Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Super League Round 16 Review

The second double header of the season saw ten sides compete in Round 16 across Bank Holiday Monday.

Opening the review is the game I attended yesterday which saw Wigan Warriors suffer a 42-30 loss to Wakefield Trinity.

The Warriors raced into a 20-0 lead inside the first quarter of the game as James Worthington crossed for a debut try two minutes in before Lewis Tierney, Thomas Leuluai and Liam Marshall went over, George Williams converting twice.

Wakefield fought back superbly as Bill Tupou scored an 11-minute treble sandwiching a Mason Caton-Brown effort with Liam Finn converting three times for a 20-22 half-time lead.

Trinity took control with tries from Danny Kirmond and Anthony England with Finn converting both as well as a penalty goal in between for 20-36. Wigan hit back with a second score from Worthington, Marshall converting for 26-36. However, Wakefield were not to denied the win as a Jacob Miller effort converted by Finn on 70 minutes confirmed the win. Wigan had the last say on the score line as Marshall claimed his second try late on but it was to be a first win in eight seasons for Trinity at the DW Stadium.

Warrington Wolves' woes continued as they were beaten 38-12 by high-flying Salford Red Devils.

Salford raced into an 18-0 lead inside 24 minutes as Jake Bibby, Niall Evalds and Junior Sau crossed with Gareth O'Brien converting the lot. Brad Dwyer replied for the Wolves with Declan Patton converting but a second score from Sau made it 6-22 into half-time.

Sau completed his hat-trick within ten minutes of the restart with Evalds claiming his second score on the hour, O'Brien converting the latter for 6-32. A Tom Lineham try converted by Patton four minutes later made it 12-32 but it was in vain as Kriss Brining crossed five minutes from the end with O'Brien converting for a fifth time.

The last of the 3pm games saw a surprise results as Widnes Vikings stunned Leeds Rhinos with a 28-20 victory.

Ash Handley put the Rhinos ahead inside ten minutes for 0-4 before Widnes levelled through Rhys Hanbury, 4-4. Kallum Watkins restored the lead within three minutes with Liam Sutcliffe converting for 4-10 ahead of an effort from Stevie Ward for a 4-14 advantage.

A three minute double saw Ryan Ince and Corey Thompson cross for 12-14 into half-time. Widnes went ahead on the hour through Aaron Heremaia with Chris Bridge converting for 18-14. However, the lead lasted just six minutes as Adam Cuthbertson went over with Sutcliffe converting for 18-20. Widnes regained the lead with eight minutes to go as Ince claimed his second try with Bridge converting for 24-20 and unlike Friday's late slip at Castleford, they wrapped up a much needed win three minutes later with Thompson's second score.

Castleford Tigers continued their stay atop the standings with a 38-0 rout of Leigh Centurions.

A brace from Jesse Sene-Lefao and conversions from Luke Gale gave the Tigers a 0-12 lead with 23 minutes on the clock.

Leigh were stunned by a five minute hat-trick from Greg Eden just before half-time with Gale improving two efforts for a 0-28 advantage.

The Tigers winger scored his fourth within ten minutes of the restart before the rout was completed before the hour mark as Jake Webster crossed and Gale converted.

The final game of the day saw Catalans Dragons edge a 23-18 win over Hull FC.

The Dragons opened the scoring inside seven minutes as former FC forward Sam Moa crossed, Luke Walsh converting for 6-0. FC levelled with an Albert Kelly try which Jake Connor converted. Catalans edged ahead with a Walsh penalty for 8-6 before the Dragons half kicked a late drop goal for a 9-6 half-time lead.

The hosts' lead increased within four minutes of the restart with a Walsh penalty before a brace from Nick Rawsthorne saw Connor convert twice for an 11- 18 lead. The Dragons were not to suffer defeat though as Fouad Yaha and Tony Gigot crossed in the final ten minutes with Walsh converting both to confirm the victory.

Round 16 was incomplete due to the moving of the clash between Huddersfield Giants and St Helens due to Huddersfield Town's participation in the EFL Championship Play-Off Final so the game will now be played during the Challenge Cup Quarter Finals weekend with both sides having exited in earlier rounds.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Super League Round 15 Review

After a superb Magic Weekend up in Newcastle for round 14, Super League sides returned to hosting duties in round 15.

The round opened on Thursday night with as St Helens secured a 22-19 derby win over fierce rivals Wigan Warriors.Saints started superbly as Ryan Morgan crossed inside five minutes with Mark Percival converting for 6-0.

Wigan replied with tries from Tom Davies and Lewis TierneyGeorge Williams converting both either side of a penalty goal for a 6-14 lead. Saints cut the gap four minutes before half time through Zeb Taia, Percival converting for 12-14 into the interval.

