Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Super League Round Twelve Review

After a shortened programme due to the Challenge Cup entry of four Super League teams in the previous round, a full programme took place in round 12 which saw a record four away wins for the first time this season in a single round including the first this season for Wigan.

Warriors Away Joy At Wildcats

The first game of the round saw Wigan travel to face Wakefield on Thursday night with the Warriors finally ending a nine month streak without an away win with a 40-22 win over a Wildcats side who showed promise.

Against all the odds, Craig Hall raced clear in the first minute to score the opening try before converting for 6-0 but Wigan battled back and were level in the ninth minute as Dom Crosby edged over and Matty Smith converted to bring the Warriors level at 6-6. Smith crossed on 15 minutes to put Wigan ahead before extending the lead to 12-6 with the resulting conversion.

Wakefield fell further behind just six minutes later after Joe Burgess crossed in the corner and Smith converted for 18-6 but the Wildcats responded with a try from Danny Kirmond on 26 minutes with Hall's conversion making it 18-12. Dom Manfredi's 36th minute try, converted by Smith looked to have out Wigan in control at 24-12 but with the final play of the half, Pita Godinet crossed for the hosts with Hall converting for 24-18 at the interval.

Joe Burgess claimed his second try just four minutes after the break with Smith's conversion making it 30-18 but an instant reply from Wakefield came after a mistake in the Wigan defence resulted in Chris Riley crossing for 30-22. Wigan wrapped up the victory with two further tries in a seven minute period as Lee Mossop scored ahead of Burgess who completed his first Super League hat-trick with Smith converting once from two attempts to complete a 40-22 triumph. The win served as the Warriors' first on the road since their victory in Catalan last July.

Giants Glide As Hull Stutter

Huddersfield hosted Hull FC with the Giants looking to close up on the top three while Hull were eager to move away from the bottom two with a rare win in 2015 but were comfortably beaten in a 24-4 loss.

Danny Brough opened the scoring with a converted try for 6-0 inside ten minutes before tries from Ukuma Ta'ai and Jamie Ellis with a single conversion from Brough sent the Giants into the interval with a 16-0 lead.

Michael Lawrence extended the lead to 20 points on the hour before Steve Michaels crossed for the hosts to end any worries of a nilling at 20-4 but Huddersfield had the last say and secured a 20 point victory with a try on the final hooter through Jermaine McGillvary for 24-4.

Wonderful Wolves Secure Rhinos Double

Friday night saw Warrington travel to face Leeds looking to become the only side to complete a home/away double over the Rhinos this season and they cruised to a 29-10 victory.

Gene Ormsby opened the scoring inside nine minutes before a superb try from Joel Monaghan made it 8-0 to the Wolves. Ashton Sims crossed on 24 minutes with Stefan Ratchford converting for a 14-0 lead which was cut just before the interval by Kallum Watkins effort for 14-4 at the break.

Ben Currie and Roy Asotasi extended the Wolves' lead to 20-4 inside the first ten minutes of the second half with Ratchford converting both tries before adding a penalty goal on 64 minutes for 28-4. Leeds responded with a try from Mitch Achurch five minutes later which Kevin Sinfield converted for his only points of a milestone 500th appearance but it turned out to be a night to forget for the Leeds captain as Wolves Academy product Declan Patton wrapped up the win with a drop goal on 76 minutes for 29-10.

Super Saints Hold Off Valiant Vikings

St Helens hosted Widnes looking to improve on a mixed run of form while the Vikings looked to move up the league table with a victory but were denied in a 34-16 defeat.

A tight first 20 minutes saw the sides remain level but Kevin Brown broke the deadlock with a try on 21 minutes which Jack Owen converted for a 6-0 lead which lasted just six minutes as Luke Walsh scored a try with Travis Burns converting for 6-6. Burns then added a converted try for 12-6 on the half hour before Joe Mellor reduced the gap four minutes before the break with Owens converting for 12-12 at the interval.

Alex Walmsley restored the lead for the hosts on 53 minutes with Burns converting for 18-12 before Matt Whitley cut the deficit to 18-16 on the hour mark only to see Matt Fleming put the Saints a score ahead at 22-16. A full length try from Tom Makinson and a late score from Mark Percival sealed the win for St Helens with Burns converting both for 34-16.

Dragons Deal Defeat For Robins

Catalans have been tipped to trouble the top four this season and to do needed to continue their superb home form as Hull KR visited on Saturday and the Dragons came out on top in a 32-24 triumph.

