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Engage Super League XVI Round 27 review by Simon Reuben
Warrington claimed the League Leaders Shield with a comfortable win over Hull FC at the K.C. Stadium.
The Wolves came into this game knowing that one more win would confirm them as top dogs for the first time since 1973
Hull, who announced early on in the week that Head Coach Richard Agar would be leaving at the end of the season, also had an outside chance of finishing 5th if they won the game and other results went for them.
Ryan Atkins got Warrington on their way as he stole the ball off Joe Westerman and ran 30-meters to score. But, the Black and Whites levelled as loose forward Westerman made amends by side stepping his way over the line.
Hull started to cause the visitors problems and came close to taking the lead, but the league leaders withstood everything thrown at them and regained the lead with a Chris Riley try in the corner.
The floodgates began to open as Michael Monaghan got over from dummy half and Riley made it a double by scoring Warrington's fourth try of the half. Just before the break Chris Bridge sneaked over to put the visitors into a commanding 28-6 lead.
The second half Hull showed some spirit and just after the 60 minute mark they were rewarded as Westerman pounced for a brace after a good offloads from Richard Horne.
However, the Wolves would not be denied as Atkins and Lee Briers created the opening for Joel Monaghan to score and give his side pole position going into the play-offs.
Warrington Wolves 34 (Riley 2, Atkins, M Monaghan, Bridge and J Monaghan tries. Bridge 4 goals and Briers goal.) defeated Hull FC 12 (Westerman 2 tries. Westerman 2 goals.) Att: 16,121
Wakefield Wildcats gave Coach John Kear the right send off as they defeated Bradford Bulls to avoid the wooden spoon.
In charge for the last time at Rapid Solicitors Stadium, Coach John Kear was looking for his side to claim their first win in ten games and avoid finishing bottom.
Paul Johnson opened the scoring for the hosts on fourteen minutes and seven minutes later Ryan Tongia made it 10-0.
Bradford got into the game and hit back with a two unconverted tries in three minutes. Kyle Briggs and Shaun Ainscough both went over the whitewash, but the ever reliable Patrick Ah Van had an off day with the boot by, missing both conversions.
Wakefield steadied the ship and went into the interval leading 16-8 as prop Michael Korkidas crashed over the line.
Tommy Lee kept the hosts in control as he added his side's fourth try on 60-minutes. Playing in his last game for the Bulls Shad Royston gave the visitors some hope by crossing on 67 minutes
But, it arrived too late as Julien Rinaldi rounded things off for the Wildcats by scoring the match winning try one minute from time.
So Bradford's final place of 11th is their worst since Super League began as the four times Super League Champions had a season to forget.
Wakefield Wildcats 26 (Johnson, Tongia, Korkidas, Lee and Rinaldi tries. Veivers 3 goals.) defeated Bradford Bulls 14 (Briggs, Ainscough and Royston tries. Ah Van goal.) Att: 6,486
Champions Wigan had to settle for second place as they easy overcame Crusaders at DW Stadium.
In their final ever game in Super League, the Crusaders were hoping to upset Champions Wigan and avoid the Wooden Spoon.
But, the Champions showed their professionalism and on three minutes Brett Finch jinked his way over the line.
The Welsh side showed some real sprit and deservedly levelled when the Widnes bound Lloyd White sent Peter Lupton charging over the line.
Wigan then upped the tempo and went into half time leading 18-6 as Josh Charnley and Ryan Hoffman helped themselves to tries.
Seconds after the restart the Warriors wrapped the game up as substitute forward Liam Farrell bumped four defenders off to score.
The floodgates began to open as Sam Tomkins sent Charnley in for a double and Pat Richards opened his account by scoring in the corner.
Crusaders gained some reward when Bradford-bound half-back Jarrod Sammut snapped up a stray Wigan pass and went 70 metres for a consolation try
Joel Tomkins rounded things off late on as the Warriors host great rivals St Helens in the first round of the play-offs next week.
So for the poor Crusaders their three year spell in Super League ended with a second Wooden Spoon.
Wigan Warriors 42 (Charnley 2, Finch, Hoffman, Farrell, Richards and J Tomkins tries. Richards 7 goals.) defeated Crusaders 10 (Lupton and Sammut tries. Schifcofske goal.) Att: 19,104
St Helens came from Behind to defeat Harlequins RL at Twickenham Stoop.
With Saints already guaranteed of third spot and with next week's big play-off game against local rivals Wigan in mind, the visitors rested four of their big guns, Jamie Foster, Leon Pryce, James Roby and Sia Soliola.
Quins, after shocking Leeds in their previous home game were hoping to complete the double over Saints.
St Helens took the early lead after Luke Dorn spilled the ball and young winger Tom Armstrong crossed in the corner.
The Londoners responded well and got on terms when Karl Pryce palmed the ball back for Karl Temata to crash over.
After repelling a wave of Saints attacks the hosts took the lead 12-4 at the break, as good work by Andy Ellis sent Karl Pryce cantering in at the corner.
The second half St Helens increased the intensity and hit back to claim the win. Lee Gaskell scurried in for the first try after the restart.
Armstrong made it a double as the visitors regained the lead on 57 minutes. Scott Hale was the next to score and Armstrong went on to complete his hat-trick.
Briefly Jamie O'Callaghan railed for the hosts but the game belonged to Saints and fittingly ex Quins Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook rounded things off by scoring against his former club as St Helens warmed up nicely for next week's big game.
St Helens 34 (Armstrong 3, Gaskell, Hale and McCarthy-Scarsbrook tries. Makinson 5 goals.) defeated Harlequins RL 16 (Temata, Pryce and O'Callaghan tries. Gale 2 goals.) Att: 3,546
Hull KR claimed the last play-off place by edging out Castleford Tigers in a winner takes all game at Craven Park.
This was the play off for the play-offs as both teams came into this game level on points with the winner claiming a place in the top eight.
Castleford, who had 10 players missing, took the lead after Sam Latus' first effort was ruled out by the video referee when he was held up. The visitors seized their chance to take the lead when Adam Milner pounced on a Michael Dobson error and put Danny Orr away.
On 22 minutes Rovers were level as a charging run by man-of-the-match Craig Hall down the left led to Dobson going over.
Playing in his last ever game at Craven Park, ex Parramatta Prop Michael Vella scored a rare try.
But in this see-saw game Rangi Chase's brilliant reverse pass sent Richard Owen over as the Tigers levelled.
However, Hull rallied and went into the break leading 18-12 as Dobson added a penalty and Latus got his try.
Seven minutes into the second half this tense game was back all square as Steve Snitch took Owen' pass to score.
Once again Rovers hit back this time it was Jake Webster who won the race to Blake Green's kick to the corner.
As the hosts pressed Joe Arundel intercepted a Dobson pass to sprint 70m before being caught but the hosts could not stop Jordan Thompson going over in the corner. Orr put Tigers in front with his touchline conversion.
The final twist came when Clint Newton and Shaun Briscoe combined to forge Latus