Thursday, 31 March 2016

Super League Round Eight Review

The bumper Easter programme came to an end on Easter Monday with round eight which saw a number of sides in the hunt to complete a perfect Easter while others hoped to avoid back-to-back losses across the weekend.

Fabulous FC Finish Wolves' Winning Run

The opening action of the round came from the KC Stadium as Hull FC hosted unbeaten Warrington Wolves with the visitors keen to extend their perfect start and prevent their hosts from reaching the top four. A self converted try from Marc Sneyd inside the first seven minutes put FC 6-0 ahead before a rapid double from the Wolves saw Ryan Atkins and former FC winger Tom Lineham cross either side of a conversion from Chris Sandow opened up a 10-6 lead.

Jamie Shaul levelled with a 28th minute effort before scores from Kevin Penny and Sandow were followed by a Stefan Ratchford conversion which gave the Wolves a 20-10 advantage at the interval. The hosts battled back superbly with tries from Curtis Naughton and Kirk Yeaman in a three minute period before the hour with Sneyd and Shaul converting to restore the lead at 22-20. Lineham resumed the haunt on his former club with his second score on 68 minutes for 24-22 before the win was sealed five minutes from the end as Naughton crossed for his second try to give the hosts a 26-24 success.

Rhinos Rue As Wildcats Win

The Easter derby trend resumed at Headingley as Leeds Rhinos hosted Yorkshire rivals Wakefield Wildcats with the hosts looking to avoid a miserable weekend while their visitors had the chance to secure a perfect weekend. Wakefield struck first as Matt Ashurst crossed in the 15th minute with Liam Finn converting for a 6-0 lead. Joel Moon replied for the Rhinos with Liam Sutcliffe's conversion levelling the score but the visitors went into the interval ahead with a late penalty goal from Finn for 8-6.

Jacob Miller (Finn conv) extended the lead within seven minutes of the restart before Tom Briscoe reduced the gap to 14-10  just four minutes later ahead of a further effort from Mitch Achurch on 70 minutes saw Sutcliffe convert to give the Rhinos a 16-14 advantage. However, the Wildcats levelled within two minutes with Finn's penalty goal making it 16-16 before sealing a famous 20-16 success in the final minute with a try from Craig Hall. 

Vikings Vanquish Sees Saints Success

After both suffering defeats on Good Friday, Widnes Vikings and St Helens met at the Select Security Stadium looking to avoid a miserable weekend. Joe Greenwood opened the scoring with a fifth minute try which Luke Walsh converted for a 6-0 lead before a self converted try from Rhys Hanbury put the sides level on 12 minutes.

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (Walsh conv) restored the lead for Saints on 16 minutes before a try from Tommy Makinson made it 16-6, a lead which lasted past the interval until two penalties from Walsh on 49 and 63 minutes pushed the advantage to 20-6. Widnes had the last say on a close-knit 80 minutes as Hanbury claimed his second try with ten minutes left before converting for a 20-10 scoreline. 

Giants Gutted As Red Devils Rise

Huddersfield Giants hosted Salford Red Devils at the John Smith's Stadium with both sides looking to end Easter happily after defeats on Good Friday. Salford struck first with a 17th minute try from former Giants forward Craig Kopczak for a 4-0 lead before Ukuma Ta'ai levelled on 27 minutes with Danny Brough converting for 6-4. Gareth O'Brien restored the lead for Salford within four minutes with Michael Dobson converting for 10-6 only for Jake Connor (Brough conv) cancel out the lead on 35 minutes for 12-10.

Josh Griffin (Dobson conv) put the Red Devils back in front just four minutes after the interval at 16-12 before Dobson extended the gap to 18-12 with a penalty goal in the 50th minute. A try from Jermaine McGillvary was rapidly followed by Ta'ai's second with Brough converting both to open up a 24-18 lead for the hosts. However, Salford were not to be denied a win as Justin Carney and Niall Evalds crossed to secure a 26-24 victory.   

