Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
5 hours ago
Leeds Rhinos 20 (McGuire 2, Walker, Donald tries; Sinfield 2 goals) v Salford City Reds 12 (Hodgson, Langi, Finnigan tries). Att: 15,242
Leeds Rhinos moved up to second place in the Engage Super League table with a hard fought victory over a gutsy Salford City Reds at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
In a close scoring first half when defences were on top, the Reds took the lead against the run of play when David Hodgson pounced on to a loose ball and raced 80 meters to score in the corner. On the stroke of half time, Leeds finally breached the Salford defence with a try by Scott Donald, after a good run and pass from Danny McGuire.
The second half continued with the Rhinos camped out in the Salford 20 but after an initial Luke Robinson break, Junior Langi crashed over in the corner to put the Reds back in front. Leeds hit back immediately when Chev Walker scored a fine individual try. Then the Rhinos extended their lead with a McGuire try.
Salford would not lie down and after slick passing, Simon Finnigan scored a try to put the Reds within two points of Leeds, but Hodgson once again missed the easy conversation that would have put the Reds level.
Leeds continued to press, but Salford managed to hold out until a piece of individual brilliance from Great Britain stand-off Danny McGuire sealed the game for the hosts. The visitors showed why they are this season?s most improved team, if only David Hodgson would have had his kicking boots on, the Reds might have come away with a most unlikely victory.
St Helens 38 (Meli 2, Gardner 2, Long, Cunningham, Pryce tries; Lyon 5 goals) v Bradford Bulls 16 (Hape 2, B. Harris tries; Deacon 2 goals). Att: 12,352
St Helens maintained their 100% record with a convincing victory over the Bradford Bulls at Knowsley Road.
Bradford came in to this game on an 18 match unbeaten run but after dominating the first quarter, they failed to make most of the pressure and had only a Ben Harris try to show for their efforts. After losing influential skipper Iestyn Harris with an arm injury, the Saints got on top and scored tries through Francis Meli, Shaun Long and Lyon Pryce, who scored against his old club. Just before half time Bradford made the most of the extra man, when Jason Hooper was in the sin-bin for a late tackle on Paul Deacon, with a Shontayne Hape try to reduce the hosts? lead to 16-12 at the break.
The second half the Saints turned on the gas as they ran in four more tries to show that they are surely the odds on favourites to reach the Grand Final in October. Bradford were a well-beaten side but they did mange to score the last try through Shontayne Hape. Saints victory came at a cost with a serious injury to Great Britain full-back Paul Wellins, who is expected to miss the next six weeks with a fractured cheekbone.
Warrington Wolves 26 (Clarke, Westwood, Kohe-Love, Fa?afili, Bridge tries; Briers 3 goals) v Catalans Dragons 28 (Murphy 2, Texido, Bosc, Fellous tries; Dobson 4 goals). Att: 9,631
Catalans Dragons turned the formbook upside down and gave new coach Mike Potter a great start with a shock victory over the Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium.
The visitors came into this match after conceding 108 points in their last two home games and started well pinning Warrington back in their own half, but against the run of play John Clarke scored the opening try for the Wolves. The lead was short lived as the Dragons roared back with three tries two from Justin Murphy, Thomas Bosc and Lionel Teixido plus two conversions by Mick Dobson to lead 16-6. However, on the stroke of half time, Chris Bridge scored for the Wolves to cut the deficit to 6 points at 16-10.
Warrington charged back with three tries in the second half through Henry Fa?afili, his eighth of the season, Ben Westwood, after a great pass from ex Shark Michael Sullivan, Toa Kohe-Love who danced through and with two conversions from Lee Briers the Wolves led 26-16.
Under the guidance of man of the match, Julien Rinaldi, the Dragons stormed back and scored two tries through a second for Murphy and Adel Fellous. Mick Dobson converted both tries and Catalans led 28-26 with minutes left. Warrington tried to get back in front but the visitors held them out to register their first every away victory in the Engage Super League.
Castleford Tigers 38 (Pryce 2, Platt, Handforth, Kain, Fa?aoso tries; Handforth, Kain 5 goals). Wigan Warriors 18 (O?Loughlin 2, Richards tries; Orr, Tickle 2 goals). Att: 9,021
Wigan?s losing run continued after their were soundly beaten by the Castleford Tigers at the Jungle. The Warriors got off to a dream start and raced into a 12-0 lead thanks to a brace through skipper Sean O?Loughlin, both set up by ex Tiger Danny Orr.
With the introduction of Danny Ward, the home team got themselves back into the game with a Wayne Pryce try, but it could have been even better for the hosts as they had two tries disallowed for off-side and a knock-on. Wigan held on for 12-6 lead at the break.
Castleford changed gear in the second half and with the help of some mistakes by the visitors they scored four tries in the first 20 minutes to lead 30-12. Wigan did manage to cut the lead to 12 points with a Pat Richards try, after collecting Denis Moran?s cross-field kick.
But, Pryce crossed again in the closing stages, with Kain's conversion and a last-minute penalty from Handforth rubbing salt in the Warriors' gaping wounds
Huddersfield Giants 64 (Evans 2, Gardner 2, Thorman 2, Donlan, Paul, Wild, Torrens, Crabtree tries; Thorman 10 goals) v Harlequins RL 14 (Hartley, Luisi tries; Gafa 3 goals). Att: 4,173
Huddersfield ran in 11 tries as they thrashed a poor Harlequins side at the Galpharm Stadium. Quins, whose points came following early tries by Tim Hartley and Zebastian Luisi as well as three kicks by Matt Gafa, were abysmal in the second half.
Their performance made a mockery of their opening two away games this season, which had seen them beat Hull and draw at Bradford. The hosts lead 22-14 at the break and then ran in 7-second half tries to thoroughly outclass their opponents.
Huddersfield were lead around the park by their two half-backs, effervescent Robbie Paul and Chris Thorman - who contributed 28 points.
Wakefield Wildcats 20 (Tadulala 2, Elima, Demetriou tries; Rooney 2 goals) v Hull FC 28 (Raynor, Carvell, King, Yeaman, Whiting tries; Brough, Cook 3 goals). Att: 5,613
Hull ended their loosing run of three matches with an unconvincing win over bottom team Wakefield Wildcats at Belle Vue.
Wakefield led 10-0 with tries from Semi Tadulala and Oliver Elima before losing their talisman David Solomona, who limped off after 20 minutes. Richard Whiting and Kirk Yeaman crossed to give Hull a half time lead. Garreth Carvell added another try after the break to extend the advantage.
Tries from Tadulala and Jason Demetriou put Wakefield back in contention. However, Hull hung on to their lead with some good scrambling defence and gave themselves some breathing space on 60 minutes when Paul King went over. Gareth Raynor confirmed the win on the 75th minute, marking his return from injury with a try after collecting Cooke's looping pass.