid start to the second half saw George Williams extend the lead with Matty Smith converting for 20-6 before a superb comeback from the Robins saw them score three unanswered tries to take the lead at 22-20 with Ken Sio's second try followed by efforts from Mitch Allgood and a crucial score from Kieran Dixon with Josh Mantellato converting both to secure a narrow win.

Ten-Try Vikings Hammer Wildcats

The final game of the round proved to be the most open as unbeaten Wakefield saw their record ruined by a superb performance from Widnes who ran in ten tries kn a 58-16 demolition. The Vikings stormed to a 22-0 lead inside 27 minutes with efforts from Joe Mellor, Lloyd White and a brace from Kevin Brown with Danny Tickle converting three from four attempts. 

Wakefield got off the mark with a try from Richard Owen for 22-4 before a Tickle penalty goal made it 24-4 at the interval, Patrick Ah Van extended the lead four minutes after the break for 28-4 before Lloyd White completed a brace and hat-trick in a six minute period and converted after Tickle's effort for 40-4. Wakefield gave themselves hope with a try from Matt Ryan and with Craig Hall converting for 40-10, they needed a huge comeback. 

The comeback began with Chris Riley's effort with ten minutes left with Hall's conversion making it 40-16 but Widnes halted the revival with three tries in the last six minutes with Ah Van's second score followed by a try from Chris Clarkson before Lloyd White scored his fourth and converted all three for a final score of 58-16.