Jason Baitieri opened the scoring for the hosts inside seven minutes with Thomas Bosc converting for 6-0 before Maurice Blair responded for the Robins six minutes later with an effort which Josh Mantellato converted before adding a penalty goal on 20 minutes for an 8-6 lead.

Ben Cockayne increased the Robins lead with a try for 12-6 but two scores from the Dragons before the interval from Micheal Oldfield and Gadwin Springer with Bosc adding a conversion made it 16-12 at the break.

Eloi Pellisier put the Dragons further ahead just three minutes after the interval with Bosc converting for 22-12 before Kieran Dixon crossed for a try and Mantellato converted for 22-18 to keep the Robins in touch. Ben Garcia restored the Dragons advantage of ten points accompanied by Bosc's conversion for 28-18 with Elliot Whitehead pushing the lead to 32-18 with a try on 69 minutes. 

The final say on the contest came from Mantellato who crossed for a converted try two minutes from the end for 32-24 but it was only consolation as the Dragons secured the 32-24 victory.

Tigers Triumph As Salford Suffer

The final game of the round saw the wounded duo of Salford and Castleford face off with both awarding debuts to Academy players in loanee Oliver Gildart (Wigan) and for Cas, Ashley Robson with both having faced off in the Academy a week earlier. Castleford sealed a narrow 22-20 victory to move up the table.

Salford made the perfect start through Theo Fages for 4-0 inside four minutes before Kevin Lock scored a converted try for 10-0 on 22 minutes. Ashley Gibson crossed against his former side just three minutes later with Gale converting before the Cas winger sealed a brace on the half-time hooter for 10-10. 

Salford's horror run of injuries and suspensions continued with the sidelining of Adrian Morley and Liam Hood and they fell behind on 46 minutes to Nathan Massey's try with Luke Gale converting for 16-10. Ash Robson crossed for a debut try with Gale extending the lead to 22-10 with the conversion before fellow debutant Oliver Gildart set up Locke for his second try on 67 minutes for 22-14.

Scott Taylor set up a tight finish with a 79th minute try which Greg Johnson converted for 22-20 but the Tigers held on for the win.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Warriors Scholarship Suffer Giants Defeat

After losing to Widnes on Sunday morning, Wigan U16s looked to bounced back on Wednesday night as they hosted Huddersfield U16s but sadly fell to a 26-16 defeat.

Ronan Costello opened the scoring for the Giants with Jack Richardson converting for a 6-0 lead before Alex Bolton crossed for Wigan with Olly Russell making it 6-6 with the conversion and a tight first half from both sides saw them go into the interval level.

Finley Hickey restored the Giants lead in the second half with Richardson converting for 12-6 which then became 26-6 as the Giants ran in tries from Drew Judge-Clark, Jack Duggan and Jake Wardle with Jamie Greenwood adding a single conversion.

Wigan cut the gap late on with an Olly Russell penalty before James Worthington crossed for a try for a 26-16 final score.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Super League Round Eleven Review

Due to the new Challenge Cup structure featuring last season's bottom four in fifth round action, just eight sides played in round 11 with four sides scoring 30 points with three sealing huge victories.

Wondrous Warriors Win Wastes Wolves Wishes

Thursday night's round opener saw the huge clash between Wigan and Warrington as both looked to close up on the top two and tradition of tight meetings between the two continued as Wigan edged a 10 point win.

Warrington raced into a 10-0 lead inside 11 minutes with tries from Joel Monaghan and Chris Bridge with Stefan Ratchford converting only the first of two conversion attempts before Wigan rallied back with tries from Liam Farrell and Ryan Hampshire with Matty Smith converting both for a 12-10 lead.

Bridge restored the Wolves lead on 25 minutes with his second try for 14-12 with Dom Manfredi putting Wigan back in front six minutes later at 16-14 which sent the Warriors into the interval on top. Ben Currie drew the Wolves level just four minutes into the second half with Ratchford converting for 20-16 but again Wigan responded with Anthony Gelling crossing on 52 minutes with Smith's conversion making it 22-20.

Wigan wrapped up the win with two further tries from Dom Manfredi who completed his hat-trick with tries on 62 and 69 minutes for a 30-20 triumph for the hosts. 

Rampant Rhinos Rout Stuttering Saints

Friday night saw another huge clash as the top two faced off at Langtree Park as St Helens hosted Leeds with the Rhinos storming to a comfortable 41-16 victory to increase their lead at the top of the league ladder.