The Warriors moved six clear just after the hour as Joe Burgess touched down for 12-18 but a self-converted try from Percival levelled at 18-18. Wigan went 18-19 ahead with a Thomas Leuluai drop goal with eight minutes to go but it was in vain as Percival went over for his second try late on to secure the win.

Friday night saw a quintet of games with a top vs bottom clash as Castleford Tigers came from behind to claim a 32-22 win over Widnes Vikings.

Cas opened the scoring through Greg Eden after 11 minutes before being hit back two Vikings scores in eight minutes as Ryan Ince and Jack Johnson crossed, Ed Chamberlain converting for a 4-12 lead. The hosts cut the gap just before the interval as Gadwin Springer went in, Luke Gale converting for 10-12.

Widnes took advantage within eight minutes of the restart Corey Thompson scoring ahead of Johnson's second try, Chamberlain converting once for 10-22. The Tigers battled back with a Greg Minikin score and Eden's second, Gale converting for 20-22. The comeback was completed in the final six minutes of the 80 as Eden completed his hat-trick ahead of an effort from Matt Cook, Gale converted both to confirm the win.

Hull FC suffered an upset as they slipped to a 26-22 loss to Leigh Centurions who claimed their first ever away success in Super League. An early try from Matty Dawson gave Leigh a 0-4 lead which was cancelled out by Jamie Shaul's effort.

Leigh regained the lead with Dawson's second try before Atelea Vea crossed, Ben Renyolds converting for a 4-14 lead that was cut to 10-14 just before the break as Carlos Tuimavave crossed and Marc Sneyd converted.

A self converted effort within five minutes of the restart from Renyolds put Leigh 10-20 ahead but a second Shaul score just three minutes later saw Sneyd convert for 16-22. A second try for Vea saw Renyolds convert for 16-26. FC set up a tense finish though as Albert Kelly crossed with five minutes left of the 80 with Sneyd converting for a four point game but Leigh held on for an historic win.

The televised game saw a blowout score as Leeds Rhinos eased to a 40-0 win over Warrington Wolves. The Rhinos went ahead with 14 minutes gone as Matt Parcell crossed, Liam Sutcliffe converted for 6-0 but was unable to improve his own effort on the half hour mark at 10-0 but made it 12-0 into the interval with a penalty goal.

Parcell's second try within four minutes of the restart was followed by a Jamie Jones-Buchanan score for 22-0 advantage. Warrington were out of the game as a contest just after the hour as Joel Moon touched down, Sutcliffe improved the score before adding a penalty for 30-0 lead. The rout was completed by Parcell crossing for his hat-trick ahead of a late try from Rob Burrow to bring up the 40 point mark.

Salford Red Devils continued their stay in the top two with a comfortable 50-12 victory over Catalans Dragons. The Red Devils raced into an 18-0 lead inside 22 minutes with scores from Gareth O'Brien, Josh Jones and Kris Welham all converted by Michael Dobson. 

Further scores before half-time saw Niall Evalds and Ryan Lannon crossing with Dobson converting the latter for a huge 28-0 half-time lead. Kriss Brining crossed to bring up the 30 point mark within two minutes of the restart before Vincent Duport got the Dragons on the board, Luke Walsh converting for 34-6.

Salford wrapped up the win with scores from Robert Lui, Olsi Krasniqi and Mark Flanagan with Dobson converting twice for 50-6. The Dragons did have the last say on the scoreline though as Fouad Yaha crossed in the final minute with Walsh converting.

The closest game of the weekend saw Wakefield Trinity edge a 28-26 win over Huddersfield Giants. Trinity raced out of the block with Ben Jones-Bishop touching down inside two minutes, Liam Finn converting for 6-0.

The Giants replied superbly with a trio of tries as Jake Mamo, Jermaine McGillvary and Lee Gaskell crossed in an 11-minute spree with Martyn Ridyard converting the lot for a 6-18 lead. However, Wakefield cut the gap to just 16-18 at the interval as Reece Lyne (Finn conv) and Danny Kirmond went over.

Dale Ferguson touched down within five minutes of the restart with Ridyard's conversion making it 16-24. A second try from Lyne (Finn conv) cut the gap to 22-24 before a Ridyard penalty made it 22-26 but Trinity would complete the comeback ten minutes from the end as Jones-Bishop claimed his second try to level at 26-26 with Sam Williams sealing the win with the resulting conversion.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Super League Magic Weekend Review

Ahead of the second double weekend of the season, Super League made the trip up north to Newcastle for the annual Magic Weeekend which this year took place in round 14.

