Engage Super League XVI Round 19 review by Simon Reuben
Salford City Reds left it late as they got past Crusaders in a tight contest at The Racecourse Ground in Wrexham.
Looking a third win over opponents Salford this season, Crusaders made the best possible start and took the lead on three minutes after Tony Martin found a gap and raced on from 30 meters out. Michael Witt added the extras.
The City Reds hit back on 16 minutes when hooker Wayne Goodwin got over the line. Nine minutes later substitute forward Ben Flower regained the lead for the Welsh outfit after good work from Witt.
As rain teamed down just before the break, Salford got into the match as an attack down the right saw Daniel Holdsworth feed Luke Adamson as the gap was cut to 12-10.
Salford made the better start to the second period and took the lead for the first time when a high ball was fumbled, allowing centre Stefan Ratchford to dribble the ball over, in football-style from 15 meters out.
However, Crusaders would not go away and prop Jordan James powered his way over the line. Witt added the conversion to make it 18-16.
In frantic end to the game both sides looked for the win but it was Adam Sidlow who came up with winnign try as the Reds pinched the points as Crusaders suffered a second consecutive late defeat.
Salford City Reds 22 (Godwin, Adamson, Ratchford and Sidlow tries. Holdsworth 3 goals.) defeated Crusaders 18 (Martin, Flower and James tries. Witt 3 goals.) Att: 2,576
Bradford Bulls claimed their best win of 2011 as they defeated local rivals Leeds Rhinos at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
Both teams came into this game on in different form, the Bulls were looking for their first win at Headingley for 4 years and for Leeds they looking to make it three from three against their great rivals.
As the rain poured down when the game kicked off the contest was a dour affair with mistakes happening on regular intervals.
Bradford made a bright start to the game but it was the Rhinos who eventually took the lead on twenty minutes after a fine array of inter-passing which saw the ball go through five pairs of hands and ending in Ryan Hall crossing in the left corner. Skipper Kevin Sinfield added the extras to give his side a 6-0 lead.
A high kick from Bulls stand-off Ben Jeffries led to Oliver Elima getting his team on the scoreboard.
Winger, Jason Crookes spilled a high kick from Sinfield and Jamie Jones-Buchanan grounded the loose ball for a try which Sinfield converted as Leeds increased their lead to 12-4.
Just before the break the visitors hit back when Elliott Whitehead sent Herbert's high kick into the path of Elima, who touched down from close range with ease for a try which Patrick Ah Van converted to make it 12-10 at half time.
The second half was controlled by the Bulls as they shut out Leeds to claim a famous win. On 46 minutes Au Van tagged over a penalty to level things up after the hosts were caught off-side.
Bradford continued to dogg things out and they earned a succession of penalties, one of which Ah Van sent over the posts from long range in the 59th minute.
He added another two-pointer three minutes later and, although the pendulum began to swing heavily in Leeds' favour, Ah Van landed his fourth penalty late on before another flare-up on the final whistle saw players from both sides trade punches.
Bradford Bulls 18 (Elima 2 tries. Ah Van 5 goals) defeated Leeds Rhinos 12 (Hall and Jones-Buchanan tries. Sinfield 2 goals) Att: 18,095
Warrington Wolves put their hoodoo to bed as they finally beat St Helens at Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Having not beaten St Helens as their new ground and looking for a first win at home for ten years, the Wolves flew out of the blocks and took the lead after 56 seconds when an attempted clearance kick by Saints stand-off Lee Gaskell was charged down by Michael Monaghan, who reacted quickly to win the race to touch down.
Winger Rhys Williams double the hosts' advantage moments later. Matt King outjumped St Helens youngster Jamie Foster to claim Briers' kick to the corner and he touched down cleanly despite taking a major collision which curtailed his involvement in the match.
Brett Hodgson added the extras and after twelve minutes the Wolves had a useful 18-0 lead. However, Saints would not lie down and sensationally hit back with a four try burst to go into half time with a 22-18 lead.
James Graham led the fight back when he forced his way over for a solo try on 16 minutes. Superb offloads from Scott Moore and Sia Soliola then got the supporting Gaskell over and the gap was down to just two points when Foster took Francis Meli's crisp pass to finish clinically at the corner on 23 minutes.
The comeback was complete as seven minutes before the break scrum-half Jonny Lomax broke through the heart of the Warrington defence and the impressive Tony Puletua proved unstoppable from 20 metres out.
Shortly into the second period the hosts regained the lead as Ben Westwood juggled his way over the line. The game got away from Saints as Richie Myler carved out an opening for prop Paul Wood to go over on 61 minutes and there was no way back when Hodgson dummied his way over for his side's sixth try a minute later.
Puletua crashed over to cut the gap to 34-28, but Briers made sure of the win by adding a one-pointer late on as Warrington stayed top of the Engage Super League and completed their first ever double over their local rivals.
Warrington Wolves 35 (Monaghan, Williams, King, Westwood, Wood and Hodgson tries. Hodgson 5 goals. Briers Field Goal) defeated St Helens 28 (Puletua 2, Graham, Gaskell, Foster tries. Foster 4 goals. Att: 13,257
Catalan Dragons made it six home wins on the bounce as they crushed Castleford Tigers at Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan.
After narrowly losing out at Huddersfield last week, the Dragons made a fast start and the pressure told as Ian Henderson set up Steve Menzies for the opening try.
