Widnes Vikings 12 - 25 Hull FC
It was an out-and-out battle for eight spot when Hull travelled to Widnes on Thursday night.
The Vikings led early, with winger Jack Owen staying strong to open the scoring in the right hand corner after six minutes. Matt Whitley, backing up a well worked break by Rhys Hanbury, scored again after 12 minutes, with Owens converting both tries for the Vikings to lead 12-0.
From such a commanding start, few would have anticipated Widnes remaining scoreless for the remainder of the game. Lineham crawled over the line to pull a try back for the visiting side – his first of three on the night – before Pryce burrowed over from dummy half. A smart kick from Marc Sneyd found Lineham on the wing, who finished with a dive to the corner. Sneyd converted the first kick of the night for Hull, and the visitors led 12-14 at half time.
The second half resumed and Sneyd slid a kick through on 51 minutes, which he collected himself underneath the posts. Their lead now stretched to 12-20, a great run by fullback Shaul put Lineham in the corner once more for the hat-trick try. Sneyd missed the kick, but followed up with a drop goal on 62 minutes - the final points of the game.
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Hull leapfrogged the Vikings to move up to seventh in the table. The Vikings now find themselves outside of the top eight by a point, and with the challenge for the final positions being so close, it is difficult to call who will end up playing in the top Super 8s.
Widnes Vikings: Hanbury, Owens, Marsh, Whitley, Ah Van, Brown, Mellor, Dudson, White, Gerrard, Clarkson, Galea (subs) Leuluai, Manuokafoa, Joseph, Heremaia
Tries: Owens, Whitley
Goals: Owens (2)
Hull FC: Shaul, Lineham, Whiting, Yeaman, Michaels, Pryce, Sneyd, Paea, Houghton, Watts, Ellis, Minichiello, Westerman (subs) Paleassesina, Green, Thompson, Abdull
Tries: Lineham (3), Pryce, Sneyd
Goals: Sneyd (2)
Drop Goal: Sneyd
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Warrington Wolves 26 - 18 Catalans Dragons
The Wolves had to come from behind twice to secure victory, with Catalans’ defeat meaning they have won only one game away from home all season.
It was the Dragons who opened the scoring, with Whitehead stripping the ball in a one-on-one tackle from Ratchford and Tony Gigot collecting the ball to score under the sticks. Catalans led 6-0 after five minutes.
Currie pulled one back after 23 minutes after a Catalans’ misread in defence left a gaping hole from the young second row to ease through. The scores were levelled at 6-6. The home side then led for the first time after a deflected Clark kick landed in Myler’s hands whose looping pass gave Atkins the chance to beat three men before powering over the line. Warrington led 12-6 at half time.
The first points of the second half went to the Dragons, as a big gap opened up for Pelissier to score next to the uprights. The scores were levelled once more. And, once more, Catalans were in front as Australia bound Elliot Whitehead took three men over the line in the right hand corner. Dureau kicked the last points of the game for Catalans, who now led 12-18.
Warrington came back, though, with a try first from Atkins and then Hill, both of whom found the defenders easily beaten, and the home side were back in front, not to lose the lead again. Currie sealed the win, and joined Atkins with two tries on the night, with the try of the night. Ormsby found man of the match Ratchford on an angled run, who gave Currie the ball to race down the touchline.
Warrington closed the gap on the top four to draw level with Huddersfield. But Catalans dropped to eighth and found themselves in real danger of being outside the play off positions next week.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford, Monaghan, Bridge, Atkins, Ormsby, O’Brien, Myler, Hill, Clark, Sims, Currie, Westwood (subs) Laithwaite, England, Dwyer, G. King
Tries: Currie (2), Atkins (2), Hill
Goals: O’Brien (3)
Catalans Dragons: Escare, Oldfied, Gigot, Pomeroy, Yaha, Robin, Dureau, Elima, Henderson, Casty, Taia, Whitehead, Baitieri (subs) Anderson, Pelissier, Bousquet, Maria
Tries: Gigot, Pelissier, Whitehead
Goals: Dureau (3)
St. Helens 32 - 12 Salford Red Devils
Rangi Chase’s return to the side wasn’t enough to spark a win for the Devils, as the Saints moved to the top of the league.
A typical break from James Roby out of dummy half sent winger Tommy Makinson racing away to cruise for the first points of the game, and the first of his 20 points on the night. Shannon McDonnell then produced the moment of the night, it being easier to name the players he didn't beat on a length of the field run, eventually feeding the ball to Swift who did well to score in the corner.