Saturday's opening game saw Widnes Vikings suffer a 34-12 defeat to Wakefield Trinity. Trinity opened the scoring through Scott Grix with Liam Finn converting for 0-6 ahead of an effort from Reece Lyne and second score from Grix, Finn converting the latter for a 0-16 half-time lead.

Wakefield took just two minutes of the second half to resume their control as Ben Jones-Bishop crossed with Finn converting for 0-22. Widnes got off the mark five minutes later through Ryan Ince, Ed Chamberlain converting for 6-22.

However, it was to be in vain as Finn penalty just after the hour was followed by a second try from Jones-Bishop and a score from Matty Ashurst with Finn converting the latter for 6-34. Widnes had the last say though as Hep Cahill went over with Chamberlain converting four minutes from the end.

St Helens stormed to a huge 45-0 rout over Hull FC with new coach Justin Holbrook watching from the stands in the second game.

Saints opened the scoring in style as Alex Walmsley, Ryan Morgan and Morgan Knowles crossed in and eight minute spree with Mark Percival converting the lot for 0-18. A perfect first half for Saints saw Matty Smith kick a late drop goal for 0-19 at the interval.

Hull were out of the game as a contest just after the hour mark as Walmsley claimed his second try ahead of a try for Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook and a superb score from Tommy Makinson,Percival converting twice for 0-35. A late brace from Regan Grace saw Percival convert the first to smash the 40 point mark.

Saturday's main event saw a rematch of last season's Grand Final as Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves shared the points in an epic 24-all draw. Wigan struck first with a try from Liam Marshall with Josh Woods converting for 0-6.

Warrington hit back within six minutes through Daryl Clark, Stefan Ratchford levelling at 6-6 before a second Marshall try saw George Williams make it 12-6 with the boot for a lead that lasted into the interval. Wigan went 18-6 ahead withing six minutes of the restart as Marshall completed his hat-trick with Williams converting.

Warrington battled back with tries from Ratchford and Tom Lineham, Ratchford converting the latter before levelling at 18-18 with a penalty goal. The Warriors edged ahead at 20-18 with a penalty from Williams on 70 minutes before former Warriors forward Jack Hughes looked to have won the game for the Wolves five minutes from the end, Ratchford converting for 20-24. However, in typical Warriors fashion, Wigan levelled in the final seconds through a Joe Burgess try but Williams was unable to seal the win with the conversion attempt.

Sunday's opening game saw Catalans Dragons fall to a 10-18 defeat to Huddesfield Giants in what proved to be the final game for Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous. A rapid start from the Dragons saw Richie Myler cross inside four minutes, Luke Walsh converting for 6-0.

The Giants replied through Lee Gaskell for 6-4 and went into the interval level after a Martyn Ridyard penalty goal for 6-6. Catalans regained the lead within eight minutes of the restart through Iain Thornley's try for 10-6.

Huddersfield secured the win with a late rally as Sam Rapira and Adam O'Brien crossed in the final eight minutes and Ridyard converted both efforts.

Salford moved level atop the league standings as they secured a 36-22 win over Leigh Centurions.

A rapid start from both sides saw a debut try from Matty Fleming (Josh Drinkwater conv) for Leigh swiftly followed by a Salford try from Ben Murdoch-Masila for 6-4. A Gareth O'Brien penalty goal made it 6-6 before Mitch Brown crossed to restore the Centurions' lead, Drinkwater converting for 12-6.

Salford hit superbly as Murdoch-Masila claimed his second try ahead of a Kris Welham score, O'Brien converting both for 12-18. The Red Devils were in control at the interval after a Greg Johnson try was converted by Michael Dobson for 12-24.

Leigh cut the gap within eight minutes of the restart through Ben Crooks with Drinkwater converting for 18-24 but they were dealt a blow as Adam Higson was sent off for a high shot on O'Brien. Salford used the man advantage instantly with a Niall Evalds try, Dobson kicking for 18-30. The Centurions did cut the gap again though as Matty Dawson went over for 22-30 but Salford were able to confirm the win with a second try from Johnson and a penalty goal from Dobson.

The final game of the round saw league leaders Castleford Tigers move clear after a 29-18 over Leeds Rhinos. A stunning start from the Tigers saw Luke Gale cross and convert for 6-0. Leeds hit back through Kallum Watkins for 6-4.

Leeds levelled just before the interval with a Liam Sutcliffe penalty goal making it 6-6 into half-time. However,two tries in four minutes after half-time from Greg Eden saw Gale convert for 18-4.

A dashing try from Tom Holmes and a hat-trick try from Eden saw Gale kick for 28-6 but Leeds rapidly cut the gap through Joel Moon, Sutcliffe converting for 28-12. Gale kicked a drop goal for 29-12 with seven minutes left but Leeds had the last say as Sutcliffe crossed for a converted try with two minutes to go.

