Friday, 30 September 2016

The Qualifiers Round Seven Review

Giants Edge Robins To Secure Safety

Huddersfield Giants retained their Super League status for 2017 with a hard fought 23-22 win over Hull Kingston Rovers at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

The Robins will face either Salford Red Devils or London Broncos in next Saturday's 'Million Pound Game' and they started poorly as Ryan Brierley raced over to open the scoring for the Giants after just five minutes with Danny Brough converting for 0-6. KR hit back with a clever effort from Maurice Blair for 4-6 before three tries in 11 minutes from the Giants saw Leroy Cudjoe and Aaron Murphy cross either side of a second for Brierley with Brough converting twice for a huge 4-22 lead at the interval.

The hosts set the foundations for a comeback as Ken Sio and a video referred try from Mitch Allgood were both converted by Josh Mantellato to cut the gap to just ix points at 16-22 with just 13 minutes gone in the second half. Another video referred try saw Iain Thornley cut the gap further with Mantellato levelling the game at 22-22 on the hour mark.

Both sides pushed to regain the lead and as the final ten minutes drew in, thoughts turned to a one-pointer for the Giants with a draw being enough for the Robins to be safe but not the Giants and they took the lead with 73 minutes on the clock with Brough sweeping over a drop goal for 22-23.

KR came achingly close to levelling as Terry Campese clipped the post with a drop goal attempt from distance late on but they were unable to mount another chance as the Giants held on for the win and secured a place in next season's Super League.

Super 8s Round Seven Review

FC's Treble Hopes End As Wolves Seal LLS

Warrington Wolves sealed top spot and the League Leaders Shield with a 23-6 win over Hull FC at the KCOM Stadium to end the Black and Whites treble hopes.

A rapid start from the visiting Wolves saw former FC winger Tom Lineham cross for the opening try inside the fifth minute for a 0-4 lead which was doubled just eight minutes later as Kevin Penny went over for 0-8.

After tough angles for the missed conversions, Declan Patton got off the mark with the boot with a penalty goal in the 15th minute for a 0-10 advantage. The remainder of the first half proved to be a close one with both sides strong in defence and attack as the score remained at 10-0 into the interval.

Hull took just three minutes of the second half to make their mark on the scoreboard as Carlos Tuimavave crossed for a try which Marc Sneyd converted to cut the gap to 6-10. Warrington boosted their advantage with two further penalty goals from Patton either side of the hour mark for 6-14 as FC's hopes of top spot continued to fall away.

Patton made it three goals in 15 minutes as he swept over his fourth of the evening to give the Wolves a ten point advantage with just eight minutes left of the 80. The win was confirmed with 75 minutes on the clock as Lineham haunted his former club for a second time for 6-22 and the gloss on the performance from Patton saw him kick a late drop goal as Warrington sealed top spot and claimed the League Leaders Shield for the first time since 2011.

Warriors Secure Second Against Dragons

Wigan Warriors secured second spot and a home semi final with a 48-24 win at home to Catalans Dragons.

The Warriors flew out of the blocks with Anthony Gelling crossing for the opening try inside three minutes with Matty Smith converting for a 6-0 lead. George Williams raced over twice in the space of eight minutes to sandwich an effort from John Bateman with Smith converting the lot for 24-0.

Wigan reached 30 points inside half an hour as Joe Bretherton crossed for his first senior try before Josh Charnley dashed over after a stunning run with Smith making it six from six with the boot for 36-0. Catalans avoided a first half nilling with a last-gasp effort as Vincent Duport crossed for 36-4 into the interval.

A self converted try from Smith within four minutes of the restart pushed the hosts into a 42-4 advantage which was soon cut by Justin Horo's effort for 42-8. Smith claimed his second try and converted it just before the hour mark for a 40 point gap at 48-8 but Catalans continued their fight back with a scores from Lucas Albert and Richie Myler with Myler converting his own effort for 48-18.

