Friday, 19 February 2016

Super League Round Two Review

A busy week has led to a delay in the review of the second weekend of Super League XXI which alike the opening weekend saw some surprise results. After two games, two of last season's top four are yet to see success while the current league leaders ended 2015 in the middle 8's.

Super Salford Stun Sorry Saints

Thursday night saw Salford Red Devils host St Helens at the AJ Bell Stadium looking to avenge their opening defeat to Hull and seal a first win against Saints at the AJ Bell.

The Red Devils stormed into an 18-0 lead inside 12 minutes with tries from Greg Johnson, Craig Kopczak and Robert Lui converted twice by Josh Griffin and the latter by Michael Dobson. Saints hit back through Alex Walmsley four minutes later with Luke Walsh converting for 18-6 before a penalty goal from Dobson made it 20-6.

Two tries in as many minutes gave Salford a commanding 32-6 lead after Niall Evalds crossed ahead of a second from Lui with Dobson converting both just before the interval. Adam Walne extended the lead within three minutes of the restart before a try from Dobson on 56 minutes made it 40-6. Adam Swift reduced the deficit to 40-10 just after the hour mark but the rout was completed three minutes from the end as Evalds crossed for his second try for 44-10 final score.

Giants Gutted As Warriors Win

Friday night's action came from the John Smith's Stadium as Huddersfield Giants hosted Wigan Warriors looking for their first win after an opening defeat while the Warriors hoped to extend their perfect start.

The Giants struck first with 2015 top try scorer Jermaine McGillvary crossing in the 25th minute with Jamie Ellis converting for 6-0. The first half was a tight one with just a six point gap into the interval but Wigan staged a comeback in the first 15 minutes of the second half with Liam Farrell crossing in the 44th minute ahead of a 59th minute try from Dom Manfredi with Matty Smith converting both for a 12-6 lead.

Jamie Foster marked his Giants debut with a try on 65 minutes with Ellis adding a penalty to level at 12-12 before putting the hosts 13-12 ahead with a drop goal with ten minutes remaining. However, the Giants joy was soured with 77 minutes on the clock as a clever move saw Josh Charnley score in the corner with Smith sealing an 18-13 win win the resulting conversion.

Dragons Devastated By Fabulous FC

Saturday's action came from the Stade Gilbert Brutus as Catalan Dragons hosted Hull FC with the Dragons looking to continue their fine home from from last season while FC had eyes on a second consecutive win after an opening success. 

A good start for the visitors saw them take the lead inside eight minutes with a try from Fetuli Talanoa for 4-0 before Pat Richards levelled for the Dragons just five minutes later for 4-4. Sika Manu regained the lead for FC with Marc Sneyd converting to make it 10-4 but yet again Catalans hit back through Richards who converted his second try for 10-10. However, FC were back ahead for a third time with two scores in six minutes as Josh Bowden and Jack Logan crossed with Smeyd converting both to open up a 22-10 lead which lasted into the interval. 

Sneyd added a penalty goal on 57 minutes before Gareth Ellis crossed for a try and with Sneyd on target with the boot for 30-10, the Dragons needed a miraculous comeback to avoid a rare home defeat but their hopes were dashed in the space of three minutes. Talanoa claimed his second try on 63 minutes before Jamie Shaul completed the win on 66 for a 38-10 final score. 

Wonderful Wolves Humble Hull KR

Sunday saw three games starting with Warrington Wolves hosting Hull Kingston Rovers at the Halliwell Jones Stadium with the Wolves looking for back-to-back wins while Rovers hoped to build on a draw in the opening weekend. 

Ben Currie put the hosts ahead inside five minutes with Kurt Gidley converting for 6-0 before Joe Westerman extended their lead with a try on 17 minutes with Gidley again with the boot for 12-0. Tom Lineham made a habit of scoring against the Robins when at city rivals Hull FC and he continued that run with a 43rd minute effort for 16-0. Iain Thornley got the Robins off the mark on 50 minutes to make it 16-4 but a Gidley penalty goal followed by a second try from Lineham (Gidley conv) made it 24-4. The Robins hit back again through Keiran Dixon for 24-8 but were cast aside by two further tries for the Wolves in the final seven minutes. Lineham completed his hat-trick before Daryl Clark raced over with Gidley converting both before adding a penalty goal to reach a 14 point personal tally in a 38-8 success. 

Vikings Vanquish Rocky Rhinos

Ahead of this weekend's World Club Challenge against North Queensland Cowboys, Leeds Rhinos travelled to face Widnes Vikings at the Select Security Stadium looking to avenge their opening defeat while the Vikings had the chance to extend their perfect start. 

The Vikings raced into a 16-0 lead inside 14 minutes with tries from Stefan Marsh, a self converted effort from  Setaimata Sa and Corey Thompson with Rhys Hanbury converting only the first of two chances. The Rhinos suffered three injuries in the first half with Carl Ablett, Tom Briscoe and Ashton Golding all unable to continue and the Vikings were able to take advantage with two more scores in the first half as Lloyd White crossed ahead of an effort from Charly Runciman with Hanbury converting both for a 28-0 lead. Leeds had the last say on the half as Kallum Watkins crossed with Jordan Lilley converting to make it 28-6 at the interval.

Widnes resumed their scoring spree less than eight minutes after the restart with two tries in four minutes as Thompson claimed his second try ahead of an effort from Joe Mellor with Hanbury converting both for 40-6. The Vikings wrapped up a huge win with Thompson's hat-trick try (Hanbury conv) on 64 minutes before a try from Connor Farrell was followed by Marsh's second for 56-6 and with two minutes left Leeds reached double figures with a try from Rob Burrrow which Lilley converted for a 56-12 final score.

Terrific Tigers Trounce Woeful Wildcats

The final game of the round saw a derby encounter at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle as Castleford Tigers hosted Wakefield Wildcats with both sides looking for their first win after a draw and defeat in the opening weekend. 

Alike their first game, Wakefield scored the opening try with Stuart Howarth crossing in side seven minutes with Liam Finn converting for 6-0 before Denny Solomona crossed for the hosts just sixn minutes later with Luke Gale's conversion levelling at 6-6. Ben Roberts's 24th minute try saw Gale convert to put the Tigers 12-6 ahead before an effort just before the interval from Luke Dorn (Gale conv) opened up an 18-6 advantage.

Oliver Holmes struck within two minutes of the restart with Gale adding the extras for 24-6 before the Tigers wrapped up the win with three tries in the space of 12 minutes around the hour mark as Adam Milner crossed on 50 minutes before Solomona's second with Gale converting both before Holmes completed the rout on 62 minutes as the Tigers eased to a 40-6 win.