A great event overall and one which I thoroughly enjoyed attending on Saturday but while I returned home safely, thoughts go to those who had enjoyed an event in Manchester on Monday night but tragically didn't return home. 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Challenge Cup Sixth Round Review

A break from Super League action this weekend saw the Challenge Cup resume at the sixth round stage.

The round opener saw an all-Championship battle as Featherstone Rovers hosted Halifax on Thursday night. The visitors struck first as Ben Heaton crossed on 18 minutes, Steve Tyrer converting for 0-6. A try from John Davies and Cory Aston conversion made it 6-6 within four minutes before Scott Turner went over for the hosts, Aston converting for 12-6. 

The hosts led 13-6 at half-time as Anthony Thackeray swept over a drop goal. Fev went further ahead within seven minutes of the restart as Turner claimed his 100th career try for 17-6. 

The sin-binning of Shane Grady was a blow for Fax but the 12 men cut the gap as Ben Johnston crossed with Tyrer converting for 17-12. The gap soon became six points as Thackeray kicked his second drop goal of the evening for 18-12 with 13 minutes to go but for Fax the gap was only to widen as Josh Hardcastle touched down with Aston kicking to confirm a 24-12 victory.

Friday night saw a trio of ties starting with a local battle across divisions as Championship side Dewsbury Rams lost 54-6 to Wakefield Trinity. Trinity went ahead inside five minutes as Mason-Caton Brown struck, Liam Finn converting for 0-6.

Further tries from Matt Ashurst, Sam Williams and Bill Tupou saw Finn convert the trio for a 0-24 half-time advantage. The Rams got off the mark instantly after the restart as Aaron Brown touched down and James Glover converted for 6-24.

Trinity took full control before the hour mark as Caton-Brown and Tupou claimed their second scores of the game with Finn improving both scores. Ashley Gibson crossed on 62 minutes to breach the 40 point mark before Caton-Brown completed his hat-trick six minutes and claimed a fourth score nine minutes from the end with Finn ending the game with nine goals from nine attempts.

Holders Hull FC eased into the last eight with a 62-0 demolition of Catalans Dragons. Steve Michaels opened the scoring inside two minutes before Josh Griffin crossed within four minutes for 8-0.

Further efforts from Mahe Fonua, Liam Watts and a second score from Michaels were followed late in the half by a Scott Taylor try with Marc Sneyd converting twice for 28-0 at half-time.

The Black and Whites spree resumed within four minutes of the restart as Michaels completed his hat-trick and tries from Jansin Turgut and Jordan Thompson saw Jake Connor convert both for 44-0.

The Dragons' miserable evening only got worse as Jamie Shaul crossed for an eight minute brace with Connor converting both before registering a self-converted try in the final minute.

The evening's televised action saw a repeat of last seasons Million Pound Game as Salford Red Devils faced Championship leaders Hull Kingston Rovers. The Robins took the lead with a five minute brace from Shaun Lunt with Jamie Ellis converting both for 0-12.

Ellis extended the lead to 0-14 six minutes before the interval before Salford got off the mark as Ryan Lannon touched down with Michael Dobson converting for 6-14. The Red Devils cut the gap further within three minutes of the restart as Craig Kopczak crossed and Dobson converted for 12-14.

The comeback was complete before the hour mark as Kriss Brining crossed with Dobson's conversion putting the hosts 18-14 ahead. Salford confirmed their place in the last eight with eight minutes left as Ben Murdoch-Masila went over with Dobson converting for a 24-14 final score.

Saturdays action saw Super League leaders Castleford Tigers ease to a 53-10 victory over St Helens. The Tigers led 10-0 inside 12 minutes as Michael Shenton and Jake Webster crossed for tries which saw Luke Gale convert the latter. 

Saints replied through Ryan Morgan on 19 minutes before a Tigers spree saw Webster score his second try ahead of efforts from Paul McShane, Greg Minikin and Nathan Massey, Gale converting twice and adding a late drop goal for 31-4 into the interval.

The hosts were out of sight within six minutes of the restart as Greg Eden went over twice with Gale converting once for 41-4 but the 50 point mark was soon to be reached. Eden completed his hat-trick ahead of Minikin's second try and with Gale converting both the win was safe at 53-4. Saints did have the last say though as Luke Douglas crossed six minutes from the end with Mark Percival converting.

Sunday saw two cross divisional meetings with the first seeing Leeds Rhinos cruise to a 72-10 win over League One side Barrow Raiders. The Rhinos stormed into a 22-0 lead inside the first quarter as Joel Moon crossed twice sandwiching efforts from Matt Parcell and Ash Handley with Liam Sutcliffe converting three times. 

