Sunday, 26 June 2016

Challenge Cup Quarter Final Review

A Semi For Wakefield After Fifita Brace

The first spot in the Challenge Cup semi final draw belongs to the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats after they claimed a 28-16 win against Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith's Stadium on Thursday night.

The Wildcats made a near perfect start as David Fifita opened his account inside three minutes before two penalty goals from Liam Finn sandwiched a stunning diving try from Ben Jones-Bishop as the visitors opened up a 14-0 lead. Huddersfield fought back with efforts from Simon Grix and Jake Connor to make it 14-8 into half-time.

However, Wakefield resumed their control on the scoreboard as Tom Johnstone dashed clear to score before Fifita crossed for his second try for a 26-8 lead before the hour mark. Jermaine McGillvary kept the Giants in the hunt before a Finn penalty left the gap at 16 with 12 minutes to go. McGillvary claimed his second try two minutes from the end but it was sheer consolation as the Wildcats put themselves just one win away from a trip to Wembley in August. 

Gidley Stars As Wolves Edge Vikings 

Warrington Wolves joined Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in Saturday'sChallenge Cup semi final draw after a tense 20-18 derby victory at home to Widnes Vikings.

The Wolves flew out of the blocks with Jack Hughes putting them 4-0 ahead within four minutes before both sides' attacks were blocked by good defence. Widnes fought back with two rapid tries as Joe Mellor and Matt Whitley crossed to give them a 6-12 lead. Kevin Penny closed the gap for the Wolves to make it 10-12 ahead of half-time.

A penalty goal from Kurt Gidley followed by a try from Brad Dwyer saw the Wolves move into an 18-12 advantage but a stellar move from the Vikings saw Charly Runicman cross with Hanbury levelling at 18-18 with the boot. The game looked to be too close to call as the final ten minutes ticked down but a foolish drop from offside on the ball from Hep Cahill gave Warrington a perfect position to score from and Gidley did just that as he swept over the penalty to seal a 20-18 win. 

Fabulous FC Deny Dragons

Hull FC kept up their hopes of securing a double this season as they claimed a place in the Challenge Cup semi finals with a 22-8 win over Catalan Dragons. The Dragons struck first with a try on his second debut from Benjamin Garcia for 0-4 before tries from Steve Michaels and Frank Pritchard gave them a 12-4 advantage into half-time.  

Danny Houghton extended the lead just ten minutes after the restart with Marc Sneyd kicking for 18-4 but Catalan remained in the hunt as Fouad Yaha finished off a clever move from the Dragons for 18-8 but Pat Richards' kicking was sadly not up to scratch as he misses his second attempt of the game.

Sneyd's kicking on the other hand was top notch as he kicked two penalty goals, the second from just over the halfway line to push the lead to 22-8, Catalans rallied late on to cut the gap but in vain as FC celebrated a comfortable win ahead of this evening's draw for the last four.  

Tomkins Stars As Warriors Defeat Dragons

Wigan Warriors claimed the final Challenge Cup semi final spot with a 26-12 win against Castleford Tigers at the DW Stadium. The Warriors who will face Hull FC in the last four made a great start with Dan Sarginson crossing for a 4-0 lead inside six minutes before a clever try from Sam Tomkins made it 12-0. Josh Charnley ran in a five minute brace as the Warriors went into the half-time interval with a huge 22-0 advantage.

Luke Gale got the Tigers off the mark with a try on the hour which he converted for 22-6 but it was followed by one of the most controversial tries of the season as Dom Manfredi was adjudged to have touched down after Luke Dorn's failure to collect the ball. The video replay showed that the Wigan winger had barely touched the ball to the anger of the huge following from the Tigers but at 26-6, Wigan looked safe.

The final say on the score came in the final minute as Ben Crooks crossed with Gale converting for a 26-12 final score which sees the Warriors advance to their first semi final since 2013 where they will face the side that they beat at Wembley that very year.