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.