TRANS-TASMAN PREVIEWS | We've got a look over and made our picks for the opening night of the rep ro...
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Harlequins RL 35
Tries: Dorn, Ellis, Jones-Bishop 2, Melling
Goals: Orr 7
Drop Goal: Gale
Bradford Bulls 18
Tries: Whitehead, Sykes, Crossley
Goals: Sykes 3
Harlequins RL handed out an eight successive defeat to Bradford Bulls with an easy win at Twickenham Stoop.
The hosts went at the out-of-form Bulls from the start and they took the lead after Luke Dorn burst through a gap to touchdown. Tony Clubb powered his way through the visitors defence and set up Andy Ellis to score underneath the posts as Quins doubled their advantage.
An under-strength Harlequins were attacking from all parts of the pitch and a third duly came as once again Dorn's pace led to Ben Jones-Bishop going over. Midway through the half Bradford were given a lifeline as Brett Kearney setup Elliott Whitehead to score. The Londoners went into the break with a 21-6 lead thanks to a penalty goal from Danny Orr and a drop-goal on the half time hooter from Luke Gale.
Bradford started the second period much better and got on the scoreboard through Paul Sykes after following up Craig Kopczak's burst through. Jones-Bishop added his second of the game as Quins increased their lead and then the Bulls were reduced to 12 when Steve Menzies was shown a yellow card.
Orr then struck again with the boot, before Chris Melling rounded off a flowing move to clinch the win for Quins and end their four match losing streak. Steve Crossley added a late reply for the visitors but it was purely a consolation.
Hull KR 25
Tries: Galea, Fisher, Fox, Cockayne
Goals: Dobson 4
Drop Goal: Dobson
Leeds Rhinos 6
Hull KR produced their best performance of the season as they saw off Leeds Rhinos at Craven Park.
Played in humid conditions Rovers showed their intent from the start as they ran at the Rhinos and pinned them back with a good kicking game. Leeds should have opened the scoring but the first in a series of crucial errors denied them as Danny McGuire was judged to have made a double movement over the line. The hosts made their way to the other end and Ben Galea gave them the lead and 11 minutes later Ben Fisher doubled the advantage.
Carl Ablett was judged to have grounded short of the line at the end of a scrappy move from Leeds before Peter Fox, swooped on a rare bad pass from Kevin Sinfield and raced 60 metres to score underneath the uprights to give Rovers an 18-0 interval lead.
Early into the second period Ryan Hall latched on to Rob Burrow's kick through to get the Rhinos on the scoreboard. The visitors attacked Hull KR but some great scrambling defence kept the Rhinos out and Mick Dobson added a drop-goal on 68 minutes to give the Robins a 13 point advantage.
Ryan Hall fumbled the ball twice over the line and the game was all over as Ben Cockayne latched onto a grubber from Galea to ensure a fourth game without defeat for Hull KR as they completed the double over Leeds for the first time in twenty five years.
St Helens 20
Tries: Wellens, Meli 2, Gaskell
Goals: Lomax 2
Catalans Dragons 30
Tries: Carlaw, Greenshields 2, McGuire, Sherwin
Goals: Bosc 5
Catalans Dragons stunned St Helens as they ran out shock winners at GPW Recruitment Stadium Knowsley Road.
With several star players missing due to injury, Saints led after six minutes when James Roby's flat pass sent Paul Wellens crashing over. Dane Carlaw found a gap in the defence as Catalans got on terms minutes later.
Francis Meli regained the lead for the hosts as he took Jon Wilkin's high kick to score in the corner. The Dragons stunned St Helens in the last seven minutes of the first half as they ran in three unanswered tries. Clint Greenshields scored a brace with Casey McGuire adding the other as the visitors led 24-10 at the break.
Immediately after the restart, Saints upped the tempo and they got back into the game after Scott Moore's pass sent Lee Gaskell over the line from close range. Lomax added the extras to cut Catalans' lead to eight points.
The French-side hit back through Brent Sherwin who finished off a flowing move. Meli burrowed his way over in the left corner for his second try to give St Helens some hope but the Dragons held on for a famous win as Saints were booed off the field at the final whistle.
Wigan Warriors 60
Tries: S Tomkins 2, Gleeson, J Tomkins, Carmont,
O'Loughlin, Goulding 3, Hansen
Goals: Richards 10
Salford City Reds 10
Tries: Holdsworth, Broughton
Wigan Warriors ran in 10 tries as they romped to victory over 12-man Salford City Reds at DW Stadium.