Wigan were opened up again late on as Jordan Sigismeau went over and with Myler converting, the Dragons ended the game having won the second half but failing to wrap up fifth spot. 

McDonnell Trebles As Saints Sink Trinity

St Helens prepared for next week's play off semi final with a 32-12 win against Wakefield Trinity who ended the Super 8s without a win.

A tight first quarter from both sides saw the hosts break the deadlock as Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook crossed for the opening try with Luke Walsh converting for 6-0. Wakefield hit back within six minutes as Toronto bound Craig Hall crossed for 6-4. Jack Owens ensured that Saints would lead into half-time with a late effort before Liam Finn kicked a last-gasp penalty goal for 12-6 at the interval.

Shannon McDonnell crossed to extend the hosts lead on 51 minutes with Walsh converting for 18-6 but Wakefield cut the gap just seven minutes later with a try from Young Player of the Year nominee Tom Johnstone which Finn converted for 18-12.

However, the win was sealed for the hosts with two further tries from McDonnell as he completed his hat-trick ten minutes from the end for 26-12. Saints reached the 30 point mark in the final stages as Theo Fages crossed and Walsh converted for a fourth time.

Solomona Trebles As Tigers Defeat Vikings

Castleford ended their season on a high as they sealed fifth spot with a 40-26 win over Widnes Vikings.

The Vikings opened the scoring through Wigan loanee Connor Farrell with Lloyd White converting for 0-6 before Luke Dorn crossed for a try in his farewell appearance for the Tigers for 4-6. A brace from Denny Solomona saw the hosts lead 16-6 into the break.

Corey Thompson and Ben Crooks crossed for either side for 22-10 before Solomona completed his hat-trick less than nine minutes of the restart for 28-10. Castleford looked to have wrapped up the win with further efforts from Matt Cook and Paul McShane as they reached 40 points but Widnes had other ideas as Patrick Ah Van crossed ahead of second tries for Farrell and Thompson as they ended the game with the final say.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Qualifiers Round Six Review

Salford Stunned By Brilliant Broncos

London Broncos kept up their hopes of reaching the Million Pound Game with a superb 19-16 win against a Salford Red Devils who are still in danger of losing their Super League status. 

London opened the scoring with a clever run of play seeing William Barthau race clear to score for 0-4. George Griffin crossed to draw the hosts level with Gareth O'Brien converting for a 6-4 lead. However, the Broncos went into the interval ahead as Scott Leatherbarrow crossed with two minutes left of the half with Jamie Soward converting for 6-10 at the break.

Soward extended the Broncos lead with a self-converted try just before the hour mark before kicking a penalty goal to open up an 6-18 advantage. The lead soon became 6-19 with a Barthau drop goal leaving Salford in trouble with ten minutes to go. The Red Devils rallied for a late comeback with Josh Griffin running in two tries in as many minutes with O'Brien converting just one of the two attempts as London held on for a famous victory. 

Centurions Cruise Against Battling Bulldogs

Leigh Centurions celebrated their promotion to Super League with a comfortable 42-24 win at home to Batley Bulldogs. 

The Bulldogs took a surprise lead through Dave Scott after just nine minutes with Pat Walker converting for 0-6. Leigh replied with efforts from Fui Fui Moimoi and Adam Higson with Lee Smith converting both for a 6-12 lead. Alistair Leak crossed as the visitors levelled at 12-12 before tries from Cory Paterson and Lewis Foster saw Smith convert for a 24-12 lead at the interval. 

The hosts took control with an effort from Travis Burns within six minutes of the restart before stretching the lead just after the hour mark as Willie Tonga crossed for 36-12. Keegan Hirst stemmed the Leigh charge with a try nine minutes from the end while Dayne Weston went over to put the hosts past the 40 point mark at 42-18. The final say on the scoreline went to the visitors as Wayne Reittie touched down in the final minute with Walker converting for a fourth time. 