The Rhinos stormed into a 24-0 lead inside half an hour with Danny McGuire and Zak Hardaker crossing after an early brace from Ash Handley with Liam Sutcliffe converting three and Kevin Sinfield the fourth after coming off the bench. Saints avoided a first half nilling with a try from Tom Makinson three minutes before the interval which Travis Burns converted for 24-6 but Handley completed a first half treble with an effort on the hooter for 28-6 at the break.

St Helens cut the gap with a brace from Jordan Turner either side of the hour mark but with Burns only converting one from two attempts, the gap was two scores wide at 28-16. Liam Sutcliffe crossed to increase the lead with Sinfield converting for 34-16 before the Rhinos captain added a drop goal on 71 minutes for 35-16. Joel Moon completed the rout with a try in the final minute with Sinfield converting for 41-16.

Glorious Giants Deny Dragons

Sunday afternoon saw Huddersfield host Catalans with both keen to move up the table after indifferent form but the Dragons away troubles continued as the Giants secured  38-14 victory.

Aaron Murphy opened the scoring for the hosts on 15 minutes with an effort which Danny Brough converted for 6-0 before Scott Dureau drew the Dragons level with a converted try ahead of a penalty three minutes later for an 8-6 lead. Ukuma Ta'ai regained the lead for the Giants on the half hour mark with Brough's conversion making it 12-8.

Murphy completed a brace three minutes before the interval with Brough extending the lead to 18-8 before Leroy Cudjoe crossed just before the break for 22-8. Catalans were still in the hunt and cut the gap to eight points as Julian Bousquet scored with Dureau converting for 22-14. Huddersfield wrapped up the win with three tries in 12 minutes as Jermaine McGillvary and Scott Grix crossed either side of Ta'ai second effort with Brough converting twice from three attempts to confirm a 38-14 triumph.

Valiant Vikings Trounce Tigers

The final game of the round saw Widnes host Castleford in a meeting between two sides in mixed form but the outcome defied such form as the Vikings eased to a 46-16 win against the Tigers.

Patrick Ah Van opened the scoring for the hosts inside five minutes with Jack Owens converting for 6-0 before Ben Roberts converted try levelled the score at 6-6. Rhys Hanbury and Jack Owens crossed to regain the Vikings lead with the latter converting both for 18-6 before Stefan Marsh and Ah Van's second try saw Owens convert for a huge 28-6 lead at the interval.

Castleford fell further behind as Kevin Brown scored on 45 minutes with Owens kicking for a 34-6 lead before Oliver Holmes cut the deficit with an effort on 5 minutes for 34-10 but Widnes soon cancelled out the try with one from Cameron Phelps which Owens added to for 40-10.

Michael Shenton's 64th minute try gave the Tigers hope which increased with Liam Finn's conversion for 40-16 but that was to be their last say on the contest and Widnes wrapped up a huge win with Hanbury's second try five minutes from the end with Owens kicking his seventh conversion for a personal haul of 18 points at 46-16. 

Young Warriors Dominate Tigers

After continuing their good start to the defence of their Academy title with a win at home to Huddersfield, Wigan U19s hosted Castleford in a match that saw them cruise to a comfortable 44-14 victory.

Wigan raced into an 18-0 lead with three tries inside 10 minutes as Nick Gregson and Kyle Shelford crossed either side of an effort from Jake Shorrocks who converted all three scores. Castleford fought back with a try from Tom Holmes which Ashley Robson converted for 18-6 before Josh Ganson restored the Warriors' 18 point lead with a 38th minute try which Shorrocks converted for a 24-6 lead into the interval.

Ganson scored his second try in the space of eight minutes with a 44th minute effort which Shorrocks converted for 30-6 but Castleford responded with a try seven minutes later from Kieran Gill for 30-10 before Oliver Gildart crossed for Wigan on the hour to make it 34-10.

Gill scored his second try on 65 minutes for 34-14 but from there Wigan wrapped up the win with second tries of the game from Nick Gregson and Oliver Gildart with Jake Shorrocks converting the latter for a 44-14 final score.

Warriors Scholarship Defeated By Vikings

After suffering a tough defeat away to fierce rivals St Helens, Wigan U16s returned to hosting duties for the visit of Widnes on Sunday morning but sadly were unable to bounce back to winning ways in a 32-16 defeat.