The Tigers hit back with a quality try that saw Danny Orr, Ryan McGoldrick, Rangi Chase and Jordan Thompson all involved in the move which Richard Owen squeeze in at the left corner. Kirk Dixon added the extras as the visitors led 6-4
But, a three try burst in four minutes took the game away from Castleford. Lopini Paea scored the first then from the kick he was involved in one of the tries of the season as the ball went through numerous pairs of hands and ended with Damien Blanch going over in the corner.
Scott Dureau was on hand to score the third as he made it 22-6. Six minutes remaining of the first half, Clint Greenshields managed to roll out of a Dean Widders tackle to score. Dureau just failed this time with his conversion attempt.
But Widders made amends for his error moments later when he went over in the right corner, taking Dureau over with him for good measure. Dixon missed the conversion to leave the Tigers trailing 26-10 at the break.
The match was all over inside the first ten minutes of the restart. Jason Baitieri, Frederic Vaccari and then Jean Philippe-Baile all went over inside the first 10 minutes of the half. With two Dureau goals added, the lead was extended to 42-10.
Paea charged on to a Dureau pass for his second, and Vaccari added another after more superb play from Millard, with Dureau converting both.
Consolations efforts for Castleford from Mathers, a second for Owen and one further conversion from Dixon only narrowed the gap but could not take the gloss of a fine performance from the French side who moved back up to fifth.
Catalan Dragons 54 (Vaccari 2, Paea 2, Menzies, Blanch, Dureau, Greenshields, Baitieri and Baile tries. Dureau 7 goals.) defeated Castleford Tigers 20 (Owen 2, Widders and Mathers tries. Dixon 2 goals.) Att: 8,695
Wigan Warriors showed their Grand Final credentials as they hammered second place Huddersfield Giants at DW Stadium.
In the battle of third versus second, Wigan started stronger and took the lead through Sam Tompkins. The Giants hit back instantly as a long ball was taken by David Hodgson who scored out wide.
Tomkins sliced through to make it 12-6 as the Warriors began to dominate. Thomas Leuluai burrowed his way over from dummy half, and then a superb bit of play from Brett finch led to Pat Richards going over out wide. The Champions were now in full flow as they led 28-6 at the interval.
The Giants made a better fist in the early moments of the second half. On 55 minutes Wigan scored again as Josh Charnley gathered Paul Deacon's kick to the corner.
Prop Lee Mossop added a seventh try on 66 minutes before second rower Danny Kirmond scored a consolation try for the visitors.
But it was Tompkins who had the last say as he completed his hat-trick fiver minutes from time as Wigan overtook Huddersfield and moved into second place, on the heels of league leaders Warrington Wolves.
Wigan Warriors 46 (S. Tomkins 3, Leuluai, Carmont, Richards, Charnley and Mossop tries. Richards 7 goals.) defeated Huddersfield Giants 12 (Hodgson and Kirmond tries. Grix 2 goals.) Att: 19,169
Hull KR romped home in London as they shut out Harlequins RL at The Stoop.
The game started tightly as both teams softened each other up. Quins came close to breaking the deadlock as Chris Melling was tackled into touch at the corner flag.
Jake Webster finally got over the line as Rovers took the lead on 28 minutes. Just on the half time hooter Webster sent Liam Colbon away to score as the visitors made it 10-0.
But, three minutes after the restart, the game seemed to be up for Quins as Webster made it a double.
In the final 11 minutes of the game the Londoners folded as Rovers ran in four unanswered tries from Blake Green, Clint Newton and Michael Dobson, who kicked five goals.
So this win for Hull KR keeps them in touch of making the eight and took a bit of pressure off Coach Justin Morgan.
Hull FC 34 (Webster, Colbon, Green, Noewton and Dobson tries. Dobson 5 goals.) defeated Harlequins RL 0. Att: 2,927
Hull FC made it three wins on the bounce as they disposed of Wakefield Wildcats at Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
Looking to complete the double over Hull, Wakefield started strong and after building up some pressure, Jeremy Smith' grubber deflected off a post and into the path of a grateful Gareth Moore to touch down.
Another slice of luck gifted the Wildcats their second try, with Smith, once again, providing the delicate grubber and Kyle Amor making it 12-0 to the hosts.
After not having much ball in the game, Hull hit back with their first attack as Joe Westerman reduced the deficit.
Hull then took the lead as Willie Manu set up Kirk Yeaman to blast through the challenge of Aaron Murphy for his 18th try of the season.
Yeaman's offload set up Tom Briscoe and he passed the ball back in-field to Richard Horne, who crossed in acres of space and Danny Tickle made no mistake with the extras this time as the Black and Whites went into half time with a 16-12 advantage.
Early into the second half Tickle increased his sides lead after good work from Mark O'Meley. As the hosts tried to get back into the game a pass from Glen Morrison was intercepted by Richard Whiting who raced away to effectively win the game for the visitors.
Luke George charged down Westerman's kick before he left the visitors defence in his wake as Wakefield cut the gap.
Whiting added his second score after collecting Jordan Turner's pass before the centre got himself on the scoresheet.
Wakefield's very slim chances were worsened when Smith was sin-binned fro persistent infringements and Hull capitalised on their man advantage when O'Meley went over under the posts, while further scores from Tom Briscoe and Lee Radford ensured an emphatic win to cement their top eight place.
Hull FC 52 (Whiting 2, Westerman, Yeaman, Horne, Tickle, Turner, O'Meley, Briscoe and Radford tries. Tickle 6 goals.) defeated Wakefield Wildcats 18 (Moore, Amor and George tries. Moore 3 goals.) Att: 7,965
Engage Super League XVI Round 19 review by Simon Reuben