Devastating Dragons Trounce Tigers

A battle between two sides bidding for a perfect weekend saw an early evening meeting at the Stade Gilbert Brutus between Catalan Dragons and Castleford Tigers. The Dragons made a superb start as Jodie Broughton raced over inside four minutes with Thomas Bosc converting for a 6-0 lead which lasted just ten minutes due to Greg Minikin's effort but a failed conversion left the score at 6-4. 

Louis Anderson and Todd Carney crossed in a five minute period with Bosc converting both for an 18-4 lead which was sliced down to two points by Joel Monaghan's score and Minikin's second with Luke Gale converting both for 18-16. The Dragons went into the interval leading 22-16 as Escaré crossed in the final seconds. The Dragons fullback claimed his second score within nine minutes of the restart with Bosc converting for 28-16.

A second try from Carney and an effort from Paul Aiton saw Bosc successful yet again with the boot to open up a 40-16 lead. Joel Monaghan claimed his second try which Gale converted for 40-22 on 69 minutes but the gloss on the Dragons win came three minutes from the end as EscarĂ©'s drop goal confirmed a 41-22 scoreline. 

Warriors Win Against Ravaged Robins

The round came to an end in the evening as Wigan Warriors hosted Hull Kingston Rovers at the DW Stadium with the hosts looking to complete a perfect weekend and the visitors just hoping to avoid more injuries during a mixed weekend. A tight first 20 minutes was a surprise given the Robins' weakened lineup but the Warriors struck first through Lewis Tierney on 26 minutes for 4-0.

Back-to-back tries from the Robins saw them lead 10-4 at the interval after Graeme Horne and former Warriors centre Iain Thornley crossed for efforts with Kieran Dixon converting once from two attempts. A two minute brace from Josh Charnley with a conversion from the winger put Wigan back in front at 14-10 before Thornley (Dixon conv) regained the lead for the Robins at 16-14.

The weakened Robins were opened up in the final quarter as Wigan ran in three scores to secure a 30-16 win with Dom Manfredi and Oliver Gildart crossing ahead of a superb hat-trick try from Charnley who converted twice from three attempts.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Super League Round Seven Review

The first part of a bumper Easter double-header saw derbies aplenty in round seven across Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Classy Cas Celebrate As Rhinos Rue

The round opener came from the Mend-A-Hose Jungle as Castleford Tigers hosted Leeds Rhinos in a Yorkshire derby. The Tigers made a superb start by racing into a 12-0 lead inside 12 minutes with tries from Andy Lynch and Jake Webster with Luke Gale converting both. Leeds fought back with two scores in four minutes from Joel Moon and Kallum Watkins with Liam Sutcliffe converting just the former for 12-10. 

Tom Briscoe put the Rhinos in front at 14-12 just before half-time and the two point lead held long into the second half before a superb second try from Webster (Gale conv) six minutes from the end sealed a famous 18-14 victory. 

Robins Riled By Fabulous FC

A huge Good Friday programme started at the KC Lightstream Stadium as Hull Kingston Rovers hosted Hull FC in the Hull city derby. The Robins opened the scoring on 14 minutes as Ryan Shaw crossed for 4-0 before Ken Sio extended the lead on 29 minutes with Josh Mantellato converting for 10-0 before adding a penalty goal for a 12-0 lead at the break.

Iain Thornley continued the Robins' spree on 50 minutes with a conversion and penalty goal from Mantellato pushing the advantage to 20-0 just before the hour mark. However, FC replied instantly as Jamie Shaul crossed with Marc Sneyd converting for 20-6, the fightback continued with a try from Danny Houghton (Sneyd conv) for 20-12. A stunning comeback from FC turned the game around in the space of three minutes as Mahe Fonua and Steve Michaels crossed with Sneyd converting just the latter to seal a 22-20 success.