The Warriors opened the scoring with a try from Sammy Kibula with Olly Russel converting for 6-0 before three tries from Widnes from Keenan Brand, Joe Edge and James Rutledge with Sam Freeman converting once from three attempts for a 14-6 half -time lead.

Wigan reduced the gap with a try from Zach Freer for 14-10 but Widnes restored their eight point lead with Rutledge's second try which Freeman converted for 20-10 before running in another try for 26-10 to widen the gap.

Wigan fought back with a second try of the game for Sam Kibula with Olly Russell converting for 26-16 but Widnes sealed the win with a try from Sam Freeman who converted his own effort for a 32-16 final score.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Super League Round Ten Review

After a busy Easter double in rounds eight and nine, round ten saw the unpredictability of Super League XX continue with two sides nilled and four home wins from the six games.

Awesome Airlie Birds Vanquish Vikings

The opening game of the round saw Hull FC host Widnes Vikings on Friday night at the KC Stadium with both keen to build on mixed Easter weekends but it was the hosts who made the better start with Tom Lineham opening the scoring on four minutes for 4-0.

Widnes hit back with a 21st minute try from Kevin Brown to draw level at 4-4 but the equality lasted just eight minutes as Lineham raced clear to cross for a superb try to restore Hull's lead which was extended by Jordan Rankin's conversion for a 10-4 scoreline. Lineham completed his hat-trick eight minutes into the second half with another interception and blitz down the field and with Rankin converting for 16-4.

Jamie Shaul looked to have confirmed the win with a cleverly worked try on 68 minutes with Rankin converting for 22-4 but Widnes fought back instantly with an acrobatic effort from Patrick Ah Van but a failure to convert from Jack Owens left them at 22-8. Widnes were unable to build on Ah Van's try and slipped to a 22-8 defeat. 

Wonderful Wolves Wallop Woeful Wildcats

Saturday afternoon saw Warrington Wolves host Wakefield Wildcats at the HJ Stadium with both looking to bounce back from mixed Easter performances but the Wolves excelled such hopes in a hammering of the Wildcats.

Warrington opened the scoring on nine minutes through Gene Ormsby with Stefan Ratchford converting for 6-0 but from there they raced into a 30-0 lead with tries from Toby King, Daryl Clark, Richie Myler and Ashton Sims with Stefan Ratchford converting the lot for a huge half-time lead.

Any slim hopes, Wakefield had of staging a comeback were ended within the first 17 minutes of the second half as Warrington ran in four tries with Ormsby's second effort added to by tries from Ben Westwood and Joel Monaghan with Ratchford also crossing before converting twice from four attempts for 50-0.

Wakefield had suffered 40+ losses in recent weeks but this was set to be their highest loss of the season as the Wolves scored three further tries in the next ten minutes King and Myler registering their second efforts of the game ahead of Ben Currie's score, Ratchford reached 10 goals by converting all three pushing the lead to 68-0.

The rout ended in the final five minutes with Myler completing his hat-trick ahead of Currie's second try and with Ratchford converting both for 12 goals and a personal points haul of 28 points, the Wolves sealed an 80-0 triumph. 

Classy Castleford Halt Hull KR

Saturday evening's televised game saw Castleford Tigers host Hull Kingston Rovers with both sides eager to close up on the top but it was the Tigers who came out on top despite going behind early on. Ken Sio opened the scoring for the Robins on four minutes for 4-0 before Jordan Tansey levelled for the Tigers six minutes later with Luke Gale's conversion giving the Tigers the lead.

Gale extended the lead with a try and conversion on 27 minutes before adding the extras to Nathan Massey's 33rd minute effort to create an 18-4 lead into the interval. Gale added a drop goal on the hour mark to make it 19-4 before Frankie Mariano scored against his former club on 65 minutes with Gale's fourth conversion sealing a 25-4 victory.

Lofty Leeds Stop Salford Streak

Sunday's televised game saw table toppers Leeds Rhinos visit Salford Red Devils with the Rhinos looking to retain top spot at the expense of an in-form Red Devils side, Jamie Peacock opened the scoring for the Rhinos on 22 minutes with Kevin Sinfield converting for a 4-0 lead. Lama Tasi responded for Salford with Michael Dobson's conversion levelling the score at 6-6. 