Barrow got off the mark on 22 minutes as Luke Cresswell touched down but it was a minor dent in the Rhinos' charge as Moon completed his hat-trick ahead of Ryan Hall's late try, Sutcliffe converted both for 32-4 into the interval.

The win was sealed before the hour as Handley claimed his second try ahead of efforts from Stevie Ward and Liam Sutcliffe with Sutcliffe converting twice for 48-4. A seven minute brace from Rob Burrow (Sutcliffe convs) sandwiched a Jarrad Stack try and Karl Ashall conversion to make it 60-10. The hosts added gloss to the win with two scores in the final five minutes as Parcell went over for his second score and Keith Galloway got in on the action with Sutcliffe converting both for a 10 goal haul and 24 point tally.

The televised action saw a fierce local derby as Warrington Wolves faced Widnes Vikings. Greg Burke's 15th minute opener, converted by Patrick Ah Van gave the Vikings a 0-6 lead. 

Warrington replied through Ryan Atkins with Kevin Brown scored against his former club, Stefan Ratchford converting both for a 12-6 lead that lasted into half-time. 

Widnes levelled within six minutes of the restart as James Chapelhow touched down, Ah Van converting for 12-12 before putting the Vikings 12-14 ahead with a penalty goal. 

The Wolves regained the lead with Brown's second try with Ratchford converting and adding a penalty goal on the hour for 20-14. The Vikings levelled within five minutes with a self-converted try from Ah Van, 20-20. However, Warrington secured the win with three tries in 11 minutes as Brown completed his hat-trick, Matty Russell and Chris Hill touched down and Ratchford converted the latter for a 34-20 final score.

The round ended as Championship side Swinton Lions looked to make it two Super League scalps in a row as they hosted Wigan Warriors. The Warriors opened up a 0-10 lead inside 20 minutes with tries from Joel Tomkins and Liam Farrell, Liam Marshall converting the latter.

A clever try from Joe Burgess and effort from Marshall saw Wigan lead 0-16 at the interval. Swinton got off the mark within three minutes of the restart through Grant Gore with Chris Atkin converting for 6-18. Burgess claimed his second try ahead of a dashing effort from Tom Davies, Marshall converting for 6-30. 

Wigan sealed the win with two tries in three minutes as Josh Ganson scored his first senior try ahead of a try for Nick Gregson, Marshall converting for 6-42. The final say went to the Lions as Mike Butt marked his return from the sin-bin with a try which Atkin converted for 12-42.                          

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Super League Round 13 Review

Ahead of the sixth round of the Challenge Cup, Super League action reached round 13 and it proved to be a good weekend to be an away fan with all but one game won by the visiting team.

The round opened on Thursday night as Huddersfield Giants suffered a 26-21 loss to league leaders Castleford Tigers. The Tigers took the lead inside eight minutes through Joel Monaghan's try which Paul McShane converted for 0-6 .

Hudds hit back with a rapid brace from Jake Mamo with Danny Brough converting twice to give the hosts a 12-6 lead. Greg Minkin crossed (McShane conv) for 12-12. Mamo completed his hat-trick with Brough kicking for an 18-12 half-time advantage. 

Greg Eden (McShane conv) levelled at 18-18 before a Brough drop goal made it 19-18 and a McShane penalty goal turned the score around to 19-20. Cas were dealt a harsh blow nine minutes from the end as Jake Webster was sin-binned with Brough converting the resulting penalty for 21-20 but the 12 men battled to secure the win as Jesse Sene-Lefao crossed with McShane converting five minutes from the end.

Friday's non-televised action saw the youthful Wigan Warriors lose out 31-16 at home to Salford Red Devils. Both sides entered the game with a mass of absentees but the visitors had the edge experience wise and it paid off early as Kris Welham scored inside four minutes for 0-4.

Niall Evalds,Ben Murdoch-Masila registered efforts with Michael Dobson converting both for a 0-16 lead into the interval. Wigan's second half hopes were rapidly dented as Evalds crossed for a second time with Greg Johnson following, Dobson converted both for a huge 0-28 lead.

Wigan hit back with three scores as Tom Davies went over ahead of tries from Ryan Sutton and Lewis Tierney with debut kicker Josh Woods converting twice for 16-28. Salford were not to be denied their first win in 20 years in Wigan though as a drop goal from Gareth O'Brien saw him kick a penalty goal after being impeded to complete the victory.

The evening's televised game saw Warrington Wolves come from behind to secure a 40-18 win over St Helens. The Saints were swiftly in front as Adam Swift crossed after just 41 seconds with Tommy Makinson converting before adding a penalty goal on 13 minutes for 0-8. Ryan Morgan extended the lead on 27 minutes with Makinson converting for 0-14.

