Engage Super League XVI Round 21 Review

Hull FC cemented their play-off place by demolishing Salford City Reds at KC Stadium.

With new head coach Matt Parish, only landed in the UK on Friday morning, watching in the stands, Salford knew that a win would take them into the top eight, but instead they were dismantled by a confident Hull FC who ran in nine tries.

Inform Joe Westerman, deputising at Stand-Off, made the break which saw Danny Tickle open the scoring on eight minutes.

After a flowing move Tom Briscoe added another as the Black and Whites put the foot on the accelerator. Ex Red Jordan Turner made it 18-0. Westerman began to pull the strings and a fourth score followed with Tickle making it a double for the game.

Briscoe also scored his second as Hull went into the sheds at the break with a commanding 28-0 advantage.

On 48 minutes Richard Whiting palmed the ball back for Westerman to deservedly go over and score and finish the visitors off.

Jodie Broughton managed a consolation for Salford but Turner added another as he stepped round Luke Pattern.

Briscoe went the full length of the field in the try of the game to complete his hat-trick and then Danny Washbrook followed up with a close range effort to take the Black and Whites past the fifty point barrier.

Vinnie Anderson and Chris Nero both scored for the City Reds but it was Hull's night as they gave Matt Parish a lot to think about.

Hull FC 52
Tries: Tickle 2, Briscoe 3, Turner 2, Westerman, Washbrook
Goals:  Tickle 8
Salford City Reds 16
Tries:   Broughton, Anderson, Nero
Goals:  Holdsworth 2

Att:      11,699

Warrington Wolves got one step closer a top two finish as they held off a second half fight back from Huddersfield Giants at H.J. Stadium.

It was second against third as the Wolves were looking for a first win in four over rivals Huddersfield Giants.

The pattern of play by Warrington was shown early on as Luke O'Donnell lost the ball in a three man tackle and ex Giants full-back was gifted the first try on three minutes.

With the visitors failing to complete their sets Joel Monaghan touchdown Hodgson's kick to the corner and moments later scrum-half Richard Myler took a return pass from second-rower Louis Anderson to make it 18-0 after 16 minutes.

It soon got worst for the Giants as a sweeping move across the full length of the pitch saw Joel Monaghan go over as the Wolves made it 22-0 at half time.

11 minutes into the second half, winger Jermaine McGillvary gave Huddersfield a lifeline as he won the race to Michael Lawrence's punt. The Giants added another when Hodgson's re-start went out on the full and David Fa'alogo took Luke Robinson's pass to touch down from close range. Scott Grix added the extras as the gap was cut to 22-12.

As the rain began to fall handling became more difficult and on 70-minutes it was game on as Kevin Brown ran on to Luke Robinson's perfect grubber kick.

However, Louis Anderson made sure of a home win by scoring the match winning try on 76 minutes as the Wolves kept the pressure on League leaders Wigan Warriors.

Warrington Wolves 28
Tries:   Hodgson, Monaghan 2, Myler, Anderson
Goals:  Hodgson 4

Huddersfield Giants 16
Tries:   McGillvary, Fa'alogo, Brown
Goals:  Grix 2

Att:      10,283

Hull KR ran out easy winners over a depleted Crusaders side at The Racecourse Ground in Wrexham.

Preparations for this game were not good for the Crusaders who were without seven first team players, suspended for breaching club discipline.

Playing three loanees from league 1 club South Wales Scorpions, the hosts were behind early on as Jake Webster played in young winger Sam Latus for the opening try. It was soon 12-0 as Ben Galea took a smart pass from Michael Dobson to score.

However, Crusaders were given some hope when Rovers were reduced to twelve men as Jason Netherton was sin-binned for an illegal tackle on Michael Witt.

The Welsh side got their reward as Vince Mellars sent Elliot Kear in. Just before the interval it got even better for the hosts as Frank Winterstein powered his way over the line to cut the gap to 12-10.

But after the restart the visitors found their feet and hit Crusaders with three unanswered tries to effectively win the game.

Galea got two of them to complete his hat-trick after full-back Shaun Briscoe was sent in at the right corner.

Two more tries followed for Rovers from Clint Newton who seized on a neat grubber kick and Dobson who snapped up a loose ball as Crusaders ran out of steam.

Crusaders 10
Tries:   Winterstein, Kear
Goals:  Schifcofske

Hull KR 38
Tries:   Briscoe, Latus, Galea 3, Newton, Dobson
Goals:  Dobson 5

Att:      2,820

Wigan Warriors remained one point clear of Warrington Wolves at the top of Super League with a comfortable win over Harlequins RL at Twickenham Stoop.

After playing Castleford on Wednesday night, Wigan made a slow start to the game. Both teams had tries disallowed by the referee, before on 16 minutes point machine Pat Richards took Thomas Leuluai's kick to charge over the line.

Soon another try followed as a break from Sam Tomkins was finished off by Ryan Hoffman. On 25 minutes Quins finally broke their duck as Luke Dorn set up Karl Pryce to muscle his way over the line.

As the Londoners missed opportunities just before the break Sam Tomkins was once again provider as he jinked inside for Harrison Hansen to make it 14-6 at half time.

At the start of the second half Wigan moved through the gears to kill of their opponents. Brett Finch's chip was gathered by Paul Deacon and shortly later Deacon made it a double has he strolled through a gap.