Niall Evalds put the hosts in front just four minutes later with Dobson kicking for 12-6 but the Rhinos battled back with Peacock's second try on 32 minutes with Sinfield kicking to level the score at 12-12. Ash Handley crossed just before the interval to give the Rhinos a 16-12 half-time lead before Rob Burrow extended the lead on 45 minutes with Sinfield kicking for 22-12. Evalds crossed for his second score of the game on 57 minuted with Dobson converting to narrow the gap to four at 22-18.

Leeds had the last say on the action with Zak Hardaker scoring on the hour and Sinfield sweeping over his fourth conversion to seal a 28-18 victory.

Warrior Walkover Win Devastates Dragons

The first of two 3pm kick-offs on Sunday saw Wigan Warriors host Catalans Dragons at the DW Stadium with the Dragons looking to complete a perfect treble either side of Easter while the Warriors looked to continue their immaculate home record.

Joe Burgess put the Warriors ahead on 15 minutes at 4-0 before Dan Sarginson, Dom Manfredi and Anthony Gelling added tries on 22 and 29 minutes but in bad conditions, Ryan Hampshire was unable to convert once resulting in a 16-0 score which lasted into the interval.

Ryan Hampshire was able to register his first points of the game with a try on 57 minutes which he then converted for 22-0 before Dom Manfredi crossed for his second try four minutes later for 26-0. Catalans looked a long way away from scoring and hopes of any comeback were scuppered by two rapid tries from Wigan as Burgess scored his second try of the game and Dom Manfredi completed his hat-trick in the space of two minutes and despite Hampshire ending with just one success from eight attempts, Wigan completed a 34-0 win to hand the Dragons a first nilling of the season.

Hudds Horror Streak Sees Saints Success

The final game of the round saw Huddersfield Giants host St Helens with both looking to bounce back from very poor results over the Easter weekend. Huddersfield opened the scoring on four minutes through Leroy Cudjoe for a 4-0 lead before Danny Brough added a 23rd minute penalty for 6-0.

Jordan Turner responded for the visitors just before the interval with Travis Burns; conversion levelling the score at 6-6 into half-time, Burns gave Saints a narrow 8-6 lead with a penalty on 55 minutes before Brough responded in kind four minutes later for 8-8. The game seemed to tighten as the half went on which saw Luke Walsh's decision to send over a drop goal to be a clever one for 9-8 before Burns sealed the win with a penalty for 11-8 late on. 

Young Warriors Outclass Dragons

After a near perfect start to the Academy league, Wigan Warriors U19s hosted Catalans Dragons U19s on Saturday in a 'friendly' ahead of the senior teams facing-off the following day.

Catalans attempt to join the league was blocked by the RFL in the off-season so Wigan join a number of fellow SL sides in playing home and away fixtures against the Dragons alongside the senior team meetings. The young Dragons were cheered on by a hoard of travelling fans in one of the biggest away followings to grace Orrell this season.

Both sides exchanged sets early on with the opening score coming on 14 minutes as Gabriel Fell crossed for the Warriors and Jake Shorrocks converted for 6-0. Josh Verite added a second try eight minutes later but this time around, Shorrocks was unable to convert at 10-0. Catalans hit back with a try five minutes before the interval through Quentin Quemener which Amine Milaudi converted for 10-6, a score which lasted into the break.

Two quick effort from the Warriors inside the first seven minutes of the second half put them in control as Jack Higginson and Luke Waterworth crossed with Jake Shorrocks successful with just one of the resulting conversion attempts for 20-6.

Kyle Shelford crossed on 52 minutes as Wigan extended their lead to 26-6 after Jake Shorrocks' conversion, Josh Verite rounded off the scoring and his hat-trick with efforts in the 70th and 75th minutes and with Jake Shorrocks converting both, Wigan completed a 38-6 victory.

Warriors Academy Suffer Derby Defeat

After two wins in three games in 2015, Wigan Warriors U16s made the short trip to Langtree Park to face neighbours St Helens U16s on Thursday night.

Saints made the better start of the two sides with two tries from Harry Coleman and Jordan Gibbons but Gibbons was unable to convert either resulting in an 8-0 lead. Wigan fought back with two tries from Declan O'Donnell and James Worthington with both superbly converted by Oliver Russell for a 12-8 lead.

The lead changed hands just before the interval as Harry Coleman crossed for his second try of the evening which Jordan Gibbons converted for a 14-12 lead at the break, Saints raced clear in the second half with a further three tries from Kevin Brown, Sean Croston and Jordan Gibbons who converted all three with the boot for a 32-12 lead.