Warrington replied with scores from Ben Jullien and Mike Cooper with Harvey Livett converting for 12-14 into half time. The Wolves completed the turnaround within five minutes of the restart via a self-converted try from Livett before storming to a 36-14 lead on the hour with tries from Rhys Evans, Tom Lineham and Ryan Atkins with Livett converting the lot.

Saints ended the Wolves spree with a Dominique Peyroux try but the Wolves had the last say as Atkins crossed late on to bring up the 40 point mark.

Saturday's televised action saw Catalans Dragons suffer a last-gap 30-24 defeat to Leeds Rhinos.

The Dragons fell behind two minutes in as Liam Sutcliffe crossed and converted for 0-6. Tries from Louis Anderson and Julien Bousquet saw Tony Gigot convert both to give the hosts a 12-6 lead which became 16-6 after a score from Brayden Williame. Leeds cut the gap just before the interval as Stevie Ward touched down with Sutcliffe converting for 16-12 into half-time.

Remi Casty (Gigot conv) crossed on 52 minutes to move the Dragons to 22-12 but a superb last eight minutes from the Rhinos turned the game around. Adam Cuthbertson raced over ahead of a try from Rob BurrowSutcliffe converting both for a 22-24 advantage. A penalty goal from Gigot  on 78 minutes looked to have secured a 24-24 draw but the Rhinos had other ideas as Danny McGuire went over with just seconds remaining, Sutcliffe converting to confirm the victory.

Saturday's earlier action saw Leigh Centurions' losing run continue as they were defeated 40-26 by Wakefield Trinity. Trinity raced into an 0-20 lead, Jacob Miller and Danny Kirmond crossed ahead of a long range try from Recce Lyne with Liam Finn converting all three as well as a penalty goal.

Leigh replied with two scores in four minutes as Curtis Naughton and Jamie Acton touched down with Josh Drinkwater converting for 12-20. Finn made it a ten point game with a penalty goal for 12-22 before Matty Dawson crossed either side of half-time to cut the gap to 20-22.

A second try from Naughton saw Drinkwater convert to give the hosts the lead at 26-22 but a sin-binning for Danny Tickle proved to be costly for Leigh as Wakefield crossed three times during his ten minute sidelining as Joe Arundel and Mason Caton-Brown went over ahead of a second score from Kirmond with Finn converting the lot to bring up the 40 point mark and round off the win.

The round ended on Sunday as Widnes Vikings were stunned by a resilient Hull FC who came from 22-0 down to claim a 33-22 win. Widnes opened up a 10-0 lead inside ten minutes with tries from Chris Houston and Rhys Hanbury with Tom Gilmore converting the latter.

They were in control with half-time looming as Patrick Ah Van crossed for a brace with Gilmore converting both for 22-0. Hull avoided a first half whitewash though as Jansin Turgut crossed in the final minute for 22-4.

FC had the perfect start to the second half as Jamie Shaul crossed within a minute of the restart with Marc Sneyd converting for 22-10.

The visitors completed a stunning turnaround with a three try blitz in the space of eight minutes as Carlos Tuimavave and Albert Kelly crossed ahead of a second score from Shaul, Sneyd converted all three for 22-28 before kicking a drop goal in the next set for 22-29. FC confirmed the win and rounded off the superb comeback late on with a try from Danny Washbrook

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Super League Round 12 Review

After a shorter programme due to the Challenge Cup, Super League resumed to the six game weekend at round 12.

Thursday's round opener saw a Yorkshire derby between Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants.

The hosts led through Matt Parcell's 14th minute try which Kallum Watkins converted before Jake Mamo crossed for Hudds with Danny Brough converting to level at 6-6.Kruise Leeming crossed for Hudds before Joel Moon replied for Leeds, both tries were converted for 12-12 into the interval.

Hudds took control in the second half as Dale Ferguson and Darnell McIntosh registered efforts with Brough converting both before adding a drop goal for 12-25. The victory was complete ten minutes from the end as Brough converted Oliver Roberts' effort for 12-31.

Friday's non-televised action saw a local battle as St Helens hosted Leigh Centurions.

Leigh went ahead inside eight minutes with a try from Jamie ActonBen Renyolds converted for 6-6. Saints replied through Marc Percival and Theo Fages with Percival converting twice for a 12-6 lead into the interval.

The hosts took control in the second half with tries either side of the hour mark from Ryan Morgan and Regan Grace to open up a 22-6 lead.

The win was wrapped up ten minutes from the end as Alex Walmsley crossed and Percival converted for 28-6.

