The Super League programme took a slight break this week to step aside for the Dacia World Club Series and the World Club Challenge and alike 2015, the bottom four sides in SL faced off in what would be round 11 when they will be involved in Challenge Cup action.
Friday night's WCS opener came from Langtree Park as St Helens hosted Sydney Roosters with the Saints keen to avenge last season's WCS nilling at the hand of the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Despite a decent start for both sides, it was the NRL side who opened the scoring and did so in style with three tries in the space of ten minutes. Kane Evans started the spree in the 16th minute before efforts followed from Aidan Guerra and Blake Ferguson which Jackson Hastings converted for a 16-0 lead.
Dale Copley (Hastings conv) increased the gap to 22-0 with three minutes left of the first half before Dominque Peyroux got Saints off the mark within two minutes of the restart and with Luke Walsh converting it was 22-6. The dent in the Roosters scoring streak was minimal though as two further tries in three minutes restored their control with Shaun Kenny-Dowall crossing ahead of a second score from Guerra and with Hastings converting both, the lead moved to 34-6. The Roosters were reduced to 12 with the sin-binning of Napa and Saints took advantage as Peyroux crossed for his second try just to minutes later with Walsh converting for 38-12. The last say went to the Roosters though as Daniel Tupou raced 80 metres to cross in style for a 38-12 final score - SL 0 NRL 1.
Saturday night's action came from the DW Stadium as Wigan Warriors welcomed Brisbane Broncos for a rematch of last season's WCS second game which saw the NRL side win via golden point after a stunning 80 minutes.
The Broncos raced into a 12-0 lead inside 15 minutes with tries from Corey Oates and Kodi Nikorima converted by Corey Parker. Wigan responded through Dan Sarginson with Matty Smith closing the gap to 12-6 with the conversion but tries from Matt Gillett and Jarrod Wallace which were converted by Parker and Jordan Kahu set the Broncos up with a 24-6 lead into the interval.
Oates and Nikorima registered their second scores in a six minute period before the hour mark with Parker converting both for 36-6. The series win looked to be sealed by the NRL for a second consecutive year but the icing on the cake came on 67 minutes as former Hull KR winger Greg Eden raced clear to score with Parker converting for a huge 42-6 lead. Wigan had the last say on the score as George Williams touched down four minutes from the end with Sam Powell converting for a 42-12 final score - SL 0 NRL 2.
Sunday night saw the World Club Challenge between treble winners Leeds Rhinos and NRL Grand Final winners North Queensland Cowboys at Headingley Stadium. The Rhinos were Super League's last chance to avoid a 6-0 aggregate over the two years of the World Club Series and despite a heavy pre-match dampening from the critics, the Rhinos did themselves proud in the opening quarter by holding off the fabulous Cowboys attack.
However, the cracks began to show in their defence as Michael Morgan opened the scoring on 22 minutes for 4-0 but a famous try for Rob Burrow saw the Rhinos level at 4-4 on 32 minutes. The equality into the interval was easily forgotten within a minute as Kane Linnett crossed for the Cowboys with Johnathan Thurston converting for a 10-4 lead before Kyle Feldt increased the gap to 14-4 on 49 minutes.
The Cowboys wrapped up the title with a superb four try onslaught in the space of 14 minutes as Lachlan Coote and Thurston crossed ahead of a brace from Justin O'Neill and with Thurston converting the quartet, the series whitewash was confirmed in a 38-4 triumph - SL 0 NRL 3.
Sunday also saw a Super League double- header as last season's bottom four met so as not to have a free week when their Challenge Cup involvement clashes with round 11.
Hull Kingston Rovers hosted Wakefield Wildcats at the KC Lightstream Stadium looking for their first win after a mixed start to the season while the Wildcats eyes a first away win in over a year. The Robins struck first with an opening try from Kieran Dixon inside six minutes for 4-0 before Mickael Simon responded for the visitors just two minutes later with Liam Finn converting for an 8-4 lead.
Stuart Howarth continued his scoring streak with an effort on 24 minutes which Finn converted for 12-4 but the Robins cut the gap just before the interval with a try from Adam Walker for 12-8. Finn added a penalty for the visitors on 55 minutes to increase the lead to 14-8 before Ken Sio crossed for 14-12 on 63 minutes but a failure to convert for the Robins was to be crucial as the Wildcats held on for a 14-12 win. The loss for the Robins proved even costlier for their coach Chris Chester as at the time of writing he has left his post as head coach.
Salford Red Devils hosted Widnes Vikings at the AJ Bell Stadium looking for back-to back wins in a good start to 2016.
A rapid start from the hosts saw them 12-0 ahead inside five minutes as Justin Carney and Mark Flanagan crossed for tries which Michael Dobson converted to stun the Vikings early on. Greg Johnson extended the advantage to 16-0 on 25 minutes before a try from Josh Griffin was converted by Gareth O'Brien for a huge 22-0 lead. Widnes avoided a first half nilling with two tries in the final four minutes of the half from Rhys Hanbury and Chris Houston with Hanbury converting once from two attempts for a 22-10 score at the interval.
Stefan Marsh continued the Vikings' comeback within nine minutes of the restart for 22-14 before Corey Thompson (Hanbury conv) put the Vikings within two points of the Red Devils at 22-20 but the comeback was denied a happy ending though as Flanagan crossed for his second try five minutes from the end with Dobson converting to complete a 28-20 success.