LEEDS? tireless pursuit of engage Super League leaders St Helens continued at the Galpharm Stadium on Sunday afternoon as they eventually overcame a dogged Huddersfield side 36-14.
CASTLEFORD took a huge stride towards engage Super League safety with a nine-try, 52-26 destruction of ailing Warrington at The Jungle on Sunday afternoon.
THE Giants have signed Kevin Brown from Wigan Warriors, on loan, until the end of the season. The 22 year old outside back goes straight into the Giants squad for Sunday?s game against Leeds Rhinos at the Galpharm Stadium. Brown who stands at 178cm and weights 87kgs has made over 50 Super League appearances for Wigan and was a member of the Great Britain 40 named for the 2005 Tri Nations
SAINTS and Great Britain captain Paul Sculthorpe has been ruled out for six to eight weeks after limping off early in Tuesday's 'XXXX' Test at Knowsley Road.
Sculthorpe, who retired after 16 minutes, has suffered a 90% tear of the medial ligament in his left knee (defined as a Grade 2+ injury), a significant and severe injury that could see him sidelined until September.
Sculthorpe was making his 26th Great Britain appearance, but his first as captain, against New Zealand. He had been appointed captain in May 2005, but missed the Gillette Tri-Nations tournament following an unrelated injury to his right knee.
QUINS and Wigan have announced their squads for Saturday?s clash in the engage Super League.
SALFORD City Reds and Bradford Bulls have named their 20-man squads for the engage Super League match at The Willows.Salford City Reds v Bradford Bulls, The Willows, Fri June 30Salford 20-man squad: Hodgson, McGuinness, Moule, Dunemann, Robinson, Coley, Alker, Rutgerson, Finnigan, Sibbit, Charles, Highton, Langi, Haggerty, Littler, Myler, Clayton, Adamson, Lima, Williams.Bradford 20-man squad: Vainikolo, Smith, Meyers, Kopczak, I. Harris, Withers, Pryce, St Hilaire, B. Harris, Burgess, Newton, Ferres, Deacon, Vagana, Langley, Hape, McKenna, James, Lynch, Henderson.Ref : B Robinson
ST Helens roared back to the top of Super League on Saturday after grinding down a gritty, injury-hit Salford to win 28-6 at Knowsley Road. Saints had frittered away a six-point lead after back-to-back defeats by Hull and Bradford but centre Jamie Lyon scored a brace of tries to help them get back to winning ways. Star of the show was hooker Keiron Cunningham, one of 12 Saints players in line to play in Tuesday?s XXXX Test between Great Britain and New Zealand at Knowsley Road. Salford simply had no answer to Cunningham?s darting runs from dummy half which set up tries for Lyon and Jon Wilkin. The visitors trailed only 10-6 at half-time but there was never any serious doubt over the outcome. Saints opened the scoring when stand-off Leon Pryce took Sean Long?s pass and sliced between defenders Andrew Brocklehurst and Stephen Myler for a seventh-minute try. Salford, without five first-choice backs through injury, gave debuts to 18-year-old winger Daley Williams and Samoan prop Danny Lima, who has joined them on loan from Warrington, and both men figured prominently in the early stages. But it was Saints who bossed the show, without being fully able to turn their obvious superiority into points. Wingers Francis Meli and Ade Gardner both missed clear-cut chances close to the line and full-back Paul Wellens also lost the ball in attempting to touch down. St Helens? pressure eventually told when a weaving run by Cunningham set up the position for centre Lyon to cross for a second try to make it 10-0 after 24 minutes. Salford threatened early in the match when second rower Ian Sibbit broke clear only for Lee Gilmour to pull off a timely interception and they got on the scoreboard nine minutes before the interval when heavyweight substitute Gareth Haggerty charged over from 10 metres, taking three defenders over the line with him. Myler?s successful conversion closed the cap to just four points, which somewhat flattered the visitors. But normal