Thursday, 28 April 2016

Super League Round 12 Review

Due to computing problems over the last couple of weeks, the reviews have been a bit mixed in terms of content but despite the delay in this rounds review, full coverage of round 12 is below.

Warriors Win Guts Giants

The round opened on Thursday night at the DW Stadium as Wigan Warriors hosted Huddersfield Giants with the Warriors eyeing top spot and the Giants hoping to close on the top eight. A rapid start from the hosts saw Anthony Gelling cross for the opening try on five minutes with Matty Smith converting for a 6-0 lead. Ryan Brierley opened his account for the Giants just seven minutes later with Danny Brough levelling with the conversion. 

Brierley crossed for a second time five minutes before the interval and Brough converted for a 12-6 lead at half-time but John Bateman (Smith conv) crossed just before the hour mark to level before a quick reply from Brierley saw him complete his hat-trick with Brough converting for 18-12. Smith took control of the game with a self-converted try and drop goal for 19-18 before Brough levelled with the boot at 19-19. The game was to be won in the last two minutes as Smith swept over a second drop goal for 20-19 before converting a last-gasp try from Dan Sarginson for a 26-19 success.

Vikings Vanquished By Wondrous Wolves

Friday's non televied action came from the Select Security Stadium as Widnes Vikings hosted neighbours Warrington Wolves looking to avenge the defeat in their last meeting. However, Warrington started superbly by racing into a 12-0 lead with early scores from Kurt Gidley and Kevin Penny with Gidley converting both tries. Widnes replied through Joe Mellor with Rhys Hanbury converting for 12-6 but Joe Westerman (Gidley conv) restored the 12 point advantage,

A try from Ben Westwood and a second from Westerman were both converted by Gidley for a 30-6 lead at the interval. Corey Thompson made it 30-12 before a second score from Penny and a try from Stefan Ratchford (Gidley convs) made it 42-12. Widnes cut the gap again through Stefan Marsh (Hanbury conv) before a self-converted second try from Ratchford sealed a comfortable 48-16 victory.  

Super Saints Edge Rueful Rhinos

Friday's televised action came from Langtree Park as St Helens hosted fierce rivals Leeds Rhinos with both sides hoping to boost their mixed seasons so far. A superb start for the hosts saw Jonny Lomax mark his return from a year on the sidelines with the opening try inside five minutes with Walsh converting for 6-0. Joe Greenwood extended the lead to 10-0 within two minutes before Leeds took control with tries from Ash Golding, Rob Burrow and Jimmy Keinhorst with Jordan Lilley converting twice for a 16-10 lead.

Lomax scored his second try just before the interval with Walsh making it 16-16 into half-time before Kyle Amor put Saints 20-16 ahead. The game turned into a 'you score, we score' as Ash Handley (Lilley conv) crossed ahead of a second score from Greenwood (Walsh conv) for 26-22. Theo Fages (Walsh convs) crossed twice either side of an effort from Anthony Mullally (Lilley conv) for a 38-28 lead before Keinhorst's second set up a tense finish at 38-34 but Saints just about managed to hold on for the win. 

Dragons Delight In Salford Success

Saturday's action came from the Stade Gilbert Brutus as Catalan Dragons hosted Salford Red Devils with the Dragons looking to secure a home/away double over the Red Devils. A frantic start saw Niall Evalds and Jodie Broughton exchange tries for 4-4 before Justin Carney crossed for 8-4 and Gareth O'Brien added a penalty goal for 10-4. Catalans levelled on 20 minutes with Morgan EscarĂ©'s try which Pat Richards converted before a try from Junior Sau and an effort from Vincent Duport (Richards conv) made it 16-14 at the interval. 

Sau claimed his second try within eight minutes of the restart for 20-16 before a double from Richie Myler and second effort from Broughton (Richards convs) made it 32-20 to the hosts.  Richards added a penalty goal for 34-20 before a hat-trick try for Sau and second score from Evalds saw Dobson and O'Brien conv to narrow the gap to 34-32. The game was won late on as Richards crossed with Thomas Bosc converting before a penalty goal from Richards wrapped up a 42-32 win. 

