Thursday, 24 August 2017

The Qualifiers Round Three Review

The battle to secure a Super League spot for next season continued with round three of The Qualifiers.

The round opened on Saturday afternoon as Warrington Wolves claimed a 22-8 win over Halifax RLFC.

The Wolves opened the scoring on 22 minutes as Peta Hiku crossed to make it 4-0 but the sides went into the interval level at 4-4 after a late score from Chester Butler. Chris Hill restored the hosts' lead within five minutes of the restart, Declan Patton converting for 10-4. 

Fax hit back with a second from Butler for 10-8 but the hosts opened up a 16-8 lead with a Matty Russell try and Patton penalty goal ahead of a late try from André Savelio which Patton converted.

Catalans Dragons' survival hopes suffered a blow as they lost out 30-6 at home to Leigh Centurions.

The Centurions led 10-0 after 25 minutes with a seventh minute try from Adam Higson saw Ben Renyolds convert before Higson crossed for his second try on 24 minutes. The lead lasted into the interval with Leigh extending their advantage with a Cory Paterson try on 51 minutes, Renyolds converting for 16-0.

Leigh made the win safe on 67 minutes as Josh Drinkwater touched down with Renyolds converting for 24-0 after kicking a penalty goal four minutes earlier. Catalans avoided a nilling as Brayden Wiliame crossed on 77 minutes with Luke Walsh converting for 24-6. The final say went to the visitors as Paterson crossed for his second score in the final seconds with Renyolds converting.

Hull Kingston Rovers furthered their push for a Super League return with a narrow 35-30 win over London Broncos.

London led 6-0 inside four minutes as Jarrod Sammut converted an Andy Ackers try but KR levelled within four minutes as Danny Addy crossed and Jamie Ellis converted for 6-6. Sammut made it 8-6 with a penalty goal but a Kieren Moss try and Ellis' conversion gave the hosts a 12-8 advantage. 

KR took control ahead of the interval with scores from Rob Mulhern and Ryan Shaw with Ellis converting both and Chris Atkin sweeping over a last-gasp drop goal for 25-8. Ellis pushed the lead to 27-8 with a penalty before London battled back with a James Cunningham try which Sammut converted for 27-14. A second score from Shaw saw Ellis kick for 33-14. London continued to push with Alex Walker crossing and Sammut converting for 33-20. A penalty goal from Ellis made it 35-20 but London had the last say with a late double as Mark Ioane and Elliot Kear crossed with a single conversion from Sammut.

Widnes Vikings kept up their survival hopes with a comfortable 58-10 win over Featherstone Rovers. 

A rapid start from the Vikings saw them lead 22-0 inside 20 minutes with Rhys Hanbury and Charly Runciman scoring five minute braces with Lloyd White converting three times. Fev hit back through Misi Taulapapa for 22-4. A four minute brace from Chris Bridge before half-time saw White convert both for a huge 34-4 lead at the interval. 

James Lockwood cut the gap with Ian Hardman converting for 34-10 but Widnes powered on with a brace for Stefan Marsh sandwiching Bridge's hat-trick try coupled with a Danny Craven conversion. The rout was completed by a hat-trick try for Hanbury ahead of him converting a late effort from Joe Mellor.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Super 8s Round Three Review

Ahead of a break due to the Challenge Cup Final, the Super 8s reached round three and after a low scoring round two, this was quite the opposite with three sides scoring 40+ points. 

Castleford Tigers claimed the League Leaders Shield with a comfortable 45-20 win over city rivals Wakefield Trinity in Thursday's round opener.

Trinity opened the scoring with a Liam Finn penalty goal inside two minutes for 0-2 before Cas led on ten minutes as Zak Hardaker crossed with Luke Gale converting for 6-2. Ben Jones-Bishop crossed for Trinity for 6-6 but Cas were back in front as Mike McMeeken crossed, Gale converting for 12-6.  Jake Webster went over for Cas with Gale kicking for 18-6 but the gap was 18-10 at the interval after a late try from Mason Caton-Brown. 

Danny Kirmond cut the gap further with Finn converting for 18-16. Cas took control,Greg Eden crossing before Webster completed his hat-trick and a fourth try, Gale converting twice while adding a drop goal too for 39-16. Max Jowitt made it 39-20 before a second score from Hardaker and conversion from Gale sealed top spot.