Robins Win Battle of the Rovers

Hull Kingston Rovers held on to deny a rallying Featherstone Rovers comeback to edge closer to retaining their Super League status with a 32-24 win. 

The hosts took a surprise leas on nine minutes through Josh Walters with Kyle Briggs converting for 6-0 before a try from Josh Mantellato cut the gap to 6-4. James Duckworth crossed to restore Fev's lead with Briggs converting before adding a penalty goal for 12-4. The Robins went into the interval ahead through as Shaun Lunt touched down ahead of a last-gasp effort from Mantellato who converted both for 12-16. 

A rapid brace from Thomas Minns saw the Robins move to a 12-26 lead with James Greenwood crossing just after the hour mark to bring up the 30 point mark. Featherstone's comeback was spearheaded by Misi Taulapapa as he scored a six minute brace to cut the gap to eight points with 12 minutes to go. However, the Robins managed to stem the fight back and hold on for the win. 

Giants Glory As Leeds Lose

Huddersfield Giants boosted their hopes of avoiding the Million Pound Game with a 22-14 over neighbours Leeds Rhinos. 

The Giants led 6-0 early on after a Leroy Cudjoe opening try and penalty goal from Danny Brough with Brough later adding a second penalty for 8-0 on the half hour mark. Leeds went into the break 14-0 down as Ryan Brierley crossed for a 35th minute try which Brough improved. 

Leeds needed a huge fightback to maintain their perfect record in the series but a self-converted effort from Brough just eight minutes after the restart left the Rhinos with a 20-0 deficit to overturn. They began to cut the gap through Adam Cuthbertson just before the hour mark with Liam Sutcliffe converting for 20-6. 

Tom Briscoe crossed just two minutes later to cut the gap to 20-10 but another Brough penalty gave the Giants a two score lead at 22-10. Leeds hit back with five minutes to go through Ash Handley but were unable to post further scores as the Giants ended their 100% record.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Super 8s Round Six Review

FC's Fonua Denies Battling Trinity

Hull FC kept up their hopes of claiming top spot as they overcame a battling Wakefield side with a 18-12 win at Belle Vue.

A mixed start from both sides in the first ten minutes before Fetuli Talanoa was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul on Tom Johnstone. Wakefield made them pay within two minutes as Craig Hall's kick out wide found Joe Arundel who crossed for the opening try of the evening and Liam Finn converted for 6-0.

Just before the half hour mark, FC had an effort from Jamie Shaul denied by the video ref after superb defence from Craig Hall denied him. Finn extended the lead to 8-0 with a penalty goal on 33 minutes but Hull hit back four minutes before half-time through former Wakefield forward Danny Washbrook with Marc Sneyd converting for 8-6 into the interval.

A mixed start to the second half from both sides saw the hosts go close before Jordan Thompson put the visitors ahead on 53 minutes with Sneyd converting for 8-12. Wakefield were denied a try for a controversial offside from Liam Finn but a superb diving effort from Johnstone levelled for 12-12 on 63 minutes after video confirmation but Finn was unable to convert.

FC went ahead with nine minutes left to go as Mahe Fonua touched down out wide with Sneyd converting for 12-18. Wakefield had a great chance late on with a superb overlap but a poor pass saw the move wasted and FC had a chance of their own to increase the lead on the hooter but Sneyd was unable to convert.

Wire Face LLS Wait As Wigan Wonder

A stunning comeback from 12 man Wigan Warriors secured a 35-28 win against Warrington Wolves who face a wait to claim the League Leaders Shield. 

The game saw a superb start as Wigan took a surprise lead as Lewis Tierney crossed out wide for 0-4 before Matty Smith added two penalty goals in the remainder of the first quarter for an 0-8 lead. Warrington hit back with tries from Matty Russell, Kurt Gidley and Chris Hill to turn the game around just before the interval with Declan Patton converting twice for a 16-8 advantage. Wigan went into half-time just two points behind at 16-14 after a last-gasp effort from Sam Tomkins which Smith converted.

