Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Super League Round 14 Review

Ahead of the annual festival that is Magic Weekend, Super League round 14 saw a number of surprise results as the season continued its streak of unpredictability.

Classy Cas Crush Lacklustre Leeds

Thursday's round opener saw basement boys Leeds Rhinos host Yorkshire rivals Castleford Tigers at Headingley. The Rhinos made the better start by taking the lead inside five minutes through Mitch Garbutt with Jordan Lilley converting for a 6-0 lead which lasted just four minutes before a Luke Dorn try and Luke Gale conversion levelled the game. Denny Solomona  put the Tigers ahead before a quick double from Dorn increased the lead to 6-24. The Rhinos looked out of the contest before the interval and fell further behind as Joel Monaghan crossed for 6-30.

The Tigers looked to have sealed the win within six minutes of the restart as Solomona struck a second score ahead of a Gadwin Springer effort for a huge 6-40 advantage. Ash Handley stemmed the Tigers spree with a great try on 52 minutes for 12-40 but a Ben Crooks try and a late effort from Grant Millington wrapped up a comfortable 12-52 win for the Tigers who became the first team to put 50 past the Rhinos since 2012. 

Fabulous FC Floor Warriors

Friday's televised game came from the DW Stadium as Wigan Warriors hosted Hull FC as fourth faced third. The visitors started superbly as Marc Sneyd crossed for a try which he improved for 0-6 inside three minutes. Steve Michaels and Scott Taylor increased the lead to 0-16 before Sneyd added a penalty goal for 0-18 in the 25th minute. Wigan fought back with a try from Oliver Gildart but with no conversion, the score was 4-18 into the interval.

John Bateman cut the gap with Matty Smith converting before a try on his second debut for the Warriors from Sam Tomkins narrowed Hull's lead to just two points at 16-18. Tomkins was at fault though as he was bypassed by Jamie Shaul seven minutes later who crossed for 16-24 before a try from Fetuli Talanoa and a penalty goal from Sneyd wrapped up a 16-30 success.  

Saints Stop Salford

Friday night also saw action at Langtree Park as St Helens hosted Salford Red Devils with the Saints looking to move into the top four with a win. They fell behind after just six minutes via a Niall Evalds try but were soon ahead as Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook crossed with Luke Walsh converting for 6-4. Further efforts from Marc Percival and Dominique Peyroux pushed the hosts' advantage to 16-4 before a second score from Evalds meant the sides went into the break at 16-8.

Jonny Lomax pushed the Saints to 22-8 within eight minutes of the restart with Salford hitting back through Justin Carney before Evalds completed his hat-trick for 22-20. However, the two point gap was a as close as it got for the visitors as tries from Theo Fages and Kyle Amor crossed to seal a 34-20 win for the Saints. 

Dragons Deny Giants

Saturday afternoon saw Catalan Dragons host Huddersfield Giants at the Stade Gilbert Brutus with the Dragons having the chance to go level at the top with a win. A cagey first 20-odd minutes saw the sides remain level at 0-0 before a Danny Brough penalty goal and try from Nathan Mason opened up an 0-8 lead for the Giants. Catalan battled back with an effort from Louis Anderson for an 6-8 half-time scoreline. 

Justin Horo put the hosts 10-8 ahead before Tony Gigot extended the lead to 16-8 just before the hour mark. Jake Connor narrowed the gap to 16-14 with a try on 64 minutes but to no avail as the Dragons edged the win. 

Robins Rally Vanquishes Vikings 

Sunday afternoon saw the Hull Kingston Rovers host Widnes Vikings at the KC Lightstream Stadium with both sides looking to boost their recent mixed form. Shaun Lunt opened up an early lead for the Robins in just the fourth minute and the 6-0 scoreline remained into the half-time interval.

Ken Sio crossed to extend the lead just two minutes after the restart before a try from Gil Dudson narrowed the gap to 12-6. James Greenwood restored the 12 point lead for the Robins just after the hour mark but the Vikings remained in the hunt with a Corey Thompson score for 18-10. The win was sealed for the hosts eight minutes from the end as Albert Kelly crossed for a 24-10 victory.

Wildcats Win As Wolves Wander

The final action of the round saw Wakefield Wildcats host league leaders Warrington Wolves at Belle Vue with the Wildcats hoping to secure a surprise victory. They started such a pursuit in stunning style by racing into a 12-0 lead inside six minutes with tries from Craig Hall and Matt Ashurst. Warrington hit back through Joe Westerman before a second try from Hall and one from Tom Johnstone gave the hosts a 24-6 lead at the interval.

Ashurst got his second try within three minutes of the restart for 30-6 before the Wolves mounted a comeback with tries from Daryl Clark, Kurt Gidley and Matty Russell to narrow the deficit to 30-22. Liam Finn kicked a penalty for the Wildcats for 32-22 before a second score from Westerman made it a close game at 32-28 with just ten minutes left. The win was sealed with two minutes left on the clock as Ben Jones-Bishop crossed to seal a famous 36-28 success.