Wishful Wakefield Fall To Fabulous FC

Sunday saw two games starting with Wakefield Wildcats hosting Hull FCwith both looking to continue superb runs either side of the Easter period. The hosts struck first through Ash Gibson with Liam Finn converting ahead of a reply from Gareth Ellis with Marc Sneyd converting for 6-6. Hull took control with Fetuli Talanoa crossing twice either side of an effort from Josh Bowden with Sneyd converting the lot for 24-6.

Tom Johnstone cut the gap before two more scores from Gibson for his hat-trick with Finn converting the trio for 24-24 at the interval. Danny Kirmond put the hosts ahead within five minutes of the restart before a hat-trick try from Talanoa (Sneyd conv) made it 30-28 to FC. Kirk Yeaman extended the lead before Talanoa ran in a fourth try for 40-28. The win was wrapped up late on as Jamie Shaul (Sneyd conv) crossed to confirm a 46-28 win

Cas Crushed By Rampant Robins

The round ended at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle as Castleford Tigers hosted Hull Kingston Rovers with both sides looking to boost poor seasons so far. The Robins struck an instant opening as Maurice Blair crossed in the first minute with Ben Cockayne converting for 6-0 before Jake Webster replied and Luke Gale converted for 6-6. Ryan Hampshire put the Tigers ahead with Gale converting for 12-6 before a spree from the Robins saw Thomas Minns, Albert Kelly and Graeme Horne cross with Cockayne converting once for 20-12. 

Jy Hitchcox responded for the Tigers to make it 20-16 at the interval before a second from Minns came within two minutes of the restart with Cockayne converting before adding the extras to Iain Thornley's 52nd minute try for a 32-16 advantage. Mitch Allgood and Ken Sio crossed before Cockayne added a penalty goal for 42-16. The rout was extended in the final six minutes as Sio and Thornley crossed for their second scores either side of a hat-trick try from Minns with Cockayne ending the game with seven conversions in a 58-16 triumph.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Super League Round 11 Review

After the first two games of round 11 were played during the World Club Series, the remaining four took place while last season's bottom four sides joined the Challenge Cup as the 2015's top eight faced off this weekend.

Dragons Delight At Sluggish Saints

The round resumed on Thursday night at Langtree Park as St Helens hosted Catalan Dragons looking to move up the table by stemming the Dragons fine start to the season. However, Catalan raced into 10-0 lead inside 13 minutes as Jodie Brougton ran in a brace of tries with Pat Richards only converting the latter of the two. 

Saints replied through Theo Fages with Luke Walsh converting for 10-6 on 27 minutes before a first-half hat-trick for Broughton made it 14-6.

Walsh crossed for a try of his own in the final 
seconds of the half and converted to close the gap to 14-12 at the interval. A two-minute blitz from the Dragons saw Richie Myler and Pat Richards both cross for tries with Richards converting once to open up a 24-12 advantage within nine minutes of the restart. Broughton claimed his fourth try just after the hour mark for 28-12 before Richards rounded off the scoring with ten minutes left as he swept over a penalty goal to confirm a 30-12 success. 

Giants Glorify Against Worrying Wolves

Friday night saw a trilogy of action but I start with the tie between top and bottom in the league standings as Warrington Wolves travelled to face Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith's Stadium. A close game was not predicted by the so-called experts but even more so was not the fact that the sides were only separated by four points at half-time. 

Aaron Murphy opened the scoring in the 36th minute but Danny Brough was unable to convert leaving the score at 4-0 but he was the next to score as he added a penalty goal five minutes after the restart for 6-0 before adding a drop goal to open up a 7-0 lead over the league leaders with 15 minutes to go. 

The shock win was confirmed with ten minutes left of the 80 as Leroy Cudjoe crossed to seal an 11-0 win which gave the Giants only their second win of the season but one which saw the Wolves nilled for the first time this season. 

Rhinos Rising As Hull FC Halted

The televised action came from Headingley Carnegie as Leeds Rhinos hosted Hull FC with the Rhinos keen to boost their poor season by denting FC's winning run. The hosts struck the opening try after 17 minutes as Jimmy Keinhorst crossed with Jordan Lilley converting for 6-0. Chris Green replied for the visitors with Marc Sneyd levelling at 6-6 with the boot.

