While the 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is still a few weeks away, there's a bunch of warm-up clashes happeni...
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Leeds Rhinos warmed up for next week's Challenge Cup final by handing out a hammering to bottom of the table Catalans Dragons at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
The Rhinos made sure of the points by wrapping the game up by the interval. Danny McGuire got Leeds on their way by combining with Lee Smith. A clever pass from Brent Webb sent Ryan Hall in at the corner as the lead was doubled to 12-0.
Keith Senior put Rob Burrow in for the third score of the game before once again Webb turned provider as Hall scored his second of the game. Casey McGuire scored from short range as the Dragons awoke from their slumber.
Two more tires followed before the break from McGuire and Smith as the Rhinos increased their lead to 34-6.
On 46 minutes Hall completed his hat-trick by scoring in the corner. Brett Delaney added another before Danny McGuire race in from 70 metres for another brilliant individual effort to complete his hat-trick as the Rhinos broke through the 50 point barrier. Skipper Kevin Sinfield kicked 8 from 9.
This win from Leeds takes them back into fourth and one point ahead of Hull FC who they play in two weeks time in the final game of the regular season.
Warrington Wolves 36
Tries: Riley 2, Clarke, Westwood, Morley, Myler
Goals: Westwood 5
Hull FC 18
Tries: Briscoe, Lauaki, Radford
Goals: Tickle 2
Warrington Wolves came twice from behind to defeat Hull FC at HJ Stadium.
Ahead of next week's Challenge cup Final at Wembley, the Wolves rested Lee Briers and Gareth Carvell and the visitors made the most of this by taking the lead on 9 minutes with a Tom Briscoe score in the corner. Danny Tickle added the extras from the touchline. Chris Riley got Warrington back on terms after good work by Louis Anderson.
The Black and Whites re-took the lead after an offload from Craig Fitzgibbon sent Epalahame Lauaki over. Just before the break Riley took a pass from centre Ryan Atkins as Warrington levelled the game up at 12-12.
After the break the game changed when Tickle was shown a yellow card for holding down Michael Monaghan and Warrington took control. Jon Clarke and Ben Westwood made the extra man count.
Radford pulled one back for Hull but the game was all over as both Adrian Morley and Richard Myler gave the hosts a match winning lead.
The win for the Wolves keeps them in a battle with Saints for second place. For Hull it's a winner takes all fourth place shoot out with Leeds in two weeks time.
Tries: Mellars, Winternstein
St Helens 36
Tries: Eastmond, Wellens, Gardner, Foster, Roby, Lomax, Puletua
Goals: Foster 4
St Helens moved into second place with a hard-fought win over Crusaders at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham.
Coming into this game, Saints knew that a victory of 21 or more points would take them into second place above Warrington Wolves.
However, it was the Crusaders who took the game to St Helens and took the lead early on after a move across the line was finished off by Vince Mellars. Saints hits back and with two tries in five minutes they took the lead 10-4. Kyle Eastmond scored from Chris Flannery's offload before his clever kick put Paul Wellens in underneath the posts.
The Welsh side drew level when Peter Lupton sent Frank Winternstein over and it could have been either better as Luke Dyer had a try chalked off by the video referee for offside. Instead, Saints went down to the other end and Ade Gardner gave the visitors a 14-10 interval lead.
Crusaders missed some opportunities in the second half as Saints lost both Eastmond and Kerion Cunningham to injury. But they railed and took control of the game with scores from Jamie Foster and James Roby.
Jonny Lomax and Tony Puletua scored late on as St Helens increased their points difference to move into second place and dent the Crusaders hopes of a top eight finish.
Bradford Bulls 38
Tries: Kearney, Lynch, Godwin 2, Whitehead, Menzies
Goals: Sykes 7
Wakefield Wildcats 28
Tries: Kirmond, Millard, Obst, Morrison, Gleeson
Goals: Jefferies 4
Bradford Bulls finally got the monkey off their back as they ended their 12 match losing streak by defeating Wakefield Wildcats at Grattan Stadium Odsal.
