Sunday, 24 July 2016

Super League Round 23 Review

The final round of the regular season has traditionally seen positions still to be confirmed and this season was no different with top and bottom still to be decided as well the finishing position of every team.

Rhinos Deny Rallying Robins

Leeds Rhinos ensured they will play four home games in The Qualifiers after holding on for a 24-20 win over Hull Kingston Rovers at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

An opening ten minutes dominated by errors from both sides saw the Robins score the opening try five minutes later as Matty Marsh crossed with Josh Mantellato converting for 6-0. Leeds fought back within three minutes as Jimmy Keinhorst touched down with Liam Sutcliffe levelling with the boot for 6-6. 

Rob Burrow ghosted through the Robins defence to put the Rhinos ahead at 6-12 before Maurice Blair connected to a superb pass from Albert Kelly to cross for 10-12 just before the interval.

Ken Sio made it a perfect restart for the hosts as he crossed inside the opening seconds of the second half with Mantellato kicking for a 16-12 advantage. Leeds fought back with a cleverly worked try for James Segeyaro who opened his account for the Rhinos for 16-16 with Sutcliffe kicking them ahead.

Ryan Hall looked to have sealed the win with a try three minutes from the end for 16-24 but the Robins still had hope as they crossed with a minute to go through Kieran Dixon but a failed conversion left them at 20-24 and allowed the Rhinos to celebrate the win. 

FC Seal Top Spot With Salford Win

Hull FC end the regular season as league leaders after a hard fought 28-20 win over Salford Red Devils at the AJ Bell Stadium.

FC started superbly as Steve Michaels crossed for the opening try inside five minutes which Marc Sneyd converted for 0-6. Salford fought back through Michael Dobson with Gareth O'Brien levelling at 6-6. Frank Pritchard regained the lead for FC who went into the interval leading 6-12.

Mason Caton-Brown crossed for the hosts on 53 minutes to cut the gap to 10-12 before a Chris Green try on the hour mark gave FC a 10-18 advantage. However, Salford rallied back to not only cut the gap through Niall Evalds but take a 20-18 lead with Robert Lui's effort. Hull regained the lead with a self-converted score from Sneyd before Mahe Fonua's try three minutes from the end wrapped up the win and top spot for Hull ahead of the Super 8s.  

Saints Secure Derby Success Over Warriors 

St Helens boosted their hopes of a top four spot ahead of the Super 8s with a comfortable 23-4 derby win over Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium.

Saints made the better start of the two sides with Mark Percival opening the scoring with a penalty goal inside five minutes. Wigan fought back with a try from Lewis Tierney for 4-2 before Percival levelled with another penalty goal for 4-4 on 25 minutes. The Saints centre went over for a try of his own which he converted for a 4-10 lead and Morgan Knowles crossed for 4-16 at the interval.

The second half saw a closer game between the sides with the score remaining at 4-16 until six minutes from the end as Luke Walsh swept over a drop goal for 4-17 before James Roby wrapped up the win in the final minute. 

Wolves Edge Giants 

Warrington Wolves secured third spot ahead of the Super 8s with a 34-30 win over Huddersfield Giants at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Stefan Ratchford and Ben Currie crossed early on to put the Wolves 10-0 ahead inside 13 minutes before former Wolves winger Gene Ormsby crossed twice either side of an Aaron Murphy effort to give the Giants a 10-14 lead but a Ben Westwood try made it 16-14 to the hosts ahead of the interval. 

Nathan Mason regained the lead for the Giants within five minutes of the restart before efforts from Chris Sandow and Ryan Atkins made it 28-20 before Ormsby completed his hat-trick and Craig Huby crossed for the visitors who now led 28-30 with ten minutes left. The win was to go to the Wolves though as Daryl Clark crossed four minutes from the end to condemn the Giants to rock bottom in the standings. 

Terrific Tigers Trounce Trinity

Castleford Tigers secured sixth spot ahead of the Super 8s with a comfortable 46-20 win over neighbours Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at Belle Vue.

The Tigers who claimed the Adam Watene trophy with the win suffered early on with Wakefield racing into a 10-0 lead after tries from Jacob Miller and Joe Arundel. Greg Minikin and Oliver Holmes brought the Tigers level to 10-10 before a second try from Arundel sent the hosts into the interval leading 16-10.

Andre Savelio crossed for a try on his Tigers debut as they levelled at 16-16 before Reece Lyne crossed for 20-16. Castleford staged a stunning comeback as Luke Gale and Junior Moors crossed ahead of a second try from Minikin to take a 20-34 lead.

Tom Holmes and Ryan Hampshire crossed late on with Gale improving both for an personal tally of 18 points as the Tigers finished the regular season two places above their fierce rivals.

Valiant Vikings Devastate Dragons

Widnes Vikings secured their highest regular season finish with a strong 32-4 win over Catalans Dragons at the Select Security Stadium.

The Vikings' pursuit of seventh spot ahead of the Super 8s saw them start well with Corey Thompson crossing and converting for 6-0 inside eight minutes. Dave Taylor replied for the Dragons with Todd Carney somehow missing a conversion from in front of the posts at 6-4. Patrick Ah Van crossed with Thompson converting before adding to penalty goals for a 14-4 lead into the interval.

Joe Mellor extended Vikings spree on the hour mark with Stefan Marsh taking over the kicking duties for 20-4 with Aaron Heremaia crossing for a try ahead of an effort from Marsh late on. The centre converted to wrap up comfortable victory and ensure that the Dragons missed out on a top four spot ahead of the split.