service was resumed when Cunningham re-entered the fray early in the second half after a well-deserved rest. His determined run from dummy half set alarm bells ringing in the Reds defence and second rower Jon Wilkin ran onto his perfectly-judged pass to score Saints? third try. Three minutes later skipper Paul Sculthorpe got the decisive touch after a Long high kick had caused mayhem in the Salford defence. Lyon kicked his second goal and also scored his second try, taking Long?s pass and fending off the challenge of Luke Robinson to touch down. Leading tryscorer Gardner then finished off the scoring, pouncing on Wilkin?s high kick to the corner to claim his 19th try of the season. The game was held up near the end to allow Meli to have treatment for a leg injury which looks certain to deny him the chance of a Test comeback with the Kiwis, while Vinnie Anderson also handed New Zealand coach Brian McClennan an injury headache.St Helens (10) 28.Tries: Pryce, Lyon 2, Wilkin, Sculthorpe, Gardner. Goals: Lyon 2. Salford (6) 6.Tries: Haggerty. Goals: Myler. St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, P. Anderson, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Sculthorpe, Hooper.Replacements: Graham, Fozzard, Wilkin, V. Anderson.Salford: Hodgson, Langi, Littler, Moule, Williams, Myler, Robinson, Coley, Alker, Rutgerson, Sibbit, Brocklehurst, Finnigan.Replacements: Charles, Haggerty, Lima, Highton. Referee: P Bentham (Warrington) Att: 8,307Source: www.superleague.co.uk
JUSTIN Murphy scored two tries and Stacey Jones kicked 14 points as Catalans Dragons recovered from 12-0 down to claim an emphatic 38-18 victory over Harlequins at Stade Aime Giral.The hosts were looking to avoid their third consecutive defeat and started the game second bottom of engage Super League while Quins were aiming to put daylight between themselves and the relegation zone.But it was the visitors who took control from the start, easing into a 12-0 lead with only 11 minutes on the clock.Nick Bradley-Qalilawa scored the first try after just two minutes which Henry Paul converted before Karl Temata went over nine minutes later with Paul again supplying the conversion.However, the Dragons hit back with three quickfire tries in the space of seven minutes through Murphy, Gregory Mounis and Bruno Verges - all successfully converted by Jones - to take an 18-12 lead.Jones then scored a penalty goal as the hosts went in at half-time 20-12 to the good.Murphy claimed his second try with Jones again successfully converting, before Quins pair Mark McLinden and Daniel Williams were sin-binned in the 60th and 63rd minute.With the visitors down to 11 men, Catalans scored twice more through Aurelien Cologni and Mark Hughes while Jones maintained his 100% kicking record to give the Dragons a 38-12 lead.Quins pulled one back seven minutes from time through Tyrone Smith with Paul converting to reduce the deficit to 38-18.The victory saw the Dragons pull level on points with Wakefield Wildcats, although the Yorkshire side remain ahead on points difference, and just one point behind Castleford and visitors Harlequins.The London side have now won just one of their last four fixtures adding extra significance to their next two fixtures against rock-bottom Wigan and Castleford.Catalans Dragons (20) 38.Tries: Murphy 2, Mounis, Verges, Cologni, Hughes. Goals: Jones 7. Harlequins RL (12) 18.Tries: Bradley-Qalilawa, Temata, Smith. Goals: Paul 3. Catalans Dragons: Guigue, Murphy, Wilson, Hughes, Verges, Rudder, Jones, Beattie, Cologni, Fellous, Guisset, Fakir, Mounis.Replacements: Berthezene, Frayssinous, Chan, Casty.Harlequins RL: McLinden, Wells, Lucky Luisi, Smith, Bradley-Qalilawa, Paul, Dorn, Tookey, Randall, Temata, Haumono, Purdham, Williams.Replacements: Budworth, Mills, Heckenberg, Weisner.Referee: S Clark (Australia)Att: 4,197Source: www.superleague.co.uk