Joe Westerman crossed within five minutes of the restart with Patton kicking to restore the Wolves' eight point lead before Ben Currie went over five minutes later for a huge 28-14 advantage. Wigan's hopes of a comeback were dealt a blow just before the hour mark with the dismissal of Ben Flower but rather than hinder the Warriors, the loss of the forward inspired them. Two tries in four minutes from Josh Charnley saw the 12 men close 28-24 before a controversial second effort from Tierney was awarded via referral to level at 28-28. 

Warrington fell behind with four minutes left on the clock as Smith kicked Wigan 28-29 ahead with a drop goal and the gloss on a stunning comeback from Wigan saw Anthony Gelling intercept a Wolves attack on halfway to race clear and score with Jake Shorrocks converting to confirm a famous victory. 

Tigers Hold On To Deny Dragons

Castleford Tigers kept up their hopes of finishing fifth as they survived a superb fightback from Catalans Dragons to claim a 34-28 win.

Although neither side could reach the top four, there was certainly no lack of intensity early on with battling sets in attack and defence. The Tigers opened the scoring with a clever move as Ryan Hampshire swept the ball out to the wing for Paddy Flynn to race over, Luke Gale converting for a 0-6 lead. Catalans hit back within four minutes as Olivier Elima crossed with Tony Gigot levelling at 6-6.

Castleford tricked the hosts from the restart by claiming the kick and went on to score through Denny Solomona whose effort saw him draw level with the legendary Lesley Vainikolo's record of 36 tries in a regular season.

Gale improved the score for 6-12 before a piece of history as Solomona claimed his second try and in doing so became the highest scorer in a regular season with 37 tries, again Gale kicked the extras for a 6-18 lead inside 23 minutes. Ben Crooks extended the lead with eight minutes left of the first half before a battling effort from Glenn Stewart on 36 minutes sent the sides into the interval at 10-24.

The Tigers charge resumed within three minutes of the restart as Crooks claimed his second try of the afternoon with Gale converting to bring up the 30 point mark at 10-30 before Flynn got in on the act of braces with his second score with Gale unable to convert for the first time at 10-34.

Catalans went down to 12 on the hour mark with the sin-binning of Ben Garcia but managed to cut the gap after a superb dash from Vincent Duport saw him denied just before the line but on the next play, Eloi Pelissier crossed, Gigot converted for 16-34. The Dragons comeback continued just over a minute later as Louis Anderson cut the gap further, Gigot kicking them to 22-34.

A frantic finish for the hosts as after a video referral, Richie Myler was awarded a superb try which Gigot improved for 28-34 with just four minutes to go. Gale attempted two drop goals in the final three minutes to try and confirm the win as the Dragons rallied but they were not needed as the Tigers held on for the two points. 

Two Off As Saints Defeat Vikings

St Helens kept up their hopes of a top three finish with a 21-8 win away to Widnes Vikings who saw two late dismissals.

A stunning start from the visitors saw them race into an 0-8 lead as Adam Swift crossed twice inside the opening nine minutes with Luke Walsh adding a conversion to the opening try before extending the lead on 14 minutes with a penalty goal. Widnes hit back just before the interval as Patrick Ah Van went over for 4-10.

The visitors regained their double figure advantage with 12 minutes gone in the second half as Matty Fleming crossed for 4-16. Corey Thompson cut the gap for the hosts with eight minutes to go and the try seemed to make Saints wary as four minutes later, Walsh swept over a drop goal to confirm the win.

However, the action didn't end there as a scuffle on 78 minutes saw three cards from the referee with  Kevin Brown and Patrick Ah Van sent off for the Vikings while Joe Greenwood was sin-binned for Saints who utilised the short man advantage to sent Atelea Vea over for a score. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Qualifiers Round Five Review

Rhinos Rout Battling Bulldogs

Leeds Rhinos retained their Super League Status with a comfortable 32-0 win against Batley Bulldogs at Headingley. 

