BOILED BUNNIES | 2016 was a year to forget for the South Sydney Rabbitohs faithful, their side slidi...
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St Helens 28
Tries: Wellens, Cunningham, Graham, Flannery
Goals: Foster 6
Tries: King 2, Bridge
St Helens moved within 80-minutes of Old Trafford as they ran out comfortable winners against Warrington Wolves at GPW Recruitment Stadium Knowsley Road.
Despite only defeating St Helens once in the last 40 meetings, the Wolves came into this game as favourites and despite the wet conditions they made a fast start to the game.
Slick handling across the line lead to Chris Bridge putting winger Matt King in at the corner as the visitors took the lead inside two minutes. Moments later Warrington doubled their lead to 8-0 as a similar move with Kingsaw them score another in the same right hand corner of the ground.
Saints finally got some possession and on 16-minutes Matty Smith - who was a late recall from being on a season's long loan at Salford - made the most of his opportunity by producing a deft grubber kick for Paul Wellens to touchdown underneath the posts. Jamie Foster added on the extras.
Veteran hooker Keiron Cunningham rolled back the years as he gave the hosts the lead with an opportunist try from dummy half 20 metres out.
By now St Helens were adapting better to the conditions and they moved further ahead with a close range effort from prop James Graham. Foster added the conversion and a penalty goal to give his team a healthy 18-8 half time lead.
The second half was similar to the first as Saints continued to dominate and they edged further clear with another Foster penalty goal.
A bit of luck for St Helens sealed them the game as Warrington winger Chris Riley was clearly taken out by Foster, but referee Richard Silverwood allowed play to progress and the home side won the game with Chris Flannery scoring the all important try.
Bridge charged down a Jon Wilkin kick to narrow the gap for the Wolves but this was only a consolation as the Saints ran out comfortable winners.
So Warrington are now in knock-out football and for St Helens it's a week off and they get to pick their Semi-Final opponents with Club-Call.
Huddersfield Giants 18
Tries: Robinson, Patrick, Cudjoe
Goals: B Hodgson 3
Goals: Schifcofske 4
Huddersfield Giants shattered Crusaders play-off hopes by snatching a win at the death in a dramatic finish at Galpharm Stadium.
Coming into this game as firm underdogs, the Crusaders showed up well in the first half but they barely troubled the Giants whose defence was rock solid.
Against the run of play, scrum-half Rhys Hanbury intercepted a Danny Brough pass meant for Leroy Cudjoe five minutes before the break and scored the only try of the half with a 45-meter run. Clinton Schifcofske kicked the extras and added another penalty goal to give the Welsh outfit an 8-0 lead.
Four minutes after the restart Huddersfield started their comeback. Luke Robinson burst through to get his team back into the contest.
The Giants began to dominate the game but failed to get over the line and a second penalty goal by Schifcofske edged Crusaders 10-6 in front.
On 69-minutes the game turned the Giants way as the visitors were reduced to twelve men when Jordan James was sin-binned for preventing a quick tap being taken.
Moments later Huddersfield were in front as a burst from Darrell Griffin set up Larne Patrick for the try. Schifcofske made it 12-12 with another penalty goal and the game looked to be heading for golden point extra time.
However, when Brough picked up a loose ball on halfway he sent Cudjoe away as the Giants won the game to book an away elimination tie at Warrington next week. For Crusaders their fairy tale season came to an end with newspaper speculation that their coach Brian Noble may well leave the club.
Hull FC 4
Tries: T Briscoe
Hull KR 21
Tries: Fox, Fisher, Welham
Goals: Dobson 4
Hull KR dumped local rivals Hull FC out of the play-offs with a clinical performance at KC Stadium.
The Black and Whites had beaten the Robins on both occasions they have played this year in the league, but it was Rovers who drew first blood as a pin-point kick to the corner by Scott Murrell was seized on by Peter Fox who opened the scoring.
Mick Dobson kicked the goal from the touchline and his immaculate kicking kept Hull in check for the rest of the half. Ben Fisher made it 12-0 as he traded passes with Shaun Briscoe before going over the line.
Hull did their best to get on the scoreboard before the break but some brilliant last ditch defence kept them at bay.
As conditions worsened in the second half after a heavy downpour, Matt Cooke slipped and lost the ball which was gathered up by Tom Briscoe as the Black and Whites got into the game.
However, Rovers got back on top and won the game with a try from Kris Welham. Scott Murrell added more gloss to the win with a late one pointer.
With Hull KR's first ever win in the play-offs they now travel to Wigan in next week's eliminator.
Wigan Warriors 26
Tries: S. Tomkins 2, Farrell, Richards
Goals: Richards 5
Leeds Rhinos 27
Tries: Buderus, Hall, McGuire, Donald
Goals: Sinfield 5
Drop G: Sinfield
Leeds Rhinos came from behind to stun Wigan Warriors and claim a home Semi-final in a dramatic game at DW Stadium.
The match between this years League leaders shield winners Wigan and the three times defending Champions Leeds lived up to its bill.
Wigan made the better start and took the lead after a mistake by Ryan Bailey gave the Warriors another set of six and on the last tackle a high kick by Paul Deacon was palmed back by Martin Gleeson to score.
From the kick off Kevin Sinfield put ball out on the full and Sam Tomkins stepped his way through and after just eight minutes they led 12-0. Pat Richards made it 14-0 as he slotted over a penalty goal.
On 23-minutes the Rhinos got back into the game after an offload from substitute Greg Eastwood led to a Danny Buderus score. Moments later the gap was cut to 14-12 as an initial break from Rob Burrow paved the way for a long Danny McGuire pass to send Ryan Hall in out wide. Kevin Sinfield added the extras.
Just before the break the Joel Tomkins was penalised for kicking in the tackle and Sinfield added the goal as the teams went into the break at 14-14.
Soon after the restart Leeds took the lead for the first time after a break from Brent Webb set up Danny McGuire, who was in support to finish off.
Wigan hit back with a try from Liam Farrell, goaled by Richards. In end to end action the Rhinos once again got their noses in front when again McGuire's long pass put Scott Donald in at the corner.
From the kick off Ryan Hall lost the ball and this led to Richards scoring out wide to make it 26-24, but crucially he missed the conversion.
However, he slotted over a penalty goal and with just under 8 minutes left we looked to be heading for golden goal extra time.
But, Sinfield edged Leeds in front with a drop goal and in a dramatic end to the game Pat Richards missed a difficult kick from the touchline to win it for Wigan.
So for Leeds it's a week off and a home Semi-final against the team St Helens don't pick in Club-Call. Wigan now faces an elimination play-off against Hull KR next Friday night.