Engage Super League XVI Round 18 review by Simon Reuben
Leeds Rhinos came from behind to defeat Crusaders in a dramatic finale at The Racecourse Ground in Wrexham.
With persistence drizzle coming down throughout the game, handling became difficult in a scrappy low scoring affair.
The Rhinos rested Carl Ablett and handed a start to Weller Hauraki who would line up against his old club for the first time.
Welsh Rugby legend Gareth Thomas returned for Crusaders and his team scored the only points of the half. Michael Witt was the creator as he sent ex Rhino Peter Lupton through a huge gap on 10 minutes to make it 4-0.
It could have been even better for the hosts as they had two tries disallowed by the referee as Leeds failed to score any points.
At the start of the second period defences were again on top until on 54-minutes an infringement by the visitors led to Michael Witt adding a penalty goal to make it 6-0.
After having a frustrated game the Rhinos finally got on the scoreboard as 11 minutes from time as Jamie Peacock offloaded for Danny McGuire to go underneath the posts. Sinfield tagged on the extras to make it 6-6.
On 73-minutres Crusaders thought they had won the game as Witt added a drop goal. However, in a dramatic late twist Ali Lauitiiti powered his way over the line to snatch a last gasp win for the Rhinos as they pinched the points off an unlucky Crusaders.
Leeds Rhinos 12 (McGuire and Lauitiiti tries. Sinfield 2 goals) defeated Celtic Crusaders 7 (Lupton try. Witt goal and field goal.) Att: 3,035
Castleford Tigers claimed a hard fought win over inform Salford City Reds at The Willows.
Salford came in to this game on a high after defeating league leaders Warrington Wolves last week and they were looking for a third successive win against a Tigers side who looking to get back to winning ways.
The first half was very tight due to the wet conditions. Salford broke the deadlock when Lee Jewitt break started the move which saw Jodie Broughton score in the corner.
Cas struck back just before the break when a penalty goal was landed by Kirk Dixon, to make it 4-2.
Rangi Chase began to pull the strings as the visitors started the second half much the better side and they took the lead with a try from Jordan Thompson.
Sean Gleeson profited from a mix-up in the visitors defence and flicked up a loose ball for Holdsworth to level with an unconverted try.
Chase produced a 40-20 kick and this led to Danny Orr going over under the posts from dummy-half, Dixon adding the extras before Chase's drop-goal ensured a timely first win in three games for the Tigers.
Castleford Tigers 15 (Orr and Thompson tries. Dixon 3 goals Chase Field Goal) defeated Salford City Reds 8 (Broughton and Holdsworth tries.) Att: 3,587
Wigan Warriors looked back to their best as they saw off great rivals St Helens at Stobart Stadium Widnes.
Played in wet conditions, the Warriors were near faultless in the first half as they out muscled St Helens and effectively had the game won by the break by open up a 20-0 lead.
Prop Lee Mossop got Wigan under way with a short range effort. As St Helens were pinned back in their own twenty, Pat Richards added a penalty to make it 8-0.
Richards out jumped Saints winger Tommy Makinson after a pin point kick from Paul Deacon to make it 14-0. Joel Tomkins raced in from 30-meters out as he scored his sides third try of the half.
Six minutes into the second half the result of the game was all over as the impressive Brett finch forced his way over and with the ever reliable boot of Richards Wigan increased their advantage to 26-0.
Saints did not give in and finally they got on the scoreboard as Tony Puletua went through a rare gap in the visitors defence. Five minutes later the gap was cut to 26-10 as Makinson pounced on Lee Gaskell's kick.
Jeff Lima had the final say for Wigan as he snapped up a loose ball to score his side's fifth try of the game in a comprehensive win.
Wigan Warriors 32 (Mossop, Richards, Lima, J.Tomkins and Finch tries. Richards 6 goals.) defeated St Helens 10 (Puletua and Makinson tries. Foster goal) Att: 11,540
Harlequins put their mid-season dip to bed as they ran out comfortable winners over fellow strugglers Wakefield Wildcats at Twickenham Stoop.
Without a win in twelve games, Quins were desperate to reverse their poor form against a Wakefield side that had produced a stunning win over second place Huddersfield Giants last week.
The London outfit dominated the early stages and after Chris Bailey was held up short, Luke Gale scored on the next play. Gale then repaid Bailey who went over underneath the posts.
On loan, Leeds Prop Luke Ambler well timed pass sent Luke Dorn through to make it 18-0. Tony Clubb powered through a serious of tackles to put Quins into a 24-0 advantage, before Dale Morton crossed in the corner to make sure Wildcats did not go into the break scoreless.
After the restart, Chris Melling wrapped up the points as he took a neat pass from Chad Randall to score in the corner.
Wildcats Jeremy Smith was dispatched to the sin-bin for dissent, but his team were to score next as Julien Rinaldi pounced on Dorn Like