The Bulldogs did well to the Rhinos out in the first quarter or so until Tom Briscoe opened the scoring on 17 minutes with Jordan Lilley converting for 6-0. However, a brace from Kallum Watkins coupled with a single conversion from Lilley gave the Rhinos a 16-0 lead into the interval leaving the Bulldogs hopes still alive. 

As the hour approached, Ryan Hall crossed for the hosts before claiming his second just eight minutes later to surely wrap up the win as Leeds led 26-0. The gloss on a superb performance from the Rhinos came nine minutes from the end as Rob Burrow crossed with Lilley converting but despite the loss it was a decent performance from the part-time Bulldogs. 

Centurions Promoted As Giants Stutter

Leigh Centurions secured promotion to Super League for 2017 with a superb 48-40 win over Huddersfield Giants at Leigh Sports Village.

The Centurions raced into a surprise 18-0 lead inside 13 minutes after a try in the opening minute from Greg Worthington was followed by a brace from Matty Dawson with Martyn Ridyard converting the lot. Huddersfield fought back with tries from Michael Lawrence and Aaron Murphy with Danny Brough converting for 18-10 but from there, Leigh took full control with Ridyard crossing twice either side of Dawson's hat-trick try and a Cory Paterson effort for a huge 42-10 lead at the interval. 

The hosts' spree continued within nine minutes of the restart through Mitch Brown before the Giants staged a stunning comeback with Jake Connor scoring ahead of braces from Leroy Cudjoe and Jamie Ellis with Brough converting all five efforts to cut the gap to just eight points with three minutes remaining. However, Leigh held on in the final stages to claim a famous win and secure a return to the top flight for the first time in 11 years. 

Broncos Battered By Rallying Robins

Hull Kingston Rovers moved closer to retaining their Super League status with a comfortable 58-18 win at London Broncos.

The Robins raced into a stunning 0-24 lead inside the first quarter as former Broncos forward Thomas Minns crossed twice n the opening six minutes before a Ben Cockayne try and effort from another former Bronco in Kieran Dixon with Josh Mantellato converting the quartet. 

London hit back through Alex Walker and James Cunningham with Jamie Soward converting both efforts to cut the gap to 12-24 ahead of the interval. The Robins started the second half in a similar vain to the first with James Greenwood crossing inside the first minute before a try for Matty Marsh for 12-34. 

London remained in the hunt after Will Barthau's try made it 18-34 but the visitors took control from the hour mark with James Donaldson crossing ahead of a second from Marsh and a debut score from Will Jubb for 18-52. The rout was completed six minutes from the end as Minns completed his hat-trick with Mantellato converting for a ninth time.

Rampant Red Devils Rout Rovers

Salford Red Devils boosted their hopes of remaining in Super League with a 70-16 demolition of Featherstone Rovers.

The Rovers stunned the AJ Bell Stadium as they took the lead inside the first minute through Jordan Baldwinson with Kyle Briggs converting for 0-6 but from there Salford took control as Weller Hauraki, Josh Jones and Daniel Vidot crossed alongside a brace from Junior Sa'u inside first quarter for a huge 26-6 lead.

Jack Ormondroyd quelled the hosts' spree with Briggs converting for 26-12 but it was a minor blip in Salford's charge as Niall Evalds, Ben Murdoch-Masila and Logan Tomkins crossed with Gareth O'Brien converting the lot for a 44-12 advantage at the interval. Featherstone started the second half the better of the two sides with Josh Walters crossing for 44-16 before Olsi Krasniqi resumed the scoring for Salford. 

Second tries of the afternoon from Hauraki and Murdoch-Masila sandwiched a Michael Dobson effort as the Red Devils passed 60 points at 66-16. The final say on the scoreline came eight minutes from the end as Josh Jones scored his second try of the game to bring up the 70 point mark.

Super 8s Round Five Review

Super Saints Crush Cas

St Helens moved up to third after a convincing 40-16 win at home to a Castleford Tigers side who looked to win in the town for the first time since 1992.

