ESL Round 27
wrap up

Bradford 14-28 CastleforD:

Super League leaders Bradford suffered a surprise home defeat by Castleford on Sunday night.

The Tigers overcame the early loss of centre Paul Mellor to run out convincing winners on the night the Bulls were presented with the league leaders' trophy at Odsal.

"It was a very disappointing way to end the home league programme. It looked a case of a few minds not being on the job," said Bradford coach Brian Noble.

It was Castleford's first away win over Bradford.

Mellor was stretchered off in the sixth minute and taken to hospital with a neck injury but released later.

His presence was missed as the Tigers struggled to create meaningful attacking opportunities in the opening minutes.

Yet for all the Bulls' domination early on - they were boosted by a heavy penalty count in their favour and three 40-20 kicks from Paul Deacon - the Tigers defence proved resolute.

They held the hosts to only three tries and scored four themselves, with Danny Orr adding six goals for good measure.

"It's impossible for us to get into the play-offs no matter how the calculator works," aid Cas boss Graham Steadman.

"In a way it's frustrating to have such a victory at such a stage of the season but I'm delighted for the players. Their heads have never dropped."

Bradford (6) 14 Tries: Hape, Pryce Goals: Deacon 3 defeated by Castleford (8) 28 Tries: Orr, Godwin, Lynch, Saxton Goals: Orr 6

Wakefield 68-6 Halifax:

Veteran scrum-half Brad Davis signed off for Wakefield with a second-half conversion acknowledged by a standing ovation from the home crowd.

Davis is to join French side Villeneuve as player-coach at the end of the season and he was able to enjoy this resounding victory by getting his name on the scoresheet.

Jamie Rooney, who will take over Davis' leadership role at half-back, bagged a hat-trick in the 13-try romp, as did ex-Halifax winger Colum Halpenny.

But the highlight of the afternoon was prop Steve Snitch's 90m interception for a try that also had the home crowd on its feet.

Further second-half scores were claimed by wing Richard Newlove and forward Ian Knott.

Hapless Halifax has been hit for six in an equally one-sided first half.

Half-back Rooney touched down twice, prop Darrell Griffin and Dave Wrench also scored tries and man-of-the-match hooker David March claimed the fifth before substitute forward Andy Hobson crashed over for the visitors.

Hobson was then sin-binned for holding down and, at the tail-end of his absence, Wakefield prop Michael Korkidas powered through for the home side's sixth try.

Wakefield (32) 68 Tries: Rooney 3, Griffin, Wrench, March, Korkidas, Newlove, Halpenny 3, Knott, Snitch Goals: Rooney 7, Davis defeated Halifax (6) 6 Tries: Hobson Goals: Finn

Widnes 0-40 London Broncos:

Australian winger Joel Caine grabbed his first Super League hat-trick as the London Broncos moved closer to their first play-off appearance.

Caine marked his fourth appearance for the club with three second-half tries in just 20 minutes.

Super League's leading try-scorer, Dennis Moran, claimed his 23rd of the season to help the Broncos to their fourth win in five matches.

Victory in their last match of the regular season, against Huddersfield at Griffin Park next Sunday, will clinch their top-spot place and leave Hull and Warrington to battle it out for the one remaining play-off place.

London were not at their best and led only 2-0 at half-time after an error-strewn first half.

But they seized control after the break, with veteran forward Bill Peden making the crucial breaks as the visitors cut loose to run in six tries.

Widnes (0) 0 defeated by London (2) 40 Tries: Caine 3, Moran, Peden, Thorman Goals: Thorman 8 Leeds 30-20 St Helens:

Leeds produced a remarkable comeback to beat St Helens and stay second in the table with one match left of the regular season.

The Rhinos looked down and out when they trailed 20-0 after 58 minutes but they scored five tries in a breathtaking last 16 minutes to earn their fourth win of the season over the reigning champions.

Leeds' unlikely hero was full-back Richard Mathers, who pounced for the fourth try after a series of errors in the Saints defence.

That put Leeds in front for the first time in the match.

And after Saints lost Keiron Cunningham through injury, the visitors misery was compounded in the last minute when Willie Poching forced his way over for a fifth try.

Kevin Sinfield then maintained his 100% record with a fifth conversion to complete the scoring.

Leeds (0) 30 Tries: Burrow, Calderwood, Connolly, Mathers, Poching Goals: Sinfield 5 St Helens (12) 20 Tries: Smith, Cunningham, Stewart Goals: Long 4

Wigan Warriors 28-6 Hull:

Hull's top six hopes took a knock as Wigan stretched their unbeaten run under caretaker coach Mike Gregory to seven matches.

Luke Robinson - currently standing in for first choice Adrian Lam - inspired Hull to victory and deservedly took the man-of-the-match award.

He was instrumental in Hull's opening try - David Hodgson supplied the finish after Robinson tore Hull apart through the middle and Kris Radlinski provided the link to send the centre over.

Hodgson soon scored again after good work by Brett Dallas up the left wing, before Danny Tickle went over for Wigan's third.

Tickle also converted all three scores, with Cooke providing Hull's only first half reply with a penalty.

Wigan (18) 28 Tries: Hodgson 2, Tickle, Hock Goals: Tickle 5, Robinson defeated Hull (2) 6 Tries: Yeaman Goals: Cooke Huddersfield 12-25 Warrington:

Warrington climbed back to sixth and ended Huddersfield's play-off hopes in a fiery encounter at the McAlpine Stadium.

Referee Russell Smith sin binned six players - four Giants and two Wolves and placed two incidents on report in a game littered with controversial incidents.

Graham Appo's goal gave the visitors the lead and three minutes later Daryl Cardiss raced through to touch down under the posts.

Giants' Ben Roarty received the game's first yellow card for constant interference at the ruck and although Appo's penalty hit the post it bounced in to put Warrington in control.

When Paul Wood forced his way through three tackles to touch down it looked like Huddersfield would be facing a heavy defeat.

Then on 29 minutes all the players were involved in a free-for-all which ended with Warrington pair Ben Westwood and Nat Wood and Huddersfield's Jamie Bloem yellow-carded.

The whole incident was placed on report as both sides were reduced to 11 men.

Huddersfield pulled a try back as Roarty scored from close range but could not claw back the deficit despite Jamie Bloem's late try on his final home appearance for the Giants.

Huddersfield (6) 12 Tries: Cardiss, P. Wood Goals: Appo 7, Cardiss Drop Goals: N. Wood defeated by Warrington (16) 25 Tries: Yeaman Goals: Cooke