Lilley added a penalty to send the hosts into the interval leading 8-6 but a quick effort from Kirk Yeaman within three minutes of the restart saw Sneyd convert for a 12-8 lead which lasted until the hour mark when a self-converted effort from Lilley turned it around to 14-12. 

Jamie Jones-Buchanan extended the lead for the hosts with Lilley converting for 20-12 with seven minutes left and a self-converted try from Sneyd on 76 minutes made it 20-18 and set up a tight finish but the Rhinos managed to hold on for the win. 

Warriors Win Against Troublesome Tigers

The final game of Friday's trio saw Wigan Warriors host Castleford Tigers at the DW Stadium with the Warriors keen to bounce back from their first nilling in 11 years against Wakefield. The hosts fell behind early on as Denny Solomona crossed for the first try in the ninth minute which Luke Gale converted for 6-0. 

Wigan fought back with a try from Lewis Tierney within four minutes with Matty Smith levelling at 6-6 with the boot. The sides remained level until the interval after a close first half but a frantic two minutes saw both sides score starting with Smith's penalty goal making it 8-6 before a Grant Millington try (Gale conv) turned it around to 12-8 to the Tigers. 

John Bateman (Smith conv) crossed on the hour mark to regain the lead for the hosts before a first senior try for academy starlet Nick Gregson (Smith conv) extended the lead to 20-12 with nine minutes left. Wigan wrapped up the win in the final seconds as Bateman claimed his second score which Smith converted for a 26-12 success.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Super League Round Ten Review

After technical issues meant just an image-based post for round nine, round ten sees a return to the normal layout and a weekend not to forget certainly on a personal level.

Dragons Demolish Rattled Robins

The round began on Thursday night at the KC Lightstream Stadium as Hull Kingston Rovers hosted Catalans Dragons. The visitors have been known to struggle away from home in previous year but they looked to be on course to continue this season's superb run as they raced into a 10-0 lead inside five minutes. Jodie Broughton crossed in the first minute followed by Vincent Duport with Pat Richards converting just the latter.

Broughton struck for a second time on 22 minutes with Richards converting for 16-0 before adding the extras to Krisnan Inu's 28th minute score to make it 22-0. 

The game as a contest was all but over before half-time as Gregory Mounis crossed on 35 minutes with Richards kicking for a 28-0 half-time advantage. Any outside chance of the Robins mounting a comeback was quickly dashed as Richie Myler and Willie Mason crossed for tries inside the first 13 minutes of the second half with Richards converting both for 40-0 which proved to be enough to seal a comfortable win.  

Fabulous FC Gut Giants

Friday's non-televised action came from the KC Stadium as Hull FC hosted basement boys Huddersfield Giants with the Giants looking for only their second win of a horror campaign so far while FC were in the hunt for a fifth consecutive win. The hosts made a superb start with Josh Bowden crossing inside six minutes with Marc Sneyd converting for 6-0 only for Joe Wardle to cut the gap on 12 minutes with Danny Brough converting for 6-6.

Aaron Murphy (Brough conv) put the Giants ahead at 12-6 before a quick reply from Liam Watts (Sneyd conv) levelled at 12-12 and the 'you score, we score' continued in the 32nd and 34th minutes as Jamie Shaul (Sneyd conv) crossed ahead of a try from Brough leaving the hosts with an 18-16 lead into the interval. FC took control with efforts from Danny Houghton and Curtis Naughton either side of a second try from Shaul with Sneyd converting the lot for 36-16. Jermaine McGillvary stemmed the FC charge with a 71st minute try for 36-20 but the last say went to Marc Sneyd who added a drop goal in the final minute to confirm a 37-20 victory. 