The Tigers started superbly with two penalties in the opening minute resulting in a classy show and go from Luke Dorn who crossed for the opening try which Luke Gale converted for 0-6. Saints hit back through Matty Fleming whose effort was awarded after a video referral with Luke Walsh levelling with the boot.

Castleford regained the lead just before the end of the opening quarter as Wigan loanee Ryan Hampshire crossed out wide for 6-10 with Gale narrowly missing the conversion attempt. Saints fought back again but this time they went ahead as Morgan Knowles crossed with Walsh kicking for 12-10 before he improved a Kyle Amor effort for 18-10.

An apparent trip from Rangi Chase on Jonny Lomax saw the Tigers half sent to the sin-bin with Luke Thompson extending the hosts' lead within a minute for 24-10 as the Saints led by 14 at the interval. A mixed start to the second half saw the Tigers denied a try on 54 minutes after Ben Crooks had crossed.

Saints boosted their lead just after the hour mark as Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook crossed with Walsh on target again for a 30-10 advantage into the final quarter. The win and third spot in the table ahead of rivals Wigan for Saints was confirmed seven minutes from the end as Adam Swift crossed out wide for 34-10. Castleford looked to have the final say with Will Maher's first try of the season but a last-gasp try from Alex Walmsley saw Jack Owens kick to bring up the 40 point mark.


Derby Delight For Wolves 

Warrington Wolves continued to close in on the League Leaders Shield with a comfortable 30-12 derby victory over neighbours Widnes Vikings.

Chris Hill crossed from long range to open the scoring after 11 minutes with Kurt Gidley converting for 6-0 before Gidley added a penalty for an 8-0 advantage on 26 minutes. Widnes' strong defensive performance at Wigan last week seemed far away when Ashton Sims and Morgan Smith crossed to give the Wolves a huge 20-0 lead at the interval.

Joe Philbin extended the lead within five minutes of the restart before Joe Mellor got the Vikings off the mark with Corey Thompson converting for 26-6. However, the win was wrapped up 12 minutes from the end as Matty Russell went over for 30-6 but despite the loss, Widnes did have the last say on the score as Thompson scored three minutes from the end with Lloyd White converting.  

Trinity Edged By Dragons 

Catalans Dragons look to have consolidated fifth spot after a narrow 14-10 win away to Wakefield Trinity.

The Dragons started the better of the two sides as they opened the scoring inside four minutes through Jason Baitieri with Tony Gigot converting for 0-6. Wakefield replied rapidly through Max Jowitt for 4-6 but the Dragons went in again through Julian Bousquet to lead 4-12 after the first quarter and their eight point advantage lasted into the interval.

Craig Hall cut the gap within two minutes of the restart with Liam Finn converting for 10-12 but in such a tight game, a Gigot penalty just after the hour mark was enough to confirm the win for the Dragons.

Tautai Try Topples FC

Wigan Warriors kept up their hopes of a top two finish with an 18-12 win over Hull FC at the KCOM Stadium.
The Warriors made the better start of the two sides with George Williams zig-zagging through the FC defence to cross for the opening try for 0-4 before a clever effort from Fetuli Talanoa on the wing saw Marc Sneyd convert for 6-4, Mahe Fonua ghosted over for FC three minutes before the break before a superb long range penalty goal from Sneyd sent the hosts into the interval leading 12-4.

Sam Powell crossed for the Warriors on 65 minutes with Smith cutting the gap to 12-10 before a late show from the Warriors saw Taulima Tautai end a wait of over a year since his last score to touch down with Smith converting for 12-16 to surely seal the win for Wigan. Any doubts for the Warriors were quelled in the final minute when Smith confirmed the two points with a penalty goal.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

The Qualifiers Round Four Review

Rhinos Rout Red Devils

Leeds Rhinos eased to a 30-8 win over fellow Super League side Salford Red Devils at Headingley on Friday night. 