Salford Suffer As Dragons Delight

The first of a trio of 3pm games came from the AJ Bell Stadium as Salford Red Devils hosted Catalan Dragons. The Dragons made a perfect start with the opening try on three minutes from Tony Gigot for 4-0 before Josh Griffin levelled with a try on 15 minutes. Eloi Pellisier regained the lead for the Dragons in the 26th minute with Pat Richards converting for 10-4 before adding a penalty goal for 12-4.

Dave Taylor (Richards conv) extended the lead in the 52nd minute to 18-4 before a six minute brace from Greg Johnson cut the gap to 18-12 before Richards added another penalty goal for 20-12. The win was sealed three minutes from the end as Taylor crossed for his second score with Richards converting for a 26-12 final score. 

Wonderful Wildcats Win Guts Giants

Another Yorkshire derby saw Wakefield Wildcats host Huddersfield Giants at Belle Vue with both looking to boost poor starts to the season. The Giants opened the scoring through Jermaine McGillvary with Danny Brough converting for 6-0 before a reply from Tom Johnstone saw Liam Finn level at 6-6.

Michael Sio and Reece Lyne (Finn convs) crossed to put the hosts in control at 18-6 before a late fightback in the half saw Jake Connor cross with Brough converting before adding a penalty goal for 18-14 at the break.  Connor claimed his second try to level at 18-18 before Max Jowitt (Finn conv) restored the lead at 24-18. Aaron Murphy cut the gap to 24-22 but to no avail as Johnstone crossed for his second ahead of an effort from Nick Scrcuton with Finn converting both for a 36-22 final score. 

Vikings Vanquished By Winning Wolves

The final 3pm game saw another derby as Warrington Wolves hosted Widnes Vikings at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Widnes raced into a 10-0 lead with tries from Tom Gilmore and Rhys Hanbury who converted his own effort. Chris Sandow and Tom Lineham replied to make it 10-8 before a penalty goal from Kurt Gidley sent the sides level into the break at 10-10.

Warrington went ahead with a self-converted try from Gidley before wrapping up a 28-10 success with tries from Ryan Atkins and Ben Currie with Gidley converting both. 

Saints Stunned By Wonderful Warriors

The round ended at Langtree Park as St Helens hosted fierce rivals Wigan Warriors in the Good Friday derby. Wigan opened the scoring with a try from Dom Manfredi on 21 minutes before a quick double from Sam Powell and Joel Tomkins coupled with conversions from Matty Smith saw them lead 16-0 at the interval.

Smith added a penalty goal on 51 minutes before Joe Greenwood (Luke Walsh conv) cut the gap to 18-6 but Smith sealed a self-converted try for 24-6 before Theo Fages (Walsh conv) had the last say on 71 minutes but it was in vain as the Warriors sealed a 24-12 victory.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Perfect Start For Academies

Over the last few seasons, I have seen a fair amount of young players go through the ranks at Wigan, from the Scholarship-Academy-Senior squads. This season, I have seen the 16s open their season at home and this past weekend, saw my first 19s action of the year.

The 16s game was against the newly former Hull '2' on my 29th birthday meaning both this and last years birthdays featured a 16s game and just like in 2015, the outcome was a victory.

The young Warriors raced into a 10-0 lead inside 20 minutes before being pegged back to 10-10. They went 20-10 behind before mounting a comeback and eventually regaining the lead at 22-20. Wigan extended the lead to 26-20 and breathed a sigh of relief as Hull's next try went unconverted thereby ensuring that they held a 26-24 lead which lasted long enough to secure the win.

After clashes with my trips to film Skem United at home, I missed the first two 19s home game of the season but finally made my 2016 debut as they hosted London Broncos last Saturday. The Warriors took a 10-0 lead inside 12 minutes with tries from James Worthington and Liam Paisley coupled by a conversion from Jake Moore. London replied through Jordan Williams for 10-4 before Wigan moved to 22-4 with efforts from Craig Mullen and James Barran with Jack Higginson converting both.