My attendance this round was on Friday as Wigan Warriors prepared for the cup final with a comfortable 42-6 win over Salford Red Devils. 

Wigan raced into a 16-0 lead inside 17 minutes with scores Sean O'Loughlin crossing for the opening try on eight minutes ahead of efforts from Liam Farrell and Joe Burgess with George Williams converting twice. 

A second score from Burgess was followed by a try from Sam Powell just before the interval with Williams converting for 22-0. A self-converted effort from Williams was followed by a rare score from Frank-Paul Nuuausala,Williams converting for a huge 36-0 lead.

Salford avoided a nilling as Niall Evalds went over on 68 minutes with Gareth O'Brien converting for 36-6 but the hosts had the last say as Liam Marshall crossed six minutes from the end.

Friday's televised action saw Leeds Rhinos bid farewell to their famous South Stand with  a 16-14 win over St Helens.

A tight first half saw the sides level at 2-2 past the half hour mark after penalty goals from Mark Percival and Kallum Watkins. Saints led 8-2 into the interval as Jonny Lomax crossed on 37 minutes with Percival converting.

Leeds levelled within eight minutes of the restart as Ryan Hall crossed and Watkins converted for 8-8. The Rhinos went ahead just after the hour as Adam Cuthbertson touched down with Watkins converting ahead of kicking a penalty goal for 16-8. 

Saints cut the gap to 16-14 with five minutes to go as Danny Richardson went over with Percival converting but they were unable to complete the comeback.

Hull FC's preparation to defend their Challenge Cup title saw them suffer a huge 46-18 loss to Huddersfield Giants.

The hosts opened the scoring through Gareth Ellis with Marc Sneyd converting for 6-0 after ten minutes. Hudds cut the gap to 6-4 with Darnell McIntosh's try before leading as Lee Gaskell touched down with Danny Brough converting for 10-6.

Jake Connor went over for the hosts with Sneyd converting for 12-10 but the Giants would lead 22-12 into the interval via tries from Alex Mellor and McIntosh with Brough converting twice. Brough added a penalty goal four minutes after the restart ahead of a try from Tyler Dickinson which Jordan Rankin converted for 30-12.

A second score from Gaskell was followed seven minutes later by FC denting the Giants spree as Josh Griffin touched down with Sneyd converting for 30-18. Hudds wrapped up the win with a Kruise Leeming try and third for Gaskell with Rankin converting both.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Super 8s- Super League/The Qualifiers Round Two Review

As promised last week, the reviews for the Super 8s begin with round two but again the two competitions are combined in one post.

Thursday night saw a Yorkshire battle with a surprise as Wakefield Trinity eased to a 38-6 win over Leeds Rhinos.

Trinity led 6-0 inside five minutes with a Joe Arundel try and Liam Finn conversion before Adam Cuthbertson crossed and Kallum Watkins converted for the Rhinos at 6-6.

Two scores in as many minutes put the hosts ahead as former Rhinos winger Ben Jones-Bishop went over as did Scott Grix with Finn improving both before adding a penalty six minutes later for 20-6. A try in the final seconds of the half from Jacob Miller saw Finn convert for 26-6 into the interval.

The second half was a low-scoring one compared to the frantic first half but Trinity maintained control and wrapped up the win with tries from Matt Ashurst and Bill Tupou with Finn converting both.

My attendance for the week was on Friday night as Wigan Warriors claimed an 18-4 win over Huddersfield Giants.

The Giants opened the scoring with 10 minutes played as Jermaine McGillvary crossed but Danny Brough was unable to convert at 0-4. Wigan levelled three minutes later through Anthony Gelling's try before edging ahead just before half-time with a Liam Farrell try which Sam Powell converted for 10-4 into the interval. 

Powell extended the lead with a penalty goal on 52 minutes before the win was sealed three minutes from the end as Sam Tomkins crossed for a try which he then converted. 

Castleford Tigers moved a step closer to securing the League Leaders Shield with a comfortable 23-4 win over Salford Red Devils.

The Tigers opened the scoring inside seven minutes through Zak Hardaker's try which Luke Gale converted for 0-6 before Hardaker claimed his second try just before the half-hour mark with Gale kicking for 0-12. The lead remained into the interval but within three minutes of the restart, Salford were on the board as Manu Vatuvei touched down for 4-12.

