Our weekly feature - The Armchair Expert - returns just in time for the finals!
This week we look a...
36 mins ago
Warrington Wolves 64 (M Gleeson 2, Fa'afili 2, Briers, Clarke, Sullivan, Wood, Parker, Rauhihi tries; Briers 10 goals) def. Castleford Tigers 6 (Platt try; McGoldrick goal). Att: 5,681. Warrington Wolves handed out an 11 try demolition of the Castleford Tigers at the Jungle. This game was well over by the break with the visitors superbly led by man of the match Lee Briers and ably supported by ex-Shark halfback Michael Sullivan.
Warrington scored five first half tries with the only consolation for the hosts a Michael Platt try. The second half was all one-way traffic with the Wolves scoring six further tries to inflict a record home defeat on the Castleford Tigers.
St Helens overcame a spirited challenge from Catalans Dragons in Perpignan, to extend their lead at the top of the table. The tough-tackling French team started the brighter and opened up an early lead but Saints hit back to claim a half-time advantage and then powered away after the break.
Hull F.C. 36 (Yeaman 3, Blacklock 2, Tony tries; Cooke 4, Brough 2 goals) def. Wakefield Wildcats 24 (White, Rooney, Demetriou, Obst tries; Rooney 4 goals). Att:9,898.
Hull secured a maximum four points from the Easter period by seeing off the Wakefield Wildcats at the KC Stadium. It was the third meeting between the teams after only 10 rounds of the competition. Kirk Yeaman clinched victory with the third try of a hat-trick near the end, with Nathan Blacklock grabbing a brace.
The Wildcats matched the Black and Whites and only trailed 14-12 at the break but the home team finished the stronger and deserved their victory, which will give a big lift to incoming coach Peter Sharp.
The Rhinos bounced back to secure second place with a hard-fought victory over third place Salford City Reds at a packed Willows. The Home team took a 6-4 lead with a try from Simon Finnigan in response to Gareth Ellis opener for Leeds. Jamie Jones-Buchanan scored just before the break to give the visitors a 10-6 lead.
Two second half tries for Leeds extended their lead to 20-6, but the gap was cut to 8 points with a second try for Finnigan. Youngster Danny Williams seemed to have clinched victory for the Rhinos. However, a try two minutes from time by John Wilshere gave the Reds a chance of a draw but the visitors held out for the victory.
Harlequins RL 30 (Dorn 2, Mills, Smith, Sheriffe, Gafa tries; Purdham 2, Gafa goals) def. Wigan Warriors 18 (O'Loughlin, Brown, James, Moran tries; Tickle goal). Att: 12,329.
Things went from bad to worse for the Wigan Warriors as they crashed to another home defeat against Harlequins RL at the JJB Stadium. The home team, who are now four points adrift at the bottom of the table, are still waiting to hear whether Bradford coach Brian Noble is prepared to accept the challenge and take over the JJB hotseat from the sacked Ian Millward.
The Warriors were left red-faced as Harlequins ruthlessly exploited flimsy defence to run up a 26-8 half-time lead through tries from Luke Dorn (2), Rikki Sheriffe, David Mills and Matthew Gafa. Tyrone Smith touched down after the break, and despite a spirited Wigan fightback, the home side never looked like making a game of it.
Bradford Bulls made it two wins out of two over the Easter period, with a compressive victory over the Huddersfield Giants at Odsal. The home team raced in a 16-0 lead early thanks to tries from Paul Johnson, Paul Deacon and Terry Newton - making his long awaited Bulls debut. With the introduction of Brad Drew, Huddersfield hit back to score two tries to Chris Thorman and Chris Nero. Just before half-time a Marcus Bai try gave the hosts a 22-12 lead at the break.
In the second half, the Bulls continued where they left off and added 5 further tries. The only consolation for the Giants was a Brad Drew try. The big question at the end of the game is will Bradford Coach Brian Noble leave to join Wigan Warriors but at this moment in time he is holding his cards close to his chest.