STUART Fielden got off to a winning start in a Wigan shirt as the Warriors enjoyed a 30-12 victory over Warrington at the JJB Stadium. All the pre-match talk had centred around Fielden, and the former Bradford Bulls prop was thrown straight into the front row for his debut alongside Iafeta Paleaaesina, with Scott Logan rested. And his side got off to the perfect start with two tries inside the opening 15 minutes through Paleaaesina and Nathan McAvoy, before Lee Briers created scores for Simon Grix and Toa Kohe-Love. Only Michael Dobson?s penalty goal separating the sides at the break but the second half belonged to Wigan, as further scores by Brett Dallas, Sean O?Loughlin and Bryan Fletcher sealed the points and closed the gap between Wigan and safety to just four points.Australian winger Pat Richards missed out for Wigan, with Mark Calderwood making a welcome return after several weeks out through injury. Wolves were missing Great Britain star Martin Gleeson due to a finger injury, with his brother Mark also sidelined with a broken thumb. The crowd were right behind the Warriors from the outset and Fielden, Paleaaesina and Fletcher made big yards in the early exchanges. Warrington, in contrast were struggling to stamp their authority on the game, and an uncharacteristic kick out on the full by Lee Briers conceded the field position that led to the opening Wigan try. Paleaaesina drove onto a neat short ball from Dobson and took two defenders over the line with him, with Dobson making no mistake with the conversion. Five minutes later it was 12-0 after a quite breathtaking score that covered 70 metres of the field. Calderwood made the break and, via the hands of Dobson, Chris Ashton, Danny Orr and Calderwood again, McAvoy took the final pass to touch down. Dobson again converted, but McAvoy went from hero to villain three minutes later when he made a clean break but ignored Dallas on his inside only to fall at Stuart Reardon?s feet. The mistake was to prove costly at the other end when, after a repeat set, great hands left saw Briers put Simon Grix over through Fletcher?s weak defence, with Briers closing the gap to six points. That was immediately extended to eight points via the boot of Dobson after Paul Noone had gone high on Fielden. Eight minutes before the break the Wolves again won a repeat set when Calderwood could not take Briers? towering kick to hand Warrington a scrum 10 metres out. From the restart, Kohe-Love took a Briers pass to to step out of Dobson?s challenge and score under the sticks, with Briers? successful kick leaving it tantalisingly poised at 14-12. The Warriors extended their lead 10 minutes into the second half, and it was a play right out of the Briers textbook. Dobson forced the drop out when his kick pinned Richie Barnett behind his own posts and, three tackles later, Ashton?s long ball put Dallas in at the corner. Dobson?s touchline goal made it 20-12 and, with the rampaging Paleaaesina back off the bench and taking three men to stop him every time, they were in the ascendancy. Only a marginal forward pass denied Calderwood in the right-hand corner, but it did not matter as the Warriors were in again on the hour. Another barnstorming run from Paaleaaesina, enjoying easily his best game in a Wigan shirt, set up the attacking position for Higham to put captain Sean O?Loughlin over, with Dobson?s boot pushing the score out to 26-12. Fletcher?s last-minute score, from O?Loughlin?s kick, was the icing on the cake for the majority of the 16,103 crowd. Wigan (14) 30.Tries: Paleaaesina, McAvoy, Dallas, O'Loughlin, Fletcher. Goals: Dobson 5. Warrington (12) 12.Tries: Grix, Kohe-Love. Goals: Briers 2. Wigan: Ashton, Calderwood, McAvoy, Vaealiki, Dallas, Orr, Dobson, Paleaaesina, Higham, Fielden, Hock, Fletcher, O?Loughlin.Replacements: Seu Seu, Brown, Hansen, Tickle.Warrington: Reardon, Grose, Grix, Kohe-Love, Barnett, Bridge, Briers, Leikvoll, Clarke, Wood, Westwood, Wainwright, Noone.Replacements: Sullivan, Parker, Bracek, Pickersgill.Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury)Att: 16,103Source: www.superleague.co.uk