The hosts started superbly with Jamie Jones-Buchanan crossing for the opening try inside five minutes which Liam Sutcliffe converted for 6-0.Salford replied within minutes as George Griffin crossed with Gareth O'Brien levelling with the boot for 6-6. O'Brien added a penalty seven minutes before the interval but the Rhinos led at the interval with a late effort from Kallum Watkins for 10-8.

Jordan Lilley extended the lead with a penalty on 53 minutes before tries from James Segeyaro and Carl Ablett saw Lilley convert for a huge 24-8 lead. The gloss on a superb home win came two minutes from the end as Adam Cuthbertson crossed to complete the rout. 

Giants Gut Battered Broncos

Huddersfield boosted their campaign with a comfortable 40-4 win over London Broncos at the John Smith's Stadium. 

The Broncos took a surprise lead with Rhys Williams crossing in the 18th minute for 0-4 before the Giants replied through Jermaine McGillvary with Danny Brough converting for a 6-4 lead which was 10-4 at the interval after Leroy Cudjoe's effort.

Huddersfield extended their lead within two minutes of the restart through Joe Wardle for 16-4 before a second try from Cudjoe was followed by efforts from Michael Lawrence and Brough who converted the lot for 34-4. The gloss on a superb home performance came on 75 minutes as Aaron Murphy crossed with Brough bringing up the 40 point mark with the boot. 

Robins Rocked By Charging Centurions

Leigh Centurions continued their perfect record in The Qualifiers with a superb 25-18 win over Hull Kingston Rovers in torrential rain at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

The Robins suffered a blow before the news of Albert Kelly's suspension but they made a superb start as Josh Mantellato kicked them into a 2-0 lead with a fourth minute penalty. Ken Sio crossed for the first try of the afternoon within two minutes for 6-0 before Mantellato crossed for a try of his own for a 10-0 lead inside 12 minutes in the torrid conditions. Leigh fought back with a try from Sam Hopkins just second after he came off the bench with Martyn Ridyard converting for 12-6, a score that lasted into the interval.

Leigh staged a superb comeback early in the second half with Andrew Dixon, Matty Dawson and Josh Drinkwater all crossing for tries within 12 minutes of the restart with Ridyard converting twice for a 12-22 lead.  Matty Marsh cut the gap to 18-22 with 14 minutes to go but the win was sealed for the Centurions with 77 minutes on the clock as Ridyard swept over a drop goal which puts Leigh in a great position to seal a place in next year's Super League. 

Bulldogs Edge Rovers

The final game of the round saw Batley Bulldogs claim their first win of the campaign with a narrow 11-10 win over Featherstone Rovers on Sunday afternoon. 

The hosts opened the scoring through Wayne Reittie after just ten minutes before Luke Briscoe levelled for Rovers just five minutes later for 4-4.  James Duckworth crossed to put the visitors 4-8 ahead before a last-gasp drop goal from Dom Brambanu made it 5-8 into the interval.

A penalty goal apiece before the hour mark saw the score move to 7-10 before Reittie's second try six minutes from the end sealed the win.

Super 8s Round Four Review

Vikings Stun Warriors

Wigan Warriors' hopes of claiming top spot were dented by an 8-6 defeat last night to Widnes Vikings at the DW Stadium.

The last meeting between the sides saw Wigan edge a 7-0 win at Widnes and with the two sides currently the second and third worst attacking in the Super 8s, a night of strong defence was to be expected. Widnes opened the scoring after ten minutes as Corey Thompson was left wide open to cross in the corner and after a video referral, Widnes led 0-4.

Lloyd White was unable to convert as he was for a second score from Thompson on the half hour mark which was also subject to a video referral. Wigan looked a shadow of the side that nilled St Helens a fortnight ago and at the interval they were half way to a nilling themselves at 0-8.

