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.