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.