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.