The lead held into the half-time break but within a minute of the restart, Josh Ganson extended the lead before completing a four minute brace with Higginson  the first and Moore the second as Wigan opened up a 34-4 advantage. Paisley and Worthington claimed their second tries in a three minute period with Moore converting both for 46-4. The final Wigan score came from Moore himself on 62 minutes and he converted his won try for 52-4 but the final say on the score came from London as Gidds Boafa crossed with five minutes remaining with Rhys Joel converting for a 52-10 final score.

Super League Round Six Review

Ahead of a bumper Easter double, round six saw clashes between sides at both the top and bottom of the table with some surprise results across the weekend.

Wasteful Warriors Suffer Vikings Vanquish

The round opened on Thursday night at the DW stadium as Wigan Warriors looked to extend their 25 game home winning run against current league leaders Widnes Vikings. The clash saw the league's best defence and attack facing off so it was a surprise when the hosts struck first as Liam Farrell dashed over for 4-0. His effort was added to within eight minutes by Josh Charnley but another failed conversion attempt left the score at 8-0.  

Widnes took just four minutes of the second half to make their mark as Matt Whitley crossed with Rhys Hanbury converting for 8-6 but Wigan moved to double figures on 55 minutes as Charnley claimed his second try followed by another poor effort with the boot from Matty Smith at 12-6. Widnes took advantage of their hosts' failure with the boot as Stefan Marsh cut the gap to 12-10 on 62 minutes before a stunning try from Charly Runciman and successful conversion from Hanbury put the Vikings ahead at 16-12.  The famous win for the Vikings was sealed with eight minutes left as Hanbury swept over a penalty for 18-12 which gave Widnes their first success at Wigan since 2003 and ended the Warriors excellent home run which began in June 2014.

Rhinos Rise as Saints Stutter

Friday's televised action came from Headingley Stadium as Leeds Rhinos hosted rivals St Helens in the first meeting between the sides since last season's famous play-off semi final which saw the hosts edge a win. Saints' hopes of exacting revenge suffered early blows as the Rhinos raced into a 16-0 lead inside 12 minutes. An opening try from Jamie Jones-Buchanan after just three minutes was followed by efforts from Adam Cuthbertson and Liam Sutcliffe with Sutcliffe converting just the first two attempts. 

The visitors hit back with two scores in the space of five minutes with Kyle Amor touching down ahead of a try from Luke Walsh who converted both to make it 16-12 but they were not finished there as Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook drew level with a 37th minute try, Walsh converted and Saints led 18-16. However, they went into the interval behind as Carl Ablett crossed in the final minute with Sutcliffe converting for 22-18.

Ash Handley extended the Rhinos's lead on 54 minutes with Sutcliffe converting for 28-18 and from there, Saints had no response with the win sealed for the hosts with nine minutes remaining as Sutcliffe converted a penalty for a 30-18 final score.

Fabulous FC Floor Woeful Wildcats

One of two other games on Friday night saw Hull FC hosting Wakefield Wildcats at the KC Stadium  with both sides looking to boost mixed starts to the season. The hosts struck the opening try inside 13 minutes through Mark Minichello with Marc Sneyd converting for a 6-0 lead. 

Joe Arundel responded for the visitors on 22 minutes for 6-4 before a second score for Minichello (Sneyd conv) just eight minutes later made it 12-4. An effort from Curtis Naughton in the 34th minute sent the sides into the break at 16-4. The final say on the score came in the 50th minute as Carlos Tuimavave crossed with Sneyd converting for a third time for 22-4 which proved to be the winning scoreline.