It did not take long for the League Leaders to open their account as Sam Tomkins finished off Mark Riddell's break on five minutes. Daryl Goulding finished off a sweeping move which used the full width of the pitch. The third try arrived on ten minutes as Martin Gleeson leaped high to take Paul Deacon's kick.
Already facing an uphill battle, Salford's task was made nigh on impossible when they were reduced to 12 men straight from the restart. Ryan Boyle caught Fielden and he was given his marching orders. Joel Tomkins crashed over from close range and George Carmont made it 30-0 with a try just before the break.
Sam Tomkins claimed his second try three minutes into the second half after bursting onto a neat inside ball by Liam Farrell. Finally Salford had something to cheer as Daniel Holdsworth touchdown after Ste Tyrer tapped back Matty Smith's kick.
Wigan continued their scoring and Goulding went on to complete his hat-trick. Pat Richards kicked 10 from 10 as Wigan cemented top spot. Jodie Broughton intercepted Amos Roberts pass to race 90-meters for a consolation for the well beaten City Reds.
Wakefield Wildcats 29
Tries: Cooke, Rinaldi, Leaeno, Millard, Demetriou
Goals: Cooke 4
Drop Goal: Jeffries
Hull FC 6
Wakefield Wildcats gave themselves a play-off lifeline with a workmanlike win over Hull FC at Hearwell Stadium Belle Vue.
Played in very humid conditions, both sides started the game poorly and made numerous handling errors. Wakefield were punished for making a mess of a three man overlap as Shaun Berrigan's kick set up Jordan Turner to give Hull the lead.
Ex Black and White Paul Cooke got the Wildcats back into the game by crossing for a try and then his kick set up Julien Rinaldi as the hosts went into the break with a 12-6 advantage.
As both teams struggled to play the game at tempo, the Wildcats finally broke the deadlock on 52 minutes when Charlie Leaeno smashed his way over the line. Ben Jeffries added a drop goal ton increase the lead to 19-6.
Hull tried to get back into the game but they were thwarted by some good Wakefield defence. Daryl Millard made sure of the win by snapping up Richard Horne's loose pass to race away and score.
With time running out Jason Demetrio intercepted to add to Hull's misery as the Wildcats got back on track.
Warrington Wolves 52
Tries: Riley, Myler 3, Morley, Atkins, Mathers,
Goals: Westwood 9
Castleford Tigers 30
Tries: Dixon, Westerman 2, Wainwright, Clayton, Snitch
Goals: Westerman 3
Warrington Wolves kept in touch with league leaders Wigan with a convincing win over Castleford Tigers in a high scoring game at HJ Stadium.
Chris Riley gave the hosts the lead after five minutes, after good work from David Solomona. Castleford got back on terms minutes later as Kirk Dixon took Dean Widders floating pass. Richard Myler pounced on Michael Monaghan kick to increase the Wolves lead.
In the last 15-minutes of the half Warrington took control, Adrian Morley threw himself over the line for an easy score and two more followed before the break from Ryan Atkins and Myler as the hosts went in to the interval with a commanding 30-4 lead.
Joe Westerman scored first in the second half for the Tigers but Richard Mathers responded for the Wolves. Chris Hicks scored the seventh try of the game for the hosts, before Castleford had a purple patch.
Michael Wainwright, Ryan Clayton and Westwood exposed some weakness in the Warrington defence as the Tigers ran in three tries in six minutes. However, Warrington ended any hopes of a comeback as Solomona and Myler, who completed his hat-trick, both crossed. Steve Snitch ended the scoring as he added a consolation for the visitors late on.
Goals: B Hodgson 2, Brough
Tries: Sammut, Hauraki
Goals: Schifcofske 2
Huddersfield Giants ran out easy winners over Crusaders at Galpharm Stadium.
Buoyed by the news that coach Nathan Brown has u-turned his decision to leave at the end of this year and now stay on to the end of 2011 season, the Giants got back to winning ways with only their third win in ten games.
After a deadlock of twenty minutes Shaun Lunt gave the hosts the lead, but a mistake led to Crusaders stand-off Jarred Sammut racing clear for a stunning solo try. Luke Robinson's defence-splitting kick through for Stephen Wild restored the advantage for Huddersfield.
Just before the interval Robinson was on hand again as he set up Jermaine McGillvary to give the hosts a 16-6 lead.
Michael Lawrence effectively won the game for the Giants as he dived over in the corner early into the second period. Weller Hauraki pulled one back for the Welsh side on 63-minutes.
However, two mistakes by the crusaders were punished by Kevin Brown and McGillvary as the Giants claimed the points and kept in touch of a place in the top four.