Monday, 4 July 2016

Super League Round 20 Review

Huddersfield Giants Glorify In Halting Hull FC

Huddersfield Giants kept up their hopes of reaching the top eight ahead of the split as they claimed a shock win at home to league leaders Hull FC at the John Smith's Stadium.

The Giants took a surprise lead after 17 minutes as Michael Lawrence crossed with Jamie Ellis converting for a 6-0 lead. Ellis added a penalty goal in a tight first half of torrential rain to give the Giants an 8-0 advantage at the half-time interval.

Hull fought back with a try from Danny Washbrook just four minutes after the restart with Marc Sneyd converting for 8-6 but a first try in claret from Tom Symonds saw Huddersfield go 14-6 ahead before a superb three minute brace from Jermaine McGillvary put the Giants in control at 22-6.

FC rallied to stage a comeback but were only able to make a dent in the gap as Mahe Fonua crossed three minutes from the end for 22-12 but for FC it was an evening to forget as the Giants secured back-to-back wins for the first time this season while ending FC's stunning winning run.

O'Brien Kicks Red Devils Past Tigers

Salford Red Devils boosted their top eight hopes ahead of a potentially pivotal appeal hearing with a 22-18 win over Castleford Tigers at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The Tigers started the better of the two sides with Jake Webster crossing for the opening score inside nine minutes with Luke Gale converting for 0-6 before a try from Gareth O'Brien cut the gap to 4-6. Michael Dobson crossed for the hosts before Webster claimed his second effort as the Tigers held a 10-12 lead into the interval.

Luke Dorn extended the lead within five minutes of the restart before a first try of the season for Mason Caton-Brown put the score to 16-18. From there it was simply the Gareth O'Brien show as he kicked three penalty goals in the final nine minutes, the latter a last-gap kick to confirm the win.

Rallying Robins Deny Wolves Win

Hull Kingston Rovers remain in the hunt for a top eight spot after denying Warrington Wolves late on in a 16-all draw at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

The poor weather conditions certainly played their part in a tight first half that looked to be ending all square at 0-0. However, the game came alive in the final minutes of the half with James Green and Jordan Cox involved in a fracas which saw Green sent off for the hosts after punching the Wolves forward. 

Strangely, the hosts were given the penalty and they used it superbly as James Donaldson crossed for the first try of the evening which Ben Cockayne converted for 6-0 at the interval.

Thomas Minns extended the lead to ten points within four minutes of the restart but the Wolves fought back against the 12 men with tries from Matty Russell, Brad Dwyer and Jack Hughes all crossing to give the visitors a 10-16 advantage.

The Robins battled on despite being a man light and managed to draw level just two minutes from the end as Iain Thornley crossed and Cockayne converted to seal a potentially vital point in a 16-16 draw.

Dragons' Party Popped By Warriors 

Wigan Warriors moved level with Hull FC at the Super League summit with a 26-6 win against Catalans Dragons at Stade Gilbert Brutus. The game was part of a festival for the Dragons as they marked the 10 year anniversary of the first meeting between the sides. Pat Richards got the Dragons on the board with the first points as he kicked a tenth minute penalty for 2-0.

Wigan lost Lee Mossop to the sin-bin but seemed to play better with just 12 men as Dan Sarginson and Ryan Sutton crossed to give them a 2-12 lead. Oliver Gildart extended the led further with Matty Smith on fine kicking form as he added a penalty goal for 2-20 at the interval.

Justin Horo cut the gap for the hosts within four minutes of the restart for 6-20 before Wigan looked to wrap up the game with a try from Dom Manfredi just before the hour mark. Both sides pushed for more points but the Warriors held on to their lead to complete a superb win that puts them level with Hull FC and rights the wrongs of last season's horror show in France.  

Vikings Fightback Sends Rhinos Into Middle 8s

A superb 13-point turnaround from Widnes Vikings secured a 23-22 win against Leeds Rhinos, the result condemning the treble winners to the upcoming Middle 8s (The Qualifiers) and all but securing a top eight spot for the Vikings.

The Rhinos struck first with Kallum Watkins opening the scoring on seven minutes with Liam Sutcliffe converting for 6-0. Corey Thompson got the Vikings off the mark for 6-4 before tries from Ryan Hall and Joel Moon put the hosts 16-4 ahead. Joe Mellor cut the gap for the visitors for a 16-10 half-time scoreline.

Mitch Garbutt pushed the Rhinos to a 22-10 lead but from there Leeds were hit by a Widnes comeback that saw Patrick Ah Van cross ahead of Rhys Hanbury who also converted to level the game at 22-22. Both sides had 20 minutes to score a winner and the drop goal attempts came as time went on but it was to be a late one from Mellor as he secured the victory with 90 seconds remaining.

Saints Hold Off Wildcats 

St Helens kept up their hopes of catching the top four with a 44-32 win away to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats who missed the chance to confirm a top eight spot.

The hosts struck early with a Jacob Miller try putting them 6-0 ahead before Marc Percival crossed for Saints to make it 6-4. Greg Richards put the visitors ahead at 6-10 before a Tom Johnstone effort levelled the score at 10-10. A brace from Jonny Lomax gave Saints a 10-22 lead before Miller claimed his second try to send the sides into the break at 16-22.

Morgan Knowles crossed to push the Saints' lead to 16-28 before Miller completed his hat-trick for 22-28 but Saints were not to allow the hosts;' to dent the lead further as James Roby went over for 22-34. Wakefield scored back-to-back efforts for the first time all afternoon as Liam Finn and Ben Jones-Bishop closed the gap to 32-34 with Finn missing a chance to level with a conversion.

The miss proved not to be vital as St Helens sealed the win with two scores in the last nine minutes as Jordan Turner and Matty Fleming scored rare tries to wrap up the win.