Wonderful Wolves Trounce Tigers 

Completing Friday's trilogy of action was the clash between Warrington Wolves and Castleford Tigers at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. The Wolves raced into a 14-0 lead inside 16 minutes with Chris Sandow, Kevin Penny and Tom Lineham crossing for tries which just the first converted by Kurt Gidley. The scoring spree continued with four further scores before half-time as Matty Russell scored a nine minute brace ahead of tries from Ryan Atkins and Ben Currie with Gidley converting the quartet for a huge 38-0 lead at the break.

Sandow crossed within two minutes of the restart to make it 42-0 before former Wolves winger Joel Monaghan got the Tigers on the board against his former side on 47 minutes with Luke Gale converting for 46-6. Castleford sealed consecutive scores with Gadwin Springer crossing, Gale converted for 42-12 but it was to be their last points of the game as Warrington resumed their earlier spree. Brad Dwyer crossed ahead of second scores for Lineham and Currie with Gidley converting just the latter to confirm a 56-12 rout in the final seconds. 

Giants Gutted By Devastating Dragons

Sunday saw the final two games of the round, starting with Huddersfield Giants hosting Catalan Dragons at the John Smith's Stadium. The Dragons raced into a 12-0 lead with tries from Richie Myler and Glenn Stewart inside 14 minutes with Pat Richards converting both. Huddersfield responded through Jake Connor with Danny Brough converting for 12-6 before the sin-binning of Dragons winger Krisnan Inu saw the Giants take full advantage with two tries in as many minutes from Jermaine McGillvary and Larne Patrick  for a 14-12 lead. 

Leroy Cudjoe (Brough conv) extended the lead just befoe the interval for a 20-12 half-time lead but a brace from former Giants winger Jodie Broughton turned the game around within eight minutes of the restart with Richards converting twice for 24-20. The Giants luck got worse on 54 minutes with the dismissal of Joe Wardle which saw the Dragons take advantage with three scores in nine minutes starting with Broughton's hat-trick try ahead of efforts from Paul Aiton and Julien Bousquet for 40-20.

Huddersfield replied through Kruise Leeming on 73 minutes with Jordan Tansey converting for 40-26 but it was in vain as Myler scored his second try five minutes from the end with Richards converting for a seventh time to wrap up a comfortable 46-26 victory. 

Robins Rise Denies Devils

The final game of the round came from the KC Lightstream Stadium as Hull Kingston Rovers hosted Salford Red Devls looking to secure their first win of the season and dent the Red Devils good start to 2016. The sides exchanged tries early on with the visitors opening the scoring through Craig Kopczak inside three minutes with Gareth O'Brien converting ahead of a firth minute effort from Maurice Blair which Josh Mantellato converted for 6-6.

The Robins took control with three tries ahead of the interval as Ben Cockayne, Graeme Horne and Ken Sio crossed with Mantellato converting the trio for a huge 24-6 lead before the final seconds of the half saw James Greenwood (Mantellato conv) set up a 30-6 lead at the break. Salford replied superbly with a brace from Josh Griffin (O'Brien convs) to make it 30-18 before Greg Johnson (O'Brien conv) cut the gap to just one score at 30-24.

Salford's comeback came to a halt with a try for Ryan Shaw (Mantellato conv) on 68 minutes with Mantellato adding a penalty six minutes from the end for 38-24 before Kopczak's second effort and O'Brien's conversion made it 38-30. The win was sealed for the hosts in the final minute as Matty Marsh crossed with Mantellato's eighth success of the afternoon ensuring a 44-30 triumph.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Super League Round Five Review

An exciting Super League so far rolled onto round five, the six games included a rematch of last season's Grand Final as well as high-fliers Widnes looking to continue at the top against Hull FC.

Valiant Vikings Humble Hull FC

The round opened on Thursday night as Widnes Vikings hosted Hull FC with both sides looking to continue good starts to the season. FC struck an early opening try as Frank Pritchard crossed inside seven minutes with Marc Sneyd converting for 6-0 but Widnes battled back with two tries in six minutes from Joe Mellor and Corey Thompson with Rhys Hanbury just the former score to put the hosts 10-6 ahead.

