Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Super 8s- The Qualifiers Final Round Review

As three sides had secured their place in next season's Super League, the only issue to be settled was who would finish in fourth and fifth and thereby face-off in the Million Pound Game next weekend.

Bulls Battered By Fantastic Fax

The round opened on Saturday at Odsal as MPG hopefuls Bradford Bulls hosted Halifax with the Bulls looking to leapfrog Wakefield into fourth while Halifax looked to secure a lucrative pay day for finishing sixth.

The Bulls made the better start as Matt Ryan opened the scoring inside four minutes with Ryan Shaw converting for 6-0 but the visitors replied superbly with two tries in as many minutes from Tom Saxton and Steve Tyrer with Tyrer converting both for a 12-6 lead. A brace of self-converted tries from Shaw saw the Bulls regain the lead at 18-12 but the visitors went into the interval just two points behind after Dane Manning crossed for 18-16.

Halifax went ahead just seven minutes after the restart as Saxton claimed his second try which Tyrer converted for 22-18 before Tyrer also claimed his second try for 28-16 and the part-timers began to really click as they ran in three further tries in eight minutes. A brace from Ben Johnston coupled with an effort from Adam Tangata saw Tyrer convert twice for a huge 42-18 lead. Bradford's shockingly poor second half performance saw them go further behind as Ben Heaton (Tyrer conv) struck before Tyrer compled his hat-trick late on with a self-converted try to complete a stunning 52-18 triumph.

Valiant Vikings Crush Centurions

Sunday's trio of games saw two cross-league ties with the first coming from the Select Security Stadium as Widnes Vikings hosted Leigh Centurions with the visitors hoping to avoid finishing bottom of the 8s table.

Their hopes received an early boost as Ben Renyolds opened the scoring inside five minutes with Ryan Brierley converting for 6-0 but to their despair it was to be their first and last score of the game as Widnes ran riot.

Patrick Ah Van and Kevin Brown crossed in a six minute period with Danny Tickle converting the latter for a 10-6 advantage before Charly Runciman and Paddy Flynn (Tickle conv) extended the lead to 20-6 into the interval. The Vikings charge continued as Alex Gerrard and Rhys Hanbury brought up the 30 point mark before the hour with Tickle converting both tries for 32-6.

Joe Mellor continued the hosts' charge on 65 minutes with Tickle converting for 38-6 before a second try from Ah Van and a late effort from Jack Owens were both converted by Owens to complete a 50-6 stroll for the Vikings. 

Excellent Eagles Stun Wasteful Wildcats

After Bradford's defeat the previous day, Wakefield Wildcats knew they would host the Bulls in the MPG but first had to travel to face Sheffield Eagles at Bramall Lane with the Eagles keen to avoid bottom spot in the table.

The Eagles struck first as Scott Turner crossed for the opening try on 19 minutes for 4-0 before Cory Aston increased the leas six minutes later with an effort which Pat Walker converted for 10-0. Wakefield hit back through Danny Kirmond for 10-4 before Menzie Yere (Dom Brambani conv) improved to lead to 16-4 with the Wildcats going into the interval just one score down after Ben Kavanagh scored and Joe Arundel converted for 16-10 into the break.

Pat Walker converted the first points of the second half in the 67th minute with a penalty before the win was sealed for the part-timers as Quentin Laulu-Togagae registered an effort which Walker converted for a 24-10 final score.

Rampant Robins Devastate Red Devils

The final game of Sunday's trio saw Hull Kingston Rovers host Salford Red Devils at the KC Lightstream Stadium with the Robins looking to complete a perfect record of seven wins in the 8s while the Red Devils looked to secure third spot. 

The visitors struck first as Greg Johnson opened the scoring inside four minutes for a 4-0 lead but they were soon pegged back as the departing Robins centre Kris Welham struck on 13 minutes to level at 4-4. The Robins went ahead after a try from George Lawler which Josh Mantellato converted for 10-4 before Salford drew level after a try from Harrison Hansen which Ben Jones-Bishop converted for 10-10.

Tries from Lama Tasi and a first senior effort from Ryan Lannon were both converted by Jones-Bishop as Salford opened up a 22-10 lead at the interval but it was the break that seemed to curse the Red Devils. The Robins staged a superb comeback with four tries in 14 minutes as Mantellato crossed ahead of efforts from Ken Sio, Dane Chisholm and Tyrone McCarthy with Mantellato converting all four for a 34-22 lead. 

The amazing turnaround continued as the Robins completed a streak of 36 unanswered points in the last ten minutes as Ben Cockayne and Maurice Blair registered tries with Mantellato converting the first and Welham signing off as a Robin with the final conversion for 46-22.