Gibbons added a penalty to all but wrap up the win at 34-12 but Wigan staged a late comeback with two tries from Gary McMahon and Alex Bolton with both converted by Oliver Russell but the Saints held on for a 34-24 victory.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Super League Round Nine Review

The Easter programme traditionally ends with a stunning Easter Monday and this year certainly didn't disappoint as round nine saw Warrington, Huddersfield and St Helens all end Easter without a win.

Classy Cas Compound Wire Woes

The day began with the televised early kick-off between Warrington and Castleford with both looking for their first win of the Easter programme but it was the Tigers who triumphed 22-14. Castleford made a great start with the opening try scored by Jordan Tansey inside six minutes for 4-0 but Warrington responded with Stefan Ratchford's 16th minute effort which Gareth O'Brien converted for a 6-4 lead. 

Ryan Atkins extended the Wolves lead just three minutes later before Luke Dorn's try on 37 minutes converted by Luke Gale sent the sides into the interval on level terms at 10-10. A tight first 25 minutes in the second half left both sides with just 15 minutes to secure a win but it was the Tigers who broke the deadlock and in style as Adam Milner and Ben Roberts both crossed in a four minute period which saw Gale convert perfectly for a 22-10 lead. Warrington hit back with a try from Kevin Penny within three minutes but it proved to be the last say on the score as the Tigers held on for the victory. 

Relentless Robins Rise Guts Giants

After a pulsating win in the Big City derby, Hull KR hoped to completed a perfect Easter as they hosted Huddersfield whose hopes focused on avoiding back-to back defeats across the weekend.

The Robins started superbly with a try on three minutes from Darrell Goulding for an early 4-0 lead which lasted until the 30 minute mark when Joe Wardle crossed for the Giants and Danny Brough converted to give them a 6-4 lead. The switch in the lead was short lived as Graeme Horne restored the Robins' advantage within three minutes giving them an 8-6 lead into the interval. 

Huddersfield went ahead just five minutes into the second half as Ukuma Ta'ai crossed for their second try which Brough converted for 12-8 but the back and forth in the lead continued as Albert Kelly scored on 55 minutes with Josh Mantellato's first conversion success making it 14-12 to the Robins. 

Mantellato then crossed for a try of his own on 62 minutes but was unable to convert at 18-12 though he looked to have sealed the win with a penalty goal on 79 minutes opening up an eight point lead at 20-12. The goal proved to be a crucial one as Huddersfield set up a tight finish with a last-gasp try from Aaron Murphy for 20-16 but Brough was unable to narrow the deficit with a missed conversion meaning a 20-16 final score. 

Rampant Rhinos Rout Worrying Wilidcats

The sole Yorkshire derby of the round saw table toppers Leeds host bottom side Wakefield in a game that was true to form as the Rhinos completed a perfect Easter while the Wildcats ended a miserable weekend without a win.

Leeds opened the scoring with a Ryan Hall try on ten minutes which returning captain Kevin Sinfeld converted for 6-0 but Wakefield hit back superbly with a try from Tim Smith six minutes later with Craig Hall's conversion levelling the score at 6-6. Zak Hardaker restored the Rhinos' lead on 19 minutes with Sinfield converting for 12-6 but again Wakefield hit back as Craig Hall crossed for a try before converting his own effort for 12-12.  However, Leeds were buoyed by a two minute salvo from Rob Burrow and with Sinfield converting both the Rhinos lead 24-12. Wakefield cut the gap to eight with a try from Jarrod Sammut for 24-16 on 37 minutes but went into the break with 30 points conceded as Kallum Watkins crossed with Sinfield converting for 30-16 at the break.

Wakefield's hopes decreased further as Leeds ran in three tries in 12 minutes either side of the hour mark with Ash Handley and Andy Yates crossing ahead of Kallum Watkins second effort and with Sinfield converting the lot, the lead stretched to 48-16. A horror of a weekend for the Wildcats did see them take some positives late on as Danny Smith crossed for a try on 76 minutes which Hall converted for 48-22 to avoid a 30 point loss.

Super Salford Stun Wasteful Warriors

After both claiming victories in the previous round, Salford hosted Wigan with both hoping to complete a perfect Easter with the Warriors looking for a third successive 84-6 Easter Monday triumph and 23rd Easter win in a row, neither feat was their achieved though as Salford triumphed.