The Vikings took total control with Thompson claiming his second try ahead of efforts from Stefan Marsh and Hanbury who converted just his own try to create a 24-6 lead at the half-time interval. FC's hopes of mounting a comeback were rapidly dashed as the Vikings reached 40 points before the hour mark. Kevin Brown crossed ahead of a second for Marsh and a score from Matt Whitley with the lot converted by Hanbury for 42-6. The rout was completed with 13 minutes to go as Marsh wrapped up his hat-trick to confirm a 46-6 final score. 

Wonderful Warriors Rout Rhinos

Friday's televised action came from the DW stadium as Wigan Warriors faced Leeds Rhinos for the first time since their meeting at Old Trafford back in October with the Warriors looking for revenge. A tight first 25 minutes saw Wigan waste chances to go ahead before a dash from Dom Manfredi resulted in John Bateman crossing with Matty Smith converting for 6-0. The narrow deficit continued long after the half-time interval before Oliver Gildart extended the Warriors' lead just before the hour mark for 10-0.

A quick double from Manfredi and Tony Clubb saw Smith convert both to open up a comfortable 22-0 lead before a superb try from Anthony Gelling (Smith conv) pushed the Warriors to 28-0. Leeds looked bereft of ideas and went into the final minutes staring at a potential nilling but Zak Hardaker crossed with 20 seconds left to prevent the humiliation and he converted for a 28-6 final score.

Super Saints Extend Wildcats Woes

Friday's other game came from Langtree Park as St Helens hosted a Wakefield Wildcats side who had Stuart Dickens in charge after Brian Smith's exit and for the Wildcats it proved to be a night to forget as the Saints raced into an 18-0 lead. A brace from Joe Greenwood inside the first nine minutes was followed by an effort from Jon Wilkin with all three converted by Luke Walsh.

James Roby and Tom Makinson added further scores which Walsh converted for a comfortable 30-0 lead at the halfway mark. Wakefield took just two minutes of the second half to reply as Ben Jones-Bishop crossed for 30-4 but it proved to be only a dent in the Saints' charge as Roby (Walsh conv) and Makinson added their second scored before Matty Dawson added a try on 69 minutes to complete a 44-4 rout. 

Dragons Devastated As Wolves Win 

Saturday's action came from the Stade Gilbert Brutus as Catalans Dragons hosted a Warrington Wolves side who were keen to continue their perfect start to the season. Catalan struck first with Todd Carney scoring the opening try on eight minutes with Pat Richards converting for 6-0 but the Wolves hit back with a Rhys Evans effort within three minutes with Kurt Gidley levelling at 6-6 with the boot.

Richards regained the lead with a self-converted try before adding a penalty goal to make it 14-6 but a try from Ben Currie (Gidley conv) ensured a close 14-12 score at the interval. Vincent Duport (Richards conv) crossed within three minutes of the restart for the Dragons to move them to 20-12 before a second effort from Evans (Gidley conv) made it 20-18. The Wolves staged a superb late show with George King (Gidley conv) putting them 24-20 ahead with a minute to go before Chris Sandow crossed in the final seconds with Gidley's fifth success with the boot sealing a 30-20 success. 

Glorious Giants Rout Robins

Sunday's action began at the John Smith's Stadium as Huddersfield Giants hosted Hull Kingston Rovers in a battle between two sides who were chasing their first win of the season. Huddersfield started the better of the two with Jordan Tansey opening the scoring just five minutes into his debut, Danny Brough converted to make it 6-0. Michael Lawrence (Brough conv) extended the lead to 12-0 after just ten minutes before a barren spell for the sides saw the gap remain at twelve points into the interval. 

