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.