Wigan started well with an opening try from Larne Patrick on six minutes and despite regular kicker Matty Smith playing,  Ryan Hampshire converted for 6-0 before adding a penalty goal on 21 minutes for an 8-0 lead. Salford responded well with a superb try from Niall Evalds which Josh Griffin converted for 8-6 on 26 minutes before taking the lead four minutes before the interval with an effort from Michael Dobson which Griffin converted for 14-8. 

Wigan's away woes have seen them lead in almost every game before wasting such success and the trend continued as Ben Jones-Bishop put the Red Devils clear at 20-8 with Griffin converting. Wigan cut the gap with a stellar solo try from Hampshire which he then converted for 20-14 on 69 minutes but their fate was sealed three minutes from the end as Evalds claimed his second try and with Griffin converting Salford led 24-14. 

The Warriors did have the last say though in a frantic final two minutes as after having both been sinbinned for fighting earlier on, John Bateman and Weller Hauraki were sent off for the same offence with second lefts but just enough for Joe Burgess to cross for what would be the final points of the afternoon due to a cruel bounce off the post from Hampshire's resulting conversion attempt at 24-18.

Airlie Birds Advance Stuns Suffering Saints

After securing a double in the inaugural Steve Prescott Cup last season, St Helens hosted Hull looking to retain the trophy but with the the famous fullback's name emblazoned on their away strip, the visitors secured a victory the great man would have been proud of as they triumphed 28-20.

Ironically, the scoring was opened by a fullback as Hull's Jamie Shaul crossed for a try on four minutes which Jordan Rankin converted for 6-0 before Tom Makinson levelled for the hosts with a try and conversion in the 15th minute for 6-6. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook put the hosts ahead three minutes later with Makinson converting for 12-6 but a try-scoring debut for Curtis Naughton on 24 minutes saw Hull level with Rankin's conversion for 12-12.

The sides remained level into the interval before exchanging tries in a five minute period as Leon Pryce and Jordan Turner claimed tries with Rankin and Makinson converting for 18-18 but after Fetuli Talanoa restored the visitors' lead on 67 minutes at 22-18, Saints were unable to draw level though they came close as Makinson converted a penalty goal for 22-20 with nine minutes remaining. 

Recent weeks have seen the Saints stage late comeback's but akin to their Good Friday loss their fate was sealed by a further six points in the last period as Jamie Shaul claimed his second try on 74 minutes before Rankin wrapped up the victory with a 78th minute penalty goal for 28-20.

Delighted Dragons Deny Vikings Vanquish

The final game of the round saw Catalans and Widnes face off in Perpignan and after both securing comfortable wins in the previous round the hopes of a perfect weekend was on the cards with the Dragons claiming the accolade in a 32-16 victory.

Catalans raced into a 22-0 lead inside 21 minutes with a salvo from Willie Tonga either side of Eloi Pellisier's effort ahead of a try from Mathias Pala with Thomas Bosc converting three from four attempts due to Scott Dureau's early exit with injury.  Widnes battled back with tries from Jack Owens and Stefan Marsh either side of the interval with Owens converting the latter for 22-10.

Catalans regained their earlier 22 point lead with Eloi Pelissier's second score followed by Damien Cardace's try on 64 minutes with the returning Scott Dureau converting only the former for 32-10 before Alex Gerrard cut the gap for the Vikings two minutes later with Jack Owens converting for 32-16 which was enough for Catalans to secure a double Easter triumph.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Super League Round Eight Review

After the first third of the season ended with round seven, Super League XX's second period and busiest of the season began with the first half of the Easter weekend double with round eight played across Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Rampant Robins Derby Delight

The opening game of the round was the 224th 'Big City Derby' between Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers at the KC Stadium on Thursday night which saw the Robins bounce back from last seasons humiliating nilling at the hands of their city rivals.

A great start for the visitors saw Terry Campese open the scoring with a try on four minutes which was improved by Josh Mantellato's conversion for a 6-0 lead which doubled on 27 minutes with Kieran Dixon's effort which Mantellato also converted for 12-0. The hosts hit back with a Leon Pryce try on the half hour mark with Jordan Rankin converting in the absence of the sidelined Marc Sneyd for 12-6.

The Robins regained their 12 point lead just before the interval with a try from the in-from Shaun Lunt with Mantellato converting for 18-6 at the break and in a tight second 40 minutes, just one score was added to board with Mantellato converting a penalty goal on 57 minutes for a 20-6 victory for the Robins. 