The Robins got on the board within six minutes of the restart as Thomas Minns crossed with Ryan Shaw converting for 12-6 before a try from Aaron Murphy followed by a conversion and penalty goal from Brough made it 20-6. Jermaine McGillvary (Brough conv) boosted the advantage to 26-6 with seven minutes left before two late tries from Larne Patrick and Ukuma Ta'ai which Brough converted wrapped up a 38-6 win. 

Tigers Troubled As Red Devils Rise

The round came to an end at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle as Castelford Tigers hosted Salford Red Devils with both sides looking to build on good starts to the season. Gareth O'Brien opened the scoring with a penalty goal on 15 minutes before he converted a try from Greg Johnson to open up an 8-0 lead. Denny Solomona cut the gap just before the interval with Luke Gale converting for 8-6.

Josh Griffin and former Tigers winger Justin Carney put Salford in control with O'Brien converting both efforts for a 20-6 lead before a nine minute salvo from Solomona saw him complete his hat-trick for 20-16. However, his efforts were to be only consolation as second tries from Griffin and Carney late on were converted by O'Brien to complete a 32-16 win.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Super League Round Four Review

The first month of the new Super League season passed in rapid fashion and the second got underway with round four across this weekend.

Salford Stunned As Warrington Win

The round opened on Thursday night at the AJ Bell Stadium as Salford Red Devils hosted Warrington Wolves with the hosts looking to bounce back from a narrow defeat at Wigan while the Wolves hoped to extend their perfect start to the season.

Salford started superbly as Junior Sa'u crossed for the opening try inside three minutes with Michael Dobson converting for 6-0 but Warrington took just six minutes to hit back as Jack Hughes touched down and Chris Sandow converted to level at 6-6. The Wolves went ahead just three minutes later as Ben Currie crossed and Sandow kicked for a 12-6 lead but Salford bounced back with a trio of efforts in the space of 12 minutes to take a 24-12 lead. Josh Jones crossed ahead of a try from Greg Johnson before Sa'u registered his second with Gareth O'Brien converting all three. The hosts were comfortable into the interval with Josh Griffin adding a 36th minute try for a 28-12 advantage.

O'Brien added a penalty goal nine minutes after the restart for 30-12 but for Salford in proved to be their last say on the game as Warrington staged a stunning fightback with three tries in a seven minute period after the hour, Ryan Atkins struck twice ahead of an Ashton Sims try with Sandow converting the lot to level at 30-30. The crucial moment came in the final seconds as Sandow kicked a long range drop goal to seal a 31-30 triumph.

Rhinos Rise Against Gentle Giants

Friday's televised action came from Headingley Stadium as Leeds Rhinos hosted Huddersfield Giants in a Yorkshire derby where both sides were desperate to secure their first points of the season so far.
Leeds opened the scoring inside ten minutes through Joel Moon with Jordan Lilley converting for 6-0 but the Giants were not behind for long as Danny Brough marked his return from injury with a try on 16 minutes which Jamie Foster converted to level at 6-6.

Foster added a penalty goal to put the Giants 8-6 ahead before a try from Jermaine McGillvary set up a 12-6 advantage into the interval. Leeds battled back with a try from Liam Sutcliffe and successful conversion from Lilley to level at 12-12 on 62 minutes. The Giants edged back in front five minutes later through Michael Lawrence for 16-12 but were denied their first win of the year by a Rhino's late show. Jimmy Keinhorst's 72nd minute try levelled with Lilley converting ahead of adding a penalty goal to secure a 20-16 victory

Faultless FC Stunned By Wondrous Warriors

In a battle between two sides who've started the season superbly, Hull FC hosted Wigan Warriors at the KC Stadium with the hosts looking to avoid back-to-back defeats after two wins while the Warriors had the chance to extend their 100% start.

Wigan made a perfect start as Ben Flower got them off the mark with a try inside two minutes which Matty Smith converted for 6-0 but Hull battled back with an 18th minute try from Steve Michaels which Marc Sneyd converted to level at 6-6. George Williams ghosted over for Wigan on 24 minutes with Smith converting ahead of adding penalty goal four minutes later to open up a 14-6 lead.