FORMER Wakefield skipper Gareth Ellis grabbed a brace of tries as Leeds returned to the engage Super League summit for the first time in 11 months with a 36-20 win over the Wildcats.The Rhinos required victory by 10 points or more to move above St Helens on points difference and Ellis? first-half brace proved a key contribution to their success. The Great Britain international enjoyed the tussle against his erstwhile employers while Rhinos full-back Lee Smith claimed a double of his own after the restart. But it was skipper Kevin Sinfield, who was surprisingly omitted by Great Britain coach Brian Noble for next Tuesday?s Test against New Zealand, who took centre stage, claiming six goals and orchestrating much of his side?s attacking play. St Helens, who have suffered defeat in their previous two games, will reclaim top spot if they avoid defeat at home to Salford tomorrow, but may now just begin to feel the pressure with Leeds breathing down their necks.The Wildcats, who caused a storm last season when they claimed a shock 44-28 success at Headingley, fell behind after six minutes when Ellis punished some poor defence. Sinfield?s offload 20 metres out found Ellis and the former Belle Vue favourite showed some neat footwork to weave his way through and cross the line. Wakefield believed they had scored after 10 minutes when Semi Tadulala?s touchdown in the left corner was ruled out by the referee following a knock-on by the Wildcats wing. And the visitors suffered further misery nine minutes later when some meticulous dummy running from Sinfield saw him orchestrate Leeds? second try. The Rhinos skipper engineered a move which saw the ball pass through Ellis and Danny McGuire?s hands before the latter sent Keith Senior in at the left corner. Wakefield?s defence was again dreadful as Senior brushed aside their attempts to halt his progress before squeezing over for a try converted superbly by Sinfield. The Rhinos were firmly in command at 12-0 but Wakefield showed outstanding spirit and no little skill to draw level with two tries in as many minutes. Their first score came after 26 minutes when hooker David March found Ben Jeffries from the play-the-ball and the Wildcats scrum half scampered over the line from 10 metres. They crossed the line shortly after when David Solomona sent Ryan Atkins embarking on a lung-bursting 50-metre run which saw him outpace three Rhinos players and cross the line for a magnificent solo effort. Jamie Rooney converted both tries but Ellis forced his way over the line two minutes before the break, and with Sinfield converting, Leeds were 18-12 ahead. However, Leeds began to batter the visitors? line immediately after the restart and their efforts were soon rewarded as two quick tries put them firmly in command of the match. The first score came when McGuire played a delightful one-two with Chris Feather and crossed before Ellis and Sinfield combined to send Smith over for a simple score. And on the hour mark McGuire?s brilliant surge and check inside put Smith over for his brace but Sinfield failed to maintain his 100% record with the boot. Wakefield?s response was again impressive and tries from Jamie Field and Tadulala, neither of which Rooney could convert, rocked Leeds momentarily before Sinfield added a late penalty to ensure, fittingly, that he had the final say. Leeds (18) 36.Tries: Ellis 2, Senior, McGuire, Smith 2. Goals: Sinfield 6. Wakefield (12) 20.Tries: Jeffries, Atkins, J. Field, Tadulala. Goals: Rooney 2. Leeds: Smith, Donald, Walker, Senior, Williams, McGuire, Burrow, Jones-Buchanan, Millard, Bailey, Poching, Ellis, Sinfield.Replacements: Lauitiiti, O?Neill, Feather, Ablett.Wakefield: Saxton, Halpenny, Demetriou, Atkins, Tadulala, Rooney, Jeffries, MacGillivray, March, Korkidas, Solomona,Catic, Betham.Replacements: Griffin, J. Field, Watene, White.Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington)Att: 13,597Source: www.superleague.co.uk