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.