Wigan got off the mark with a clever move resulting in Liam Farrell crossing, Jake Shorrocks converted in the absence of Matty Smith who missed the game due to illness but he was clearly missed in a Wigan attack that looked fruitless. Widnes paid the penalty of two team warnings with Jack Buchanan and Connor Farrell sent to the sin-bin.

Even two men light, Widnes looked the better of the two sides but as the game entered the final stages, Wigan were awarded three penalties in front of the sticks but decided to tap rather than level the game with a kick at goal. The choices proved to be costly as the Warriors threw to touch on the final set leaving Widnes to celebrate a surprise win and the home fans to wonder why Shaun Wane and the team chose not to claim a draw.

Classy Cas Trounce Trinity

Castleford Tigers eased to a 46-22 win over neighbours Wakefield Trinity Wildcats with Denny Solomona running in a superb hat-trick.

The Tigers winger opened the scoring inside six minutes for 4-0 before Reece Lyne crossed to draw the visitors level at 4-4. Rangi Chase claimed the first try of his current Tigers stint with Luke Gale converting for a 10-4 lead. Solomona completed a 16 minute hat-trick with two further tries which Gale improved for a 22-4 lead.

Wakefield remained in the hunt as Tom Johnstone marked his return from injury with a 27th minute effort. However, Castleford would go into the interval with a 26 point lead as Luke Dorn and Paul McShane crossed with Gale kicking his his fourth and fifth conversions for 34-8.

Wakefield's hopes of a comeback started early with Bill Tupou touching down within three minutes of the restart for 34-12 but Jake Webster went over with Gale kicking to bring up the 40 point mark at 40-12. Castleford's defence has been an issue this season and Wakefield broke through twice in three minutes after the hour mark as Nick Scruton crossed ahead of Johnstone's second for 40-22.

The gloss on the Tigers win came as Luke Gale crossed for a try of his won in the final five minutes which he converted for a personal 18 point haul as the Tigers closed upon fifth spot. 

Saints Stroll To Hand Hull FC Hangover 

St Helens closed the gap to rivals Wigan Warriors in third with a comfortable 31-10 win over a Hull FC side who suffered a hangover from last weekend's Challenge Cup success.

Hull FC made seven changes from their Wembley win but the depth of their squad paid off early as Mahe Fonua crossed inside three minutes with Curtis Naughton converting for 0-6. St Helens battled back with two tries in as many minutes with Jack Owens and Matt Fleming crossing with Owens converting once for a 10-6 lead which they held into the interval.

Atelea Vea boosted the hosts' lead just ten minutes after the restart and with Owens on good kicking form, they led 16-6. Hull FC responded with Sika Manu touching down but a missed kick from Naughton left the gap at one score at 16-10. Owens sent over a penalty goal for 18-10 before Vea claimed his second try to seal the win for the Saints at 24-10.

However, they were far from finished as Jordan Turner swept over a drop goal a couple of minutes later before Owens completed a superb performance with his second try four minutes from the end.

Currie Crushes Dragons Hopes 

Warrington Wolves left it late to move atop the Super 8s table as they secured a 26-22 win over Catalans Dragons.

The Wolves fielded a changed side from their Wembley upset and one of the incoming players gave them an early lead as Declan Patton crossed for the opening try inside seven minutes before converting for 0-6. A superb move saw Stefan Ratchford pick out Kevin Penny who raced over with Patton improving for 0-12. Catalans were unable to avoid a first half nilling as Patton claimed his second try in the final minute and converted for an 0-18 lead at the break.

Catalans got off the mark through Vincent Duport before former Wolves half Richie Myler crossed with Tony Gigot converting for 12-18 but a Patton penalty goal made it 12-20 as the game began to heat up.

Warrington were pegged back by superb seven minute spree from the Dragons with Benjamin Garcia crossing ahead of two penalties from Gigot as the hosts took a 22-20 lead. Another score was sure to come in such a tense match and it did with three minutes left on the clock as Ben Currie sealed the win for the Wolves with Patton kicking the conversion.