Sunday, 7 August 2016

The Qualifiers Round One Review

Rhinos Rout Rovers

A battle between the highest and lowest placed sides head of the regular season split came from Post Office Road as Featherstone Rovers hosted Leeds Rhinos on Saturday. 

The Rhinos opened the scoring inside seven minutes through Kallum Watkins with Liam Sutcliffe crossing and converting for 0-10. Featherstone got off the mark just after the half hour as Anthony Thackeray crossed with Kyle Briggs converting. Joel Moon got the Rhinos back over the line ahead of a Sutcliffe penalty for 6-18 into the interval. 

Alike the first half, Kallum Watkins crossed within seven minutes of the half before Mitch Achurch, Carl Ablett and Tom Briscoe all crossed before the hour mark for a 6-40 lead. Sutcliffe reached six conversions before scoring his second try for 6-44. The Rhinos kept going with a second try from Moon before Watkins scored his hat-trick and fourth try in the final two minutes to complete a 6-62 rout. 

Centurions Survive Broncos Charge

The only all Championship clash of the opening round saw Leigh Centurions host London Broncos at Leigh Sports Village. 

The two sides exchanged penalty goals early on with Martyn Ridayrd and Jamie Soward kicking for 2-2. Matty Dawson crossed for the first try of the afternoon for 8-2 before Ben Hellewell replied with Soward levelling with the boot. The hosts went into the interval in the lead though as Mitch Brown crossed in the final minute of the half for 14-8. 

Ridyard added a penalty goal within three minutes of the restart before a Reni Maitua effort and second efforts from Brown and Dawson opened up a 34-8 advantage with just 14 minutes remaining. London mounted a stunning comeback with four tries in the final five minutes with Api Pewhairangi crossing twice ahead of efforts from Andy Ackers and Jack Bussey with Pewhairangi converting three but the Broncos just fell short in a 34-30 loss.

Red Devils Rally Guts Giants 

Salford Red Devils made a superb start in The Qualifiers as they secured a comfortable 34-12 over Huddersfield Giants at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The hosts made a stunning start by racing into a 14-0 lead inside 15 minutes as George Griffin crossed for the opening try ahead of an effort from Mason Caton-Brown with Gareth O'Brien converting both before adding a penalty goal.

The Giants went into the interval not only without scoring but 20-0 behind as Weller Hauraki late in the half.

Salford's spree resumed in the 52nd minute as Ben Murdoch-Masila crossed for 24-0 before Nathan Mason got the Giants off the mark with Danny Brough converting for 24-6 before Oliver Roberts opened his account for the season for two tries in three minutes for Huddersfield for 24-12. However, Salford were not to be caught as Caton Brown secured his hat-trick with further tries in the 63rd and 73rd minutes to complete the win. 

Rampant Robins Batter Bulldogs

The final game of the round came from the KC Lightstream Stadium as Hull Kingston Rovers hosted Batley Bulldogs.

Batley took a surprise lead as Alistair Leak crossed inside four minutes with Pat Walker converting for 0-6 before the Robins ran riot as they levelled through Shaun Lunt's converted try before a brace from Thomas Minns and tries from Matty Marsh and James Greenwood saw Josh Mantellato converted the lot for a 30-6 lead.  Minns completed a first half hat-trick with three minutes left of the first 40 but Batley had the last mark on the half as Tom Lillicrop crossed for 36-12 into the interval. 

Ben Cockayne resumed the Robins' spree on 51 minutes ahead of a second try from Greenwood and a Maurice Blair try on the hour which brought up the 50 point mark at 52-12. A fine kicking performance from Mantellato saw him claim a try five minutes from the end which he converted for a huge personal points haul of 22. Batley did manage to have the last say alike in the first half as Alex Rowe crossed late on with Walker converting for a 58-18 final score.