Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Leeds Rhinos Maintained second place in the table with a nine try thrashing of the Castleford Tigers at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. The Tigers took a shock early lead from a Michael Platt try, converted by Ryan McGoldrick. This was as good as it got for the visitors as Leeds ran in three tries for a 16-6 half time lead.
In the second half, the home team turned up the heat and ran in six further tries to completely demoralise a sorry looking Castleford for the second time this season. Castleford cause was not helped by their lack of discipline, as they tried to stem the tide this resulted in three sin-binning offences, twice by skipper Danny Nutley and Richard Fa?aoso.
St Helens remained at the summit of the Engage Super League table with a hard fought narrow victory over a battling Salford City Reds at the Willows. The visitors were pushed all the way by Salford and in the end the two first half tries from Ian Hardman and Jason Hooper was the difference between the teams.
Salford tries came from David Hodgson and Simon Finnigan. Only resolute defence by the Saints kept the home team at bay, in a frantic last few minutes.
Hull FC continued their winning streak with victory over the Catalan Dragons in the South of France. In a pulsating battle, Hull had to recover from a second half severe battering from the powerful Dragons forwards, which saw the Frenchmen overturn an eight-point deficit to snatch the lead on the hour mark.
However, the in form Kirk Yeaman was once again the Airlie Birds saviour as he completed his second successive hat-trick, with Nathan Blacklock adding a brace. The Dragons pushed the visitors all the way and came very close to snatching a draw with a late Shaun Rudder try.
Wigan Warriors season got back on track as they claimed a double over Huddersfield Giants at the Galpharm Stadium. Newly appointed head coach Brian Noble appears to have weaved his magic as the visitors romped to a convincing victory.
The Giants took an early lead but the Warriors hit back and showed plenty of character to run in nine tries to claim only their second league win of the season. Pat Richards and Brett Dallas both scored two tries apiece and after this much better display, the suffering Wigan fans now believe they have a chance under Brian Noble?s guidance to claw their way up the Engage Super League table. Wakefield Wildcats 42 (Atkins, White, Rooney 2, Halpenny, Tadulala, Demetriou tries; Rooney 7 goals) def. Harlequins R.L. 22 (Leuluai 2, McLinden, Dorn tries; Prudham 3 goals). Att: 3,527.
Wakefield Wildcats held off a spirited second-half fight back by Harlequins to clinch victory at the Atlantic Solutions Stadium. Tries from Colum Halpenny, Semi Tadulala, Jamie Rooney and Ryan Atkins helped the home team to a 24-12 half-time lead, with Thomas Leuluai scoring twice for the visitors.
Luke Dorn and Mark McLinden scores brought Quins within two points at the start of the second half but a second try from Rooney and further tries from Jason Demetriou and Paul White put the outcome beyond doubt.
Warrington Wolves made it a double over the Bradford Bulls with victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. The home team started the stronger and took a 10-4 half time lead with tries from Martin Gleeson and Ben Westwood. Bradford?s try was scored by Marcus Bai.
With some ferocious defence, the Wolves soaked up a lot of Bradford pressure for most of the second half, then on 69 minutes a Lee Briers Drop goal gave them some breathing space. The floodgates opened as tries from Paul Wood, Martin Gleeson and Lee Briers broke the Engage Super League champions in the final 10 minutes.
This was a bad result for new Bulls Coach Steve McNamara, who tasted defeat in his first game in charge.