The lead remained into the half-time interval and was increased on 55 minutes as John Bateman scored with Smith converting for 20-6 but from there Hull responded with a superb comeback in the space of eight minutes.  Leon Pryce got the ball rolling with a try on the hour before an effort from Sika Manu and a second from Michaels were all converted by Sneyd to take a 24-20 lead. 

Josh Charnley set up a tense finish with a try on 73 minutes with Smith levelling at 24-24 with the conversion before making it 25-24 with a drop gal from the next set. Hull responded with a drop goal from Sneyd with 77 minutes on the clock but in the final seconds, Smith sealed a stunning drop goal for a second time to secure an amazing 26-25 win. 

Valiant Vikings Vanquish Rueful Rovers

A face-off between two sides at either ends of the table came from the Select Security Stadium as Widnes Vikings hosted Hull Kingston Rovers with the Vikings having the chance to top the table while the Rovers hoped to claim their first win.  Maurice Blair got the Robins rolling with the opening try on seven minutes which Ryan Shaw converted for 6-0 before a self-converted try from Rhys Hanbury and a Joe Mellor effort made it 10-6 to the hosts.

Thomas Minns responded for Rovers with Shaw's conversion putting them 12-10 ahead but a frantic double from the Vikings saw Mellor claim his second score ahead of an effort from the in-form Corey Thompson with Hanbury converting both for a 22-12 lead at the interval. Thompson took just eight minutes after the restart to claim his second try which Hanbury improved for 28-12 Shaw crossed for the Robins to cut the gap to 28-16 on 64 minutes but Hanbury had the last say late on with a penalty goal completing a 30-16 victory.

Super Saints Stop Tenacious Tigers

Friday's fourth game came from Langtree Park as St Helens searched for their third win as they hosted Castleford Tigers who hoped to continue their unbeaten start.  A rapid start from the visitors saw them take an 8-0 lead inside 14 minutes as Grant Millington crossed for the opening try ahead of a penalty goal from Luke Gale. 

Adam Swift hit back for the hosts with Luke Walsh converting for 8-6 before Mike McMeeken (Gale conv) regained the eight point advantage for the Tigers on 23 minutes. Atelea Vea (Walsh conv) closed the gap for Saints before Matty Dawson put them 16-14 ahead before the interval. Ben Crooks added a penalty for the Tigers on 50 minutes to level at 16-16 but a try from Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook (Walsh conv) made it 22-16 to the hosts. Dawson claimed his second score with 13 minutes left with Walsh extending the lead to 28-16 with the conversion but Castleford created a tight last eight minutes as Adam Milner went over for a try which Gale converted for 28-22 which proved to be the final score. 

Wildcats Woe As Dragons Devastate

The round came to a close on Sunday afternoon as Wakefield Wildcats welcomed Catalans Dragons to Belle Vue with both sides looking to secure their second win of the season after mixed starts. Catalans started the better of the teams with three scores in the opening 15 minutes as Jodie Broughton, Dave Taylor and Pat Richards crossed with Richards converting two out of three for a 16-0 lead.

The Dragons' spree continued with a try from Jason Baitieri (Richards conv) and a first for Glenn Stewart since his move from the NRL to open up a huge 26-0 lead before a first half late show from the hosts saw Anthony Tupou and Joe Arundel cross with Liam Finn converting both for a 26-12 half-time score. 

Wakefield continued their comeback with two tries within 12 minutes of the restart as Reece Lyne crossed ahead of a try from Tom Johnstone with Finn converting just the former for 26-22. Catalans responded in devastating style as three tries in 13 minutes saw them move to 44-22, Richie Myler scored ahead of a brace from Tony Gigot with two conversions from Richards. The last say on the score came in the final minutes as Mickael Simon crossed with Finn converting for a 42-28 final score.