All the pressure came from the home side, and good hands put Turner in the left corner before Makinson went in for his second of the night. The Saints led at half time 24-0, Makinson kicking all the goals offered to him.
Salford started the second half the better of the two teams. Chase drilled a ball through for fullback Evalds to score under the posts, before brilliant offloading put Salford within metres of the Saints’ line and Chase’s one-two with captain Hansen sealed the return of the half back with a try of his own.
Those were to be the last points of the night for Salford. The final try came as McDonnell collected a well worked offload from Savelio after Makinson had scored a penalty conversion.
Saints moved to the top of the table, with Leeds Rhinos a game in hand against Wakefield two days later. Salford have now an eight game losing streak to their name and need every point possible if they wish to secure a playoff position at the end of the season.
St. Helens: McDonnell, Makinson, Percival, Turner, Swift, Burns, Wilkin, Amor, Roby, Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Flanagan, Jones (subs) Masoe, Thompson, Richards, Savelio
Tries: Makinson (2), Swift, Turner, McDonnell
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Jones-Bishop, Sa’u, Caton-Brown, Johnson, Chase, Fages, Morley, Hood, Taylor, Hauraki, Paterson, G. Griffin (subs) Hansen, D. Griffin, Walne, L. Tomkins
Tries: Evalds, Chase
Goals: Paterson (2)
Hull KR 22 - 30 Castleford Tigers
Castleford have now won both home and away against their Yorkshire rivals but didn’t make the game easy for themselves as the Rovers almost overturned an 18-point deficit.
Castleford opened the scoring with Ben Roberts, playing in a converted position of fullback, strolling into the right hand corner untouched after six minutes. Solomona collected a Luke Gale kick over the top of the Hull fullback five minutes later. Roberts did all the hard work after 14 minutes and Oliver Homes was on hand to score. Gale converted all tries and the Tigers led 18-0 after 14 minutes.
Hull KR struck back on 18 minutes. Albert Kelly leaped over Ben Roberts, whose attack from fullback is clearing better than his defence, to score under the posts.
Gale’s effort stretched the lead to 24-6, with hopes of the comeback quelled, but two quick tries, the first from Dixon and the second Kelly, brought the Rovers up to a 16-24 score line at half time.
15 minutes into the 2nd half, Ollett collected a neat little kick through by Welham and the comeback was almost on, the score being 22-24. But Hull failed to take any of the chances that came their way, and a tired looking defence fell apart on 73 minutes as Liam Finn dummied his way over the line to stretch the score away from the home side.
Hull KR now find themselves four points from the playoff positions and look set to join Salford and Wakefield in the middle division of the Super 8s at the close of 22 rounds. Reversely, Castleford find themselves on level points with Huddersfield and Warrington, and a win against Leeds on Thursday could put them in the top four.
Hull KR: Cockayne, Dixon, Welham, Salter, Sio, Campese, Kelly, Green, Boudebza, Puletua, Larroyer, Blair, McCarthy (subs) Donaldson, Ollett, Cox, Greenwood
Tries: Kelly (2), Dixon, Ollett
Goals: Dixon (3)
Castleford Tigers: Roberts, Gibson, Webster, Shenton, Solomona, Finn, Gale, Lynch, Milner, Millington, O. Holmes, McMeeken, Massey (subs) Boyle, Moors, Tansey, Maher
Tries: Roberts, Solomona, Holmes, Gale, Finn
Goals: Gale (5)
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 26 - 58 Leeds Rhinos
New coach Brian Smith watched on from the sidelines as Wakefield suffered their 14th consecutive defeat, and the Rhinos put themselves back on the top of the Super League table after having been usurped by St. Helens for a matter of two nights.
Wakefield opened the scoring, to the excitement and hopes of the fans, with Tom Johnstone collecting Tim Smith’s kick to score in the corner.
Almost punishingly, Leeds scored three tries without reply. Sutcliffe claimed his first of three in the game on 10 minutes, with Mcguire and Burrow scoring on 25 and 27 minutes respectively. Sinfield converted all three and the Rhinos led 6-18. Sinfield converted a penalty a minute later for a 6-20 lead.
Wakefield struck back with Godinet, backing up a superb run by Johnstone who cruised past Ryan Hall and put the halfback in the corner.
Leeds had the last say of the half, with Carl Ablett crashing over from close range. The score at half time being an assailable 10-24 in favour of the Rhinos.
