Wednesday, 23 March 2016

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.