Saints Stun Wolves

Friday's televised game came from the Halliwell Jones Stadium as Warrington Wolves hosted St Helens with the Saints looking to extend their winning streak at the home of the Wolves who themselves had the chance to extend their lead at the top. Warrington took control early on with scores from Kevin Penny and Ryan Atkins coupled with a conversion from Ben Westwood to make it 10-0 inside 12 minutes. Kyle Amor replied for the visitors with Luke Walsh converting ahead of a first senior try from Jack Ashworth which Walsh converted to put Saints ahead at 12-10. Ben Currie sent the Wolves into the interval ahead at 14-12 with a late effort.

However, the lead changed hands withing seven minutes of the restart as Matty Dawson crossed for 16-14 with Walsh adding a penalty goal just after the hour mark for a 18-14 advantage. Another Saints youngster opened his account as Morgan Knowles scored in the 70th minute with Walsh converting for 24-14 before adding a drop goal from the next set for a 25-14 lead. Warrington staged a late fightback with Penny crossing for a second time ahead of a late Tom Lineham score but a failure and refusal to convert the tries left them with a 25-22 loss. 

Super Salford Succeed Over Lacklustre Leeds

Saturday evening's action came from the AJ Bell Stadium as Salford Red Devils hosted Leeds Rhinos with the Rhinos keen to kick-start their season after a horror start. A tight first quarter coupled with the mixed weather conditions saw a close game which sprung into action when Logan Tomkins scored on 23 minutes with Gareth O'Brien converting for 6-0. Michael Dobson extended the lead four minutes later with a penalty goal for 8-0, an advantage that lasted into half-time. 

Robert Lui (Dobson conv) made it 14-0 to the hosts withing five minutes of the restart before a late rally from the Rhinos saw Keith Galloway and Ashton Golding open their accounts for the season in the last ten minutes with Zak Hardaker converting just the first effort as the Red Devils secured a 14-10 success. 

Wonderful Wildcats Walkover Wounded Warriors

Sunday saw the final two games take place but I'll start with the one which I attended as Wakefield Wildcats hosted Wigan Warriors at Belle Vue. Wigan went into the game on the back of a virus in the camp meaning that of the 17 fielded, two 19s debuted alongside four fellow Academy products while the Wildcats fielded a strong 17. Many expected a Wakefield win but what happened across the 80 minutes can only be described as an unbelievable experience.

Wakefield opened the scoring on 11 minutes through Nick Scruton with Liam Finn converting for a 6-0 lead which soon became 18-0 just before the half-hour mark as Jacob Miller and Tom Johnstone crossed with Finn converting both. Wigan looked out of sorts as the interval neared and the hosts took full advantage as Miller scored his second for a huge 22-0 lead at half-time.

The game as a contest was over before the hour as Finn scored and Miller claimed his hat-trick ahead of a brace from Danny Kirmond with Finn converting the lot for 46-0. The record for Wigan's highest loss in SL stood at 70-0 (Leeds 2005) but came under threat as Ben Jones-Bishop and Max Jowitt crossed (Finn conv) to make it 56-0 with nine minutes left. Wigan avoided a new record loss but were sadly nilled for the first time since the aforementioned Leeds loss as Scruton scored his second six minutes from the end with Finn completing a 22 point personal haul with the conversion for 62-0. 

Terrific Tigers Vanquish Vikings

Sunday's round closer came from the Select Security Stadium as Widnes Vikings hosted Castleford Tigers with both looking to secure success after mixed Easter programmes. Widnes raced into an 18-0 lead inside 18 minutes as Patrick Ah Van, Magraff Leuluai and Corey Thompson crossed with Chris Bridge converting the trio of efforts. Castleford fought back superbly as Denny Solomona ran in two tries in as many minutes with Luke Gale converting just the latter for 18-10 into the interval. 

Solomona took just two minutes of the second half to complete his hat-trick with Gale converting to cut the gap to 18-16 but the lead did finally change hands as Ryan Boyle (Gale conv) made it 22-18 to the Tigers before a self converted try from Gale pushed them into a 10 point lead at 28-18. Lloyd White (Bridge conv) made it a four point game at 28-24 before Paul McShane confirmed the win for the Tigers on 78 minutes with Gale converting for a 34-24 final score.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Super League Round Nine Review

Due to a severe issue on my laptop, only the results of the round nine games are available which follow below, normal service should be resumed in next week's round ten post.