Wakefield never turned up for the second half, and Leeds ran in seven unanswered tries. Ash Handley started the onslaught on 44 minutes, to which Sutcliffe added his second try on 48 minutes. Keinhorst increased the lead on 51 minutes, before Handley’s second on 56 minutes and Sutcliffe’s hat-trick try on 58.
Forward Singleton also gained two of his own in quick succession on 60 and 63 minutes. Sinfield kicked one and Sutcliffe two of the seven tries, and the Rhinos reached their tally of 58 not long after that many minutes had been played.
The Wildcats pulled a couple back through Kirmond and Scruton on 70 and 73 minutes, the Rhinos easing off knowing that the game was won. Godinet converted them both for a final score of 26-58.
The result meant that neither top nor bottom place changed after the round of games despite Leeds’ momentary hiatus from top spot. Wakefield’s run of form means it is now mathematically impossible for them to reach the playoffs.
Wakefield Wildcats: Owen, Johnstone, Hall, Arundel, Riley, Godinet, T. Smith, Scruton, Howarth, Kavanagh, Washbrook, Kirmond, D. Smith (subs) Mcshane, Simon, Ryan, Annakin
Tries: Johnstone (2), Godinet, Kirmond, Scruton
Goals: Hall, Godinet (2)
Leeds Rhinos: Sutcliffe, Handley, Watkins, Keinhorst, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Cuthbertson, Aiton, Peacock, Ablett, S. Ward, Sinfield (subs) Singleton, Lilley, Walters, Yates
Tries: Sutcliffe (3), McGuire, Burrow, Ablett, Handley (2), Keinhorst, Singleton (2)
Goals: Sinfield (5), Sutcliffe (2)
Huddersfield Giants 18 - 32 Wigan Warriors
The final score perhaps didn’t reflect the true contest of the game as Wigan had to come from behind on three occasions to win at Huddersfield.
Huddersfield opened the scoring after five minutes as Jared Simpson broke through the Warriors line to score on his debut.
Wigan hit back on 18 minutes, with Farrell offloading the ball to winger Joe Burgess, taking the Sydney bound player’s tally to 17 for the season. The scores were level at 6-6.
The home side retook the lead after 31 minutes as Joe Wardle crashed over on a great angled run; the centre-turned-second row finding new life in his converted position. But Wigan equalised on the half time mark as, with reversed roles from their opening try, Burgess produced an assist for Liam Farrell. The score at the close of the half was 12-12.
Charnley gave Warriors the lead for the first time on the game six minutes into the new half with great play from Bateman and Tomkins combining to put the winger in the right hand corner.
With the conversion missed from Smith, Brough converted his own length of the field effort from an interception. The home team led for the third and final time on 52 minutes at 18-16.
The Giants were shut out for the rest of the half, and Farrell collected a kick which was deemed to have been knocked backwards from his centre Sarginson for his second of the game. Charnely’s second of the game soon followed, though all the hard work for it came from Matty Bowen, leaving the winger to place the ball over the line unchallenged. Smith kicked his first of the half and the visiting side led 18-26.
The conversion from Smith was soon followed up by a penalty, and the final try of the game showed good hands and awareness from Wigan to keep the ball alive, Bateman providing his second great step of the game in the build up to a try; this time bagging the spoils for himself and crashing over to the right of the posts. Smith missed the easy kick but it mattered little, and the Warriors ran out winners 18-32.
The Giants will be little pleased with the result, with haunting echoes of the performance against Catalans at the Magic Weekend which saw them only score one try in the second half on both occasions.
The Warriors now increased the gap between themselves and Huddersfield to five points, with the top three of the league all but set, with only two points separating third place Wigan and 1st place Leeds.
Huddersfield Giants: Simpson, McGillvary, Hughes, Connor, Broughton, Brough, Wood, Mullally, Leeming, Huby, Wardle, Lawrence, J. Johnson (subs) Robinson, Crabtree, Kopczak, Ta’ai
Tries: Simpson, Wardle, Brough
Goals: Brough (3)
Wigan Warriors: Bowen, Charnley, Tomkins, Sarginson, Burgess, Williams, Smith, Mossop, McIlorum, Flower, Bateman, L Farrell, O'Loughlin (subs) Powell, Tautai, Patrick, Sutton
Tries: Burgess, Farrell (2), Charnley (2), Bateman
Goals: Smith (4)