The visitors made the better start and took the lead with a Danny Kirmond score. Sam Obst put a grubber kick through and Daryl Millard was on hand to evade two tacklers as the Wildcats made it 12-0.
A good attack from deep in their own led to Brett Kearney getting the Bulls back onto the game. Andy Lynch went over to level things up.
Bradford turned the screws and then took control. Paul Sykes added a penalty goal before Wayne Godwin made it 26-12 with a quick-fire brace in four minutes.
Kearney set up Elliot Whitehead just after the re-start and with Sykes adding on the extras the hosts increased their lead to 32-12.
However, Wakefield rallied and hit back. Obst scored a fine individual effort before Glen Morrison scored against his old club. Steven Menzies eased Bradfords worries and despite a try from Sean Gleeson the Bulls hung on and ended their club record run of defeats as they moved above the Wildcats in the table.
Castleford Tigers 40
Tries: McGoldrick, Shenton, Hudson, Dixon, Huby, Milner, Sargent
Goals: Westerman 6
Harlequins RL 28
Tries: Howell, Sharp, O'Callaghan, Gale, Dorn
Goals: Purdham 4
Castleford Tigers edged back into eighth place after seeing off Harlequins RL at The Jungle.
With Crusaders losing last night, Cas knew that any sort of win would take them back into the top eight.
But it was Quins who scored first as David Howell pounced on a loose ball. Ryan McGoldrick responded instantly as the hosts levelled.
Michael Shenton edged the Tigers in front and Ryan Hudson broke from dummy half as Castleford led 18-6 at half time.
Kirk Dixon was sent in by Shenton as the hosts increased their advantage. Will Sharp pulled one back for the Londoners but tries from Craig Huby and Adam Milner put the Tigers into a strong position. Once again Quins would not go away and hit back with two scores from Jamie O'Callaghan and Luke Gale.
Mitchell Sargent clinched the game for the hosts but Luke Dorn had the last say with a late consolation.
So Cas go into their final game of the season at St Helens knowing a win will guarantee them a place in the play-offs.
Huddersfield Giants 52
Tries: Brough, Wild, Fa'alogo, Faiumu 2, Brown, Patrick, Horne, Gilmour
Goals: B Hodgson 8
Salford City Reds 4
Huddersfield Giants romped home as thrashed Salford City Reds at Galpharm Stadium in a very one sided game.
Danny Brough scored a fine solo effort as the Giants took the lead. Stephen Wild added another against the club he will play for next year. Just before the break David Fa'alogo made it 16-0.
The game was all over just after the re-start when Huddersfield scored three tries in an eight minute spell. David Faiumu, Kevin Brown and Larne Patrick were the scorers.
Faiumu added his second of the game before Lee Gilmour and another from Graeme Horne took the Giants past the fifty point barrier.
Salford who had spent most of the game in their own half managed a late consolation from Jodie Broughton, as the final hooter sounded.
This win for Huddersfield kept a live their hopes of finishing in fifth place.
Hull KR 18
Tries: Murrell, Cook, Lovegrove
Goals: Dobson 3
Wigan Warriors 38
Tries: Richards 2, Marsh, S Tomkins, J Tomkins, Charnley
Goals: Richards 7
Wigan Warriors clinched the League Leaders Shield by ending Hull KR's four month winning run at Craven Park.
The Warriors outplayed Hull KR in the first half and went into the break with a 14-0 lead. Sam Tomkins made a break to set up points-machine Pat Richards for the opening try of the game. Stefan Marsh added another try and the other points came from Richards boot.
Rovers upped the tempo at the start of the second half and in blistering fashion they put on 18 points inside the first 10 minutes to take the lead 18-14. Scott Murrell score from close range. Paul Cook was sent in by Ben Fisher and Rhys Lovegrove added the other.
However, Wigan showed why they are League Leaders as they roared back to win the game. Sam Tomkins crossed after taking a pass from Brother Joel. Richard scored his second with a run down the left touchline.
Joel Tomkins strolled in on 76-minutes and the final try of the game came from debutant Josh Charnley, who up until last week had been on loan at Hull KR.
So Wigan will now have poll position when they enter the play-offs and are favourites to reach the Grand Final at Old Trafford.