Thursday, 16 June 2016

Super League Round 18 Review

Valiant Vikings Deny Tigers

Widnes Vikings took a huge step towards sealing a place in top eight as they held off a late fightback from a rallying Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Thursday night.

The Vikings started superbly as Magraff Leuluai celebrated his new two-year deal with the opening try before Patrick Ah Van extended the lead to 0-10. Cas hit back as Paddy Flynn struck against his parent club for 6-10 before Chris Bridge gave the visitors a 6-14 advantage at half-time.

Flynn was in for his second just eight minutes after the restart but a second from Ah Van followed by a seven minute double from Lloyd White and a Joe Mellor effort from the kick-off put the Vikings in firm control at 12-38. However, Cas were not to go down without a fight as tries from Larne Patrick and Luke Gale cut the gap to 22-38 before Flynn completed his hat-trick for 28-38 but to no avail as the Vikings held on for the win.

Wolves Fall To FC

Friday's televised action came from the Halliwell Jones Stadium as Warrington Wolves hosted leaders Hull FC in a huge top of the table clash. The Wolves took just four minutes to strike as Gene Ormsby crossed for 4-0 before Fetuli Talanoa levelled with Marc Sneyd kicking for 4-6. Chris Sandow put the hosts to 10-6 before a Mark Minichello effort gave FC a 10-12 half-time lead.

Gidley kicked to level at 12-12 but in vain as Gareth Ellis made it 12-18 before a late drop goal from Sneyd sealed a 12-19 win that put FC clear at the Super League summit. 

Rhinos Edge Red Devils 

Friday also saw a battle at the wrong end of the table as bottom side Leeds Rhinos hosted Salford Red Devils at Headingley. 

The Rhinos made an early mark on the game as Luke Briscoe opened his 2016 account for 4-0 inside six minutes. The weather conditions meant the game was to be a tight one as neither side was able to post points for the rest of the first half.

Leeds extended their narrow lead with a Liam Sutcliffe penalty seven minutes before the hour mark before he added a second penalty in the final minute to wrap up a slim 8-0 victory. 

Robins Rue As Warriors Win

The game I attended was at the KC Lightstream Stadium as Hull Kingston Rovers hosted Wigan Warriors. The Warriors struck early as Dom Manfredi crossed for a brace inside 14 minutes for 0-8. Albert Kelly replied for the Robins for an 6-8 scoreline at half-time. 

The Robins continued their scoring streak with efforts from Thomas Minns and Mitch Allgood which put them into an 18-8 lead before Anthony Gelling signalled his comeback from injury with a try for 18-14 with 11 minutes to go. Wigan completed the comeback to seal a late win as Sam Tomkins crossed on 78 minutes with Smith kicking to claim an 18-20 triumph. 

Dragons Delight Against Saints 

Catalan Dragons regained second spot after a comfortable 33-16 win over fifth placed St Helens on Saturday.

The Dragons started superbly as Pat Richards kicked a first minute penalty before Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook put the Saints 2-6 ahead. Fouad Yaha and Lucas Albert put the Dragons back in control at 12-6 before a late drop goal gave them a 13-6 half-time lead.

Adam Swift crossed for the Saints but a Jodie Broughton double fired the Dragons to 27-10 with 20 to go. Thomas Bosc took over the kicking with Richards having a horror show and he kicked a penalty before converting a Tony Gigot effort for 33-10. The visitors had the last say on the contest as Shannon McDonnell crossed but it was in vain at 33-16. 

Giants Gutted As Wildcats Win

The round came to an end on Sunday at the John Smith's Stadium as Huddersfield Giants hosted Wakefield Wildcats. The game was a tight one in the first quarter with the score remaining blank until Liam Finn kicked a penalty for 0-2, a lead which remained into the half-time break. 

Danny Brough drew the Giants level at 2-2 with a 51st minute penalty but just three minutes later Finn added his second penalty for a 2-4 advantage. The game was won with 11 minutes to go as Danny Kirmond crossed for the afternoon's sole try with Finn kicking for a 2-10 final score.