Dragons Demolish Woeful Wildcats

The second of Thursday's trio of matches saw Wakefield host Catalans with the Wildcats recent woes continuing as the Dragons eased to a comfortable win. After an even start for both sides, Catalans ran in three tries in six minutes with Benjamin Garcia, Willie Tonga and Ben Pomeroy all crossing with Scott Dureau adding the extras for 18-0 before a further penalty goal six minutes later for 20-0.

Elliot Whitehead added a try with two minutes left of the first half and with Dureau converting for a huge 26-0 lead at the interval, it seemed game over for Wakefield barring a record breaking comeback in the second half. The prospect of such a comeback was doomed within four minutes as Damien Cardace extended the Dragons lead to 30 points followed by Dureau's conversion. 

The effort from Cardace proved to be the first of a treble as the Dragons winger added tries on 56 and 70 minutes and despite neither being converted by Dureau, the victory was confirmed by the 40-0 scoreline. However, Wakefield did avoid the complete humiliation of a nilling as Chris Riley scored in the final seconds to make it 40-4.

Valiant Vikings Vanquish Wishful Wolves

Thursday's second derby game saw Widnes host Warrington with the Vikings shocking the Wolves in a comfortable victory. Warrington opened the scoring inside six minutes through Ben Westwood but his effort saw a delay in being converted as a flare was thrown from the away end which saw the game temporarily halted. After the delay, Gareth O'Brien converted for 6-0 but the lead was quickly cancelled out as Widnes took a 10-6 lead with tries from Stefan Marsh and Cameron Phelps with the former converted by Jack Owens.

Stefan Marsh claimed his second try of the game five minutes before the interval for a 14-6 lead at the break and hopes of a Warrington fightback were dealt a quick blow as Widnes ran in two tries in the first 11 minutes of the second half as Lloyd White and Kevin Brown crossed with Owens converting both for 26-6. Warrington cut the deficit with a try from Ben Currie on 65 minutes for 26-10 but Jack Owens rounded off the night for Widnes with a late try for 30-10.

Rhinos Rise Troubles Tigers

The first of Friday's trio of matches saw Castleford host Leeds in a Yorkshire derby which saw the Rhinos triumph in mixed conditions. Joel Moon opened the scoring for the Rhinos on 15 minutes with Ryan Hall adding a second score on 22 minutes which Liam Sutcliffe improved with a conversion for 10-0. Castleford got on the board was Michael Shenton crossed and Luke Gale converted for 10-6 but Leeds regained their 10 point lead with three minutes left of the half as Stevie Ward crossed and Sutcliffe converted for 16-6 at the break.

Ryan Hall claimed his second score of the game on 63 minuted for 20-6 before Adam Cuthbertson extended the lead with an effort five minutes later which Sutcliffe converted for 26-6. Castleford had the last say on the result with a late try as Michael Shenton claimed his second score which Luke Gale converted for a 26-12 final score.

Wonderful Warriors Stun Saints

The second of Friday's ties saw the huge Good Friday derby between fierce rivals Wigan and St Helens at the DW Stadium with the Warriors triumphing over the Saints in torrid conditions. Wigan made a perfect start with Dom Manfredi opening the scoring inside two minutes with former Saints halfback Matty Smith converting for 6-0. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook got the visitors on the board on 16 minutes but a wayward conversion attempt from Tom Makinson left the Saints behind at 6-4.

A typically tight game between the sides saw the score remain at 6-4 long into the second half with both sides having efforts chalked off by the video referees but for Wigan the referral system did give them some joy late on. Joe Burgess collected a superb cross-field kick to touchdown on 71 minutes and with the 24,057 crowd on tenterhooks the try was awarded and the home fans went wild with Ryan Hampshire sweeping over a superb conversion to seal 12-4 win for the Warriors and their sixth Easter triumph in a row over their rivals.

Super Salford Halt Huddersfield Hopes

The final game of the round saw Huddersfield host Salford with both eager to continue their recent good form which saw the Red Devils edge the Giants by a single score. A tight first 20 minutes from both sides saw Salford open the scoring with a try from Josh Griffin which was followed ten minutes later by Ben Jones-Bishop's try which Griffin converted for 10-0. 

Jack Hughes got the Giants on the board with his first try of the season which Danny Brough converted for a 10-6 half-time score but Salford regained their 10 point lead on 55 minutes with a try from Carl Forster which Griffin converted for 16-6. Huddersfield hit back again on 72 minutes with Aaron Murphy's try which Brough converted for 16-12 before Griffin added a penalty goal for Salford for an 18-12 victory.