2018 PREVIEW 🔍 Perennial underachievers? Our fifteenth preview is here. Andrew Ferguson assesses whe...
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Hull FC 27
Tries: Briscoe, Turner, Houghton, Manu, Tickle
Goals: Tickle 3
Drop Goal: Tickle
St Helens 26
Tries: Meli 4, Cunningham
Goals: Lomax 3
Hull FC stunned St Helens with an astonishing second half comeback to snatch an unlikely win at KC Stadium.
Tom Briscoe gave the hosts the early lead as he showed his strength to get over the line. Saints hit back through Francis Meli who leaped high to score and then he was on hand to finish off a move to give the visitors the lead.
The moment swung St Helens' way and veteran hooker Kerion Cunningham raced in from 15-metres. Just before the interval Meli finished off a six on one overlap to complete his hat-trick and give the visitors a commanding 22-6 lead.
On 50-minutes Meli made the most of some poor defence to score his fourth of the game and this looked to have sewn up the match as St Helens led 26-6.
However, The Black and Whites stunned Saints with an astonishing comeback. Jordan Turner scored the first then Danny Houghton pounced on a Sean Long kick to score underneath the posts.
Willie Manu's close range effort cut the lead to 22-26 and the comeback was complete when Danny Tickle scored in the corner to level. Both teams went for the match winning one-pointer and with time dying out Tickle was the hero as Hull snatched an unlikely win to stay fourth and close the gap on third place St Helens to just two points.
Leeds Rhinos 28
Tries: McGuire, Jones-Buchan, Donald, Buderus
Goals: Sinfield 6
Tries: Morrison, Obst, Murphy, Demetriou
Goals: Cooke 3
Leeds Rhinos left it late to claim a hard-fought victory over Wakefield Wildcats at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
Coming into the game after a week off the Wildcats stunned the Rhinos by taking a 12-0 lead inside the first ten minutes of the game. Glen Morrison took Paul Cooke's pass to open the scoring and Sam Obst was the other try scorer as he picked up his own grubber kick to score.
The Rhinos got back into the game with a close range effort from Danny McGuire and they drew level when a pass from Carl Ablett sent Jamie Jones-Buchanan over. Cooke kicked a penalty to edge the visitors in front, but just before the interval Scott Donald dived over in the corner to give Leeds an 18-14 lead.
Wakefield showed some good defence early into the second half as they repelled Leeds and they drew level when Aaron Murphy squeezed over.
Going into the last ten minutes the game was all square at 18-18 but there was to be a twist as Morrison was sin-binned for a foul on Lee Smith. Kevin Sinfield added the penalty goal and shortly after Danny Buderus scored underneath the posts to put the Rhinos into a 26-18 lead.
Jason Demetriou went over to provide the Wildcats with some hope but a late Sinfield penalty put paid to this as the Rhinos won their sixth game on the bounce to remain in fifth place.
Salford City Reds 10
Tries: Broughton, Henry
Tries: Higham, Mathers 2, Solomona, Hicks
Goals: Bridge 3
Drop Goal: Briers
Warrington Wolves remained in second place with a comfortable win over Salford City Reds at The Willows.
In a tight opening quarter the first try came on 17-minutes from Chris Hicks who wrong footed the Reds defence. Richard Mathers jinked his way over eight minutes later to increase the visitors lead.
Mark Henry got Salford into the game with a converted try but just before the break Chris Riley broke clear and sent Mathers in for his second as the Wolves led 16-6 at the break.
Warrington dominated the early part of the second period but some stout defence by Salford kept them out and against the run of play the Reds cut the lead to 16-10 with a Jodie Broughton try out wide.
Lee Briers edged Warrington into a 17-10 lead with a 63-minute drop goal and the game was won with late scores from Mickey Higham and David Solomona.
Bradford Bulls 6
Huddersfield Giants 52
Tries: Gilmour, D Hodgson 2, McGillvary 2,
Cudjoe, Robinson, B Hodgson, Griffin
Goals: B Hodgson 8
The visitors took control from the outset and opened the scoring on five minutes through secondrower Lee Gilmour. Ten minutes later the Giants increased their lead with a score from David Hodgson.
Danny Brough's high kick eluded Rikki Sheriffe to gift a try to Luke Robinson as the Giants continued where they left off. Brett Hodgson weaved his way through the home defence before the Bulls pulled one back through Steve Menzies converted by Paul Sykes.
Two further tries from prop Darrell Griffin and another for David Hodgson took Huddersfield past the 50 point barrier to run out comprehensive winners as they moved up to sixth on the table.
Hull KR 24
Tries: Galea, Welham, Murrell, Dobson
Goals: Dobson 4
Catalans Dragons 6
Rovers made a fast start and the first try for Ben Galea was set up by Joel Clinton when he charged down a kick. Catalans got back into the game and came close to scoring as David Ferrol was held up over the line.
The hosts increased their lead to 12-0 after a Scott Murrell short pass set up Kris Welham to score. Once again the Dragons let themselves down as repeated handling errors prevented them getting on the scoreboard.
Four minutes from full time Mick Dobson collected a loose ball and sprinted 90 metres to ease Rovers home.
Harlequins RL 50
Tries: Dorn 4, Melling, Gale, Howell, Krasniqi
Goals: Orr 3, Gale 6
Tries: Schifcofske, Chan, Lupton, Hanbury
Goals: Schifcofske 3
Harlequins ran in eight tries and they comprehensively defeated Crusaders at Twickenham Stoop.
After a poignant minute's silence in honour of Cumbrian shooting victim Garry Purdham, brother of Quins skipper Rob, the game began at a frantic pace and it was the home side who claimed the first points.
Luke Dorn finished off a David Howell break and minutes later Chris Melling ran on to Danny Orr's pass. Dorn was on hand again as he latched onto a loose ball to score his second.
Clinton Schifcofske scored a fine individual effort to get Crusaders on the scoreboard, but on the half time hooter Luke Gale slotted over a penalty to give Quins a 20-6 lead.
Quins came out firing in the second half and Gale scored immediately moments later Howell carved his way through for another try. Jason Chan gave Crusaders some hope but Dorn put paid to this by scoring another brace to make it four for the game.
Olisi Krasniqi scored on his debut for the Londoners as they took their score to fifty points. To the Welsh side's credit they did stage a late rally, with both Peter Lupton and Rhys Hanbury claiming late consolations.
Wigan Warriors 38
Tries: Goulding 3, Leuluai, Tuson, O'Loughlin 2
Goals: Richards 5
Castleford Tigers 22
Tries: Jackson, Jones, Ferres, Huby
Goals: Westerman 3
Wigan Warriors cemented top spot with a strong second half showing as they got past Castleford Tigers at DW Stadium.
Paul Jackson got the Tigers off to the best possible start as he opened the scoring on five minutes. Quick hands from Wigan saw Darrell Goulding cross in the right corner to get on terms. Sam Tomkins sent Thomas Leuluai away as the hosts took the lead.
Chris Tuson fresh from his loan at Castleford, then pounced on Mitchell Sargent's spill close to his line to dive over. Stuart Jones crashed over as the visitors cut the lead at the break to 16-12.
It got even better for the Tigers as after the re-start Brett Ferres grounded the ball in the corner. However, Wigan upped the tempo and they turned the game around with a three try burst in a twelve minute spell. Goulding scored two to complete a hat-trick and Sean O'Loughlin added the other.
Jones was put in the sin-bin as the hosts scored again through O'Loughlin. Craig Huby had the last say in the game as he scored a consolation for the Tigers who were well beaten.