The win was wrapped up by two scores either side of the hour mark as Paul McShane and Jy Hitchcox crossed for tries with Gale converting the first before kicking a drop goal with five minutes left.

The final game of the round was the closest as Hull FC edged an 8-6 win over St Helens.

The Saints opened the scoring with just four minutes on the clock as Regan Grace crossed with Mark Percival converting for a 4-0 lead. FC went into the interval ahead as Marc Sneyd crossed for a try five minutes before half-time which he converted for 4-6.

A close-run second half saw just one further score as Sneyd kicked penalty goal four minutes after the hour mark for 6-8. Saints pushed to try and turn the narrow deficit around but to no avail as FC held on for the win.

The Qualifiers opened with Warrington Wolves claiming a 52-24 win over fellow Super League side Catalans Dragons.

The Wolves flew out of the blocks with tries from Stefan Ratchford, Matty Russell and Declan Patton inside 15 minutes with Patton converting the lot for an 18-0 lead. Catalans hit back five minutes later through Remi Casty, Luke Walsh converting for 18-6. Warrington resumed their control on the scoreboard with a Ryan Atkins effort ahead of Ratchford's second try with Patton improving both for 30-6 into the interval.

Catalans struck first in the second half as Krisnan Inu touched down with Walsh converting for 30-10. Atkins crossed for his second try which Patton converted before a long range try from Lewis Tierney saw Walsh convert for 36-16. The Wolves reached 40 points after efforts from Tom Lineham and Peta Hiku were improved by Patton but Catalans remained in the hunt with a second try from Inu, Walsh converting for 48-24. Warrington had the last say though as Lineham claimed his second try two minutes from the end.

Hull Kingston Rovers continued their quest to return to Super League with a narrow 20-16 win at Leigh Centurions.

Leigh struck first through Daniel Mortimer with Josh Drinkwater converting for a 6-0 lead which was cut on the half hour mark by Shaun Lunt's  try which Jamie Ellis converted for 6-6. The hosts led into the interval as Drinkwater converting a late penalty for 8-6.

Leigh moved to 10-6 with a Drinkwater penalty on 51 minutes but KR drew level on the hour mark as Ryan Shaw crossed with Ellis converting before adding a penalty five minutes later for 10-14. Leigh regained the lead on 69 minutes as Atelea Vea crossed with Drinkwater kicking for 16-14. The win was sealed for Rovers with four minutes to go as Lunt touched down for a second time with Ellis converting.

Widnes Vikings bounced back from their opening round defeat with a 36-12 win at Halifax.

The Vikings struck inside seven minutes as Chris Bridge crossed with Lloyd White converting for 0-6. A self converted effort from White was followed by him improving a late effort from Charly Runciman as Widnes led 0-18 into the interval.

A rapid brace from Corey Thompson within six minutes of the restart made it 0-26 but Fax cut the gap with a Ben Heaton brace before the hour with Steve Tyrer and Andy Murrell converting for 12-26. Widnes added the gloss on a strong win late on with scores from Joe Mellor (White conv) and Danny Craven.


The round ended with a fantastic 32-32 draw between London Broncos and Featherstone Rovers.

London made the perfect start as Jay Pitts crossed in the opening minute for 4-0 before Elliot Kear and William Barthau crossed in the space of two minutes with Jarrod Sammut converting once for 14-0. Fev responded through Connor Farrell with Ian Hardman converting for 14-6 before John Davies crossed just before half-time for 14-10.

A second try from Davies was swiftly followed by a score from Luke Briscoe with Hardman converting both for 14-22. London regained the lead with tries from Sammut and Mark Ioane with Sammut converting both to make it 26-22. London extended the lead through Andy Ackers (Sammut conv) but Fev fought back superbly with a second score for Briscoe ahead of a late try from Chris Ulugia with Hardman converting to secure the draw.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Super 8s - Super League/The Qualifiers Round One

After one of the most unpredictable regular seasons in Super League history, the annual split for the Super 8s began last weekend with round one. The traditional reviews will begin in round two with a post for each competition - Super League/The Qualifiers due to a busy schedule this week.