Fridays Sky game saw last seasons Challenge Cup finalists face off as Hull FC hosted Warrington Wolves. A rapid start from the hosts saw Jake Connor and Mahe Fonua cross with Marc Sneyd converting for a 12-0 lead which was cut within ten minutes. Tries from Matty Russell and former FC forward Joe Westerman saw just a single conversion from Declan Patton which left the score at 12-10. Hull went into the interval 14-10 ahead after a Sneyd penalty goal.

The Black and Whites had the game won by the hour as Jamie Shaul & Albert Kelly crossed, Sneyd converting both as well as a penalty goal for 28-10. The final say came with five minutes left as Kelly claimed his second try which Sneyd improved for a 34-10 final score.

Saturday's action saw league leaders Castleford Tigers looking to claim a double over champions Wigan Warriors. The Tigers raced into a 14-0 lead inside 18 minutes with a try inside the first minute from Adam Milner followed by a Michael Shenton effort and conversions and a penalty goal from Luke Gale.  Wigan replied through Sam Powell for 14-4 but from there Cas ran riot.

Tries from Matt Cook and Mike McMeeken made for a 26-4 half-time lead but after having Frank-Paul Nuuausala sin-binned early in the first half, the second half saw Morgan Escare carded and Cas took advantage with tries from Greg Minikin, Gale and Grant Millington in a six minute period with Gale converting twice. Jake Webster crossed to extend the lead before Minikin claimed his second score nine minutes from the end with Paul McShane converting to complete a 54-4 rout.

The third local game of the round saw high flying Salford Red Devils hosting bottom side Widnes Vikings. Salford opened the scoring on 21 minutes through Ben Murdoch-Masila with Michael Dobson converting for 6-0 before improving Greg Johnson's try five minutes later.

The 12-0 lead lasted until half-time but Widnes hit back within three minutes of the restart with a self-converted try from Tom Gilmore for 12-6. Salford regained their 12 point gap with a try from Niall Evalds which Dobson improved for 18-6.

Patrick Ah Van cut the gap for the visitors to 18-10 before a second score from Murdoch-Masila and first senior try from Jake Bibby in the final ten minutes saw Dobson convert once for a 30-10 victory.

The final game of the weekend saw Wakefield Trinty host Catalans Dragons. The hosts went behind on 16 minutes as Vincent Duport crossed for the Dragons with Luke Walsh converting for a 0-6 lead.

Wakefield turned the game around late in the first half as MasonCaton-Brown scored ahead of an effort from Ben Jones-Bishop for 8-6. Caton-Brown claimed his second try within three minutes of the restart before Fouad Yaha cut the gap on 50 minutes for 12-10.

 A hat-trick try from Caton-Brown was followed by Jones-Bishop's second score and a try from Craig Huby with Liam Finn converting the lot to confirm a 30-10 win.

Challenge Cup Round Five Review

The fifth round was the final stage before the final influx of teams in the form of the Super League top eight and it saw some surprise exits.

The round opened with Leeds Rhinos easing to a 64-28 win over League One side Doncaster on Friday night.  Leeds started superbly with tries from Ash Handley, Rob Burrow and Mitch Garbutt inside 11 minutes with Kallum Watkins converting twice for 16-0.

Doncaster hit back through Kieran Cross for 16-4 but Leeds resumed their control with Danny McGuire (Watkins conv) scoring ahead of a 12 minute hat-trick for Jack Walker and late try for Garbutt with Watkins converting thrice for 44-4 at the interval. Jordan Lilley crossed seven minutes after the restart for the hosts before Ryan Wright quelled the spree with Tommy Carr converting but soon after Burrow brought up 50 points at 52-10.

A mini revival from the Dons saw Louis Sheriff and Charlie Martin cross with Carr converting the latter for 52-20. Leeds edged towards 60 points with a Mikolaj Oledzki try and Lilley conversion but the Dons were not out of the scoring yet as Ky Kesik crossed ahead of a second for Sheriff for 58-28. The last say went to the hosts with Joel Moon crossing and Lilley converting two minutes from the end.

The first surprise of the round came on Saturday as Leigh Centurions were beaten 23-10 by last season's relegated side Hull Kingston Rovers.

Rovers opened the scoring through Ryan Shaw inside three minutes with Jamie Ellis converting for 6-0 before George Lawler crossed for 10-0 with ten minutes played. Leigh replied through Lachlan Burr and Curtis Naughton in a three minute period with Ben Renyolds converting the former for 10-10.

James Greenwood crossed just before half-time with Ellis converting for a 10-16 advantage at the interval. The score would remain close until nine minutes from the end when Ellis kicked a drop goal for 10-17 but a second score for Shaw saw Ellis convert late on to confirm the win.