On 68 minutes the Warriors added a further score as Stefan Marsh wriggled over the line despite a host of would-be tacklers.

In the last ten minutes of the game Finch rounded things off as Wigan kept on course for a second successive League Leaders Shield.

Harlequins RL 6
Tries:   Pryce
Goals:  Gale

Wigan Warriors 38
Tries:   Deacon 2, Hansen, Richards, Hoffman, Marsh, Finch
Goals:  Richards 5

Att:      4,423

Castleford Tigers give their play-off hopes a big boost by coming from behind to edge out Bradford Bulls in a points fest at Probitz Coliseum.

After playing on Wednesday night Castleford made a slow start and were hit by Brett Kearny who scored a brace inside the first five minutes of the game.

Young hooker Adam Milner crashed over as the Tigers got back into the game but this was short lived as Gareth Raynor took Mark Herbert's pass to make it 18-0 to the Bulls.

Centre Joe Arundel cut the gap as he capitalised on some weak defence and the game was all square as Rangi Chase raced on to a grubber kick as Kirk Dixon added the extras.

On the stroke of half-time, a sublime offload from Olivier Elima allowed Shad Royston to go over from close range and Ah Van converted to put Bradford 24-18 ahead in an entertaining first period.

From the start of the second half it got even better for the Bulls as Ben Jeffries and Kearney combined to put Paul Sykes in and Patrick Ah Van kicked his fifth goal.

Five minutes later, ex Bull Rob Parker scored when he collected a pass from Danny Orr to crash over the line from close range.

The hosts continued to probe and on 54 minutes Arundel exposed more suspect defending down Bradford's left-hand side to go over in the right corner as the lead was down to 30-28.

However, the comeback was complete as on 65 minutes Stuart Jones got over the line and with Dixon kicking the conversion Castleford held on to edge past the Bulls and keep themselves in the play-off mix.

Castleford Tigers 34
Tries:   Milner, Arundel 2, Chase, Parker, Jones
Goals:  Dixon 5

Bradford Bulls 30
Tries:   Kearney 2, Raynor, Royston, Sykes
Goals:  Ah Van 5

Att:      7,004

St Helens kept the pressure up on the top three by handing out a hammering to Wakefield Wildcats at Rapid Solicitors Stadium.

The hosts were looking for a better performance after shipping in 162 points in their last three fixtures. Saints moved Kyle Eastmond to full-back in the absent of Paul Wellens with an ankle injury.

But it was the visitors who made the best start and it was Eastmond who would be the first try scorer after good work by James Roby and Tony Puletua.

Centre Francis Meli sent in winger James Foster and with his goal Saints led 12-0 inside the first ten minutes of the game.

The floodgates began to open as by the break St Helens had opened up a commanding 34-0 advantage. Eastmond jinked inside for his second of the game and then turned provider for Jamie Foster for a double. Jon Wilkin and Jonnie Lomax were the other scorers in a one sided half.

Soon after the restart normal service resumed as Roby and Lomax combined to send Francis Meli in as the visitors moved past the forty point barrier.

Chris Flannery capitalised on poor defending to grab St Helens' eighth and Foster took his goal tally to seven from eight attempts.

The Wildcats avoided the whitewash with a good try from Aaron Murphy, converted by Kieran Hyde, but they were out of the game at half time as they suffered another mauling.

Wakefield Wildcats 6
Tries:   Murphy
Goals:  Hyde

St Helens 46
Tries:   Eastmond 2, Foster 2, Wilkin, Lomax, Meli, Flannery
Goals:  Foster 7

Att:      5,985

Catalan Dragons kept up their good run as they eased past Leeds Rhinos at Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan.

With their new stand opening today the Dragons attracted a record home crowd and for the first time in France they broke the ten thousand barrier.

After both teams went at each other early on the deadlock was broken on 14 minutes after a kick from Scott Dureau was re-gathered by Sebastien Raguin to score.

A cut out pass from Brent Webb to Ryan Hall got Leeds level but in the last seven minutes of the half the French side took control of the game.

Dureau added a penalty goal before the evergreen Steve Menzies sent Frederic Vaccari in at the corner and on Half-time Damien Blanch took a number of defenders over the line before he managed to plant the ball down and give his side a 20-6 interval lead.

Menzies glided in just after the restart and another goal from Dureau made it 26-6 after fifty minutes. Leeds were reduced to twelve men when Brett Delaney was yellow carded for an off the ball challenge on the kicker.

But it was the Rhinos who scored next as Jamie Jones-Buchanan went through a gap in the Dragons defence. On 65-minutes Leeds cut the gap to 26-18 as the returning Delaney sent Danny Buderus underneath the posts.

However, Catalan hit back and won the game with two quick-fire tries from Clint Greenshields and Vincent Duport.

On the full time hooter Gossard scored his second try of the game as the Dragons stayed in fifth level with Saints just one point off Huddersfield in third place.

For the Rhinos a third successive defeat leaves them in eighth place as they face a real prospect of not making the play-offs for the first time in Super League history.

Catalan Dragons 38
Tries:   Raguin, Vaccari 2, Blanch, Menzies, Greensheilds, Duport
Goals:  Dureau 5

Leeds Rhinos 18
Tries:   Hall, Jones-Buchanan, Buderus
Goals:  Sinfield 3

Att:      10,688