Salford Red Devils avoided a huge upset as they came from behind to win 29-22 against League One side Toronto Wolfpack.The hosts struck 13 minutes in through Kris Welham with Michael Dobson converting for 6-0 but Toronto rapidly hit back with Liam Kay and Quentin Laulu-Togagae crossing with Craig Hall converting both for 6-12.

Greg Johnson (Dobson conv ) crossed for 12-12 before the hosts had Justin Carney sent off and the visitors took instant advantage with a debut try from Ryan Brierley but the 12 men would lead at the interval as Johnson claimed his second try which Dobson converted for 18-16.

A try for Dobson seven minutes after the restart made it 22-16 before a self converted effort from Gareth O'Brien on 68 minutes and drop goal four minutes later looked to have wrapped up the win at 29-16. Toronto did have the last say though with Fui Fui Moimoi crossing and Hall converting in the final minute.

The biggest upset of the round came at the John Smith's Stadium as Huddersfield Giants were dumped out 28-24 by Championship side Swinton Lions. The Giants struck the opening score on eight minutes through Aaron Murphy with Izaac Farrell converting for 6-0 before tries from Shaun Robinson & Rhodri Lloyd (Chris Atkin conv) put the Lions ahead at 6-10.

Hudds bounced back with two scores in three minutes from Sam Wood and Darnell McIntosh (Farrell convs) for 18-10 but the gap would be cut to two points at 18-16 at the interval after Mike Butt (Atkin conv) crossed.

Swinton regained the lead via Connor Dwyer's effort which Atkin improved but the lead changed hands again after the hour as Oliver Roberts crossed and Farrell converted for 24-22. However, Swinton stunned their hosts two minutes from the end as Luke Waterworth crossed with Chris Hankinson converting to complete the upset.

An all Championship battle saw Dewsbury Rams edge a 23-22 win over Batley Bulldogs. The visitors raced into the lead just five minutes in with Mac Hallett's try for 0-4 but the Rams levelled on 10 minutes through Josh Guzdek for 4-4.

A second try for Hallett swifly followed by a Tom Lillycrop effort saw Cain Southernwood converting both for 4-16. Dewsbury battled back with an effort from Paul Sykes ahead of Guzdek's second try with Sykes converting the latter for 14-16.

The Rams went ahead just before the hour as Aaron Brown crossed with Sykes converting before adding a penalty goal for 22-16. Dom Brambani crossed to cut the gap before Southernwood kicked a late penalty for 22-22. The match went to extra time and an 84th minute drop goal from Lewis Fairhurst sealed the win for the Rams.

Another all Championship tie saw Featherstone Rovers ease to a 30-4 win over Oldham Roughyeds. Fev led 10-0 inside 20 minutes with tries from Josh Hardcastle and Richard Moore with Cory Aston converting the first try.

The lead lasted past half-time until Scott Turner got Oldham on the board four minutes after the interval.

Fev wrapped up the win with a spree either side of the hour mark as Ian Hardman and James Lockwood went over ahead of a second try from Hardcastle with Aston converting twice for 26-4. The final score saw John Davies cross for the hosts with eight minutes left.

League One side Whitehaven exited the competition after a 12-36 loss to Championship side Halifax. Fax went ahead with an effort from Adam Tangata on 17 minutes before James Saltonstall crossed four minutes later with Steve Tyrer converting both for 0-12.

Haven got off the mark through Elliot Miller with Paul Crook converting for 4-12 but Fax would end the first half in style with scores from James Woodburn-Hall & Shaun Grady (Tyrer convs) to lead 4-24.

Ben Kaye's (Tyrer conv) effort on 67 minutes sealed the win but Haven hit back five minutes left through Jesse Joe Parker (Crook conv) but Kaye's second score and resulting conversion from Tyrer late on completed the win.

The final tie of the round saw an all League One battle as York City Knights lost out 50-28 to Barrow Raiders. A rapid opening from the Raiders saw Declan Hulme score inside five minutes with Lewis Charnock converting for 0-6. David Foggin-Johnston replied for the hosts with Harry Tyson-Wilson levelling with the conversion at 6-6.

A two minute brace from Shane Toal (Charnock conv) put Barrow 6-16 ahead before York scored through Nev Morrison and Joe Porter (Tyson-Wilson convs) either side of a Luke Cresswell effort for the Raiders.

James Haynes scored a brace within 12 minutes of the restart but Cresswell raced over for his hat-trick with efforts either side of a self-converted treble for Toal (20-44). A late flurry saw Creswell claim his fourth try before a rapid double in the final minutes from Nathan Mossop and Tom Walker with Cresswell adding a conversion to complete the rout.