ESL Roundup

Bradford 36-26 Wakefield Bradford (20) 36: Tries: Peacock, Reardon, Deacon, Vainikolo 2, Parker. Goals: Deacon 6 Wakefield (12) 26: Tries: Elima, J. Field, Solomona, Ellis, Spicer. Goal: March 3. Iestyn Harris returned to rugby league as Bradford saw off a battling Wakefield at Odsal. The 28-year-old came on as a substitute after 53 minutes and had to play a defensive role as the Wildcats threatened an upset.

The Bulls played most of the match with 12 men after Karl Pratt was sent off following a mass punch-up.

The visitors scored three tries in 18 minutes but a last-minute touchdown by Lesley Vainikolo ensured victory.

Leon Pryce had made a clean break to set up Jamie Peacock for the game's first try after only 100 seconds.

But Pryce and Semi Tadulala (Wakefield) were sin-binned for their part in a melee after 24 minutes.

And Pratt was dismissed after he had raced and helped turn it into an all-out brawl.

But Bradford actually scored one of their three tries while down to 11, with scrum-half Paul Deacon breaking through to reach 1,000 points in his Super League career.

Bulls coach Brian Noble was pleased with Iestyn Harris' return and said: "It was a difficult game to get into.

"But I thought he showed a few touches and when he gets used to our ways he will be a quality addition."

But Wakefield coach Shane McNally bemoaned his side's performance.

"We just weren't good enough with the ball," he said. "When we did control the ball, we were able to score some points.

"I always thought we had a chance even though we hadn't played well." ------------------ Bradford: Reardon, Pratt, Langley, Hape, Vainikolo, L. Pryce, Deacon, Vagana, Paul, Fielden, Swann, Peacock, Radford. Replacements: Harris, A. Smith, Parker, Anderson. Wakefield: Halpenny, Wainwright, Demetriou, Domic, Tadulala, Ellis, Jeffries, J. Field, March, Korkidas, Solomona, Applegarth, Spicer. Replacements: Snitch, Handforth, Ryder, Elima. ***** Leeds 46-14 Castleford Leeds: (24) 46 Tries: Bai, McGuire 2, Diskin, Poching 3, Calderwood. Goals: Sinfield 7. Castleford: (4) 14 Tries: Lynch, Greenhill, Tony. Goals: Godwin. Willie Poching scored a hat-trick and Danny McGuire reached 24 tries for the season as Leeds thrashed Castleford at Headingley. Marcus Bai opened the scoring for the Rhinos after just two minutes, McGuire raced 90 metres for one of his two first-half tries.

Andy Lynch had gone over for the Tigers as it reached half-time at 24-4.

But Poching scored two of three tries within 11 minutes of the restart and capped his hat-trick late on.

And Kevin Sinfield kicked seventh goals from eight attempts.

Poching has been battling for a place in the side after the arrival of Ali Lauitiiti but impressed as the Kiwi was sat in the stand.

"Willie has been under the cosh from me in recent times and I thought he responded pretty well," said Rhinos coach Tony Smith.

"With the rest in good form, he needed a good game and he deserved the standing ovation. He was very solid."

McGuire meanwhile is now just four short of Paul Newlove's Super League record of 28 tries in a season.

"We could have had another seven tries," added Smith.

"We played some really attractive rugby and had plenty of opportunities."

The win puts Leeds five points clear at the top of the table but Castleford are now four points adrift at the bottom.

And Tigers coach Gary Mercer said: "We came up against a very good side.They are a quality side who I feel will go all the way.

"When we re-grouped in the second half we were a bit more competitive and I thought there were positives there. But we have a lot of work to do." --------------- Leeds: Cummins, Calderwood, Walker, Senior, Bai, McGuire, Dunemann, Feather, Diskin, McDermott, McKenna, Adamson, Sinfield. Replacements: Burrow, Poching, Jones-Buchanan, Ward.

Castleford: Gibson, D. Ripley, Tony, Rogers, Mellor, Davis, Robinson, Greenhill, Hudson, Sykes, M. Smith, Harland, Clayton. Replacements: Lynch, Godwin, Saxton, Hepworth. ********* Warrington 18-38 Hull Warrington (6) 18 Tries: Leikvoll, Grose, Wainwright Convs: Briers 3 Hull (20) 38 Tries: Barnett, Raynor, Scruton, Whiting, Briscoe, Smith Convs: Cooke 6 Pen: Cooke Hull continued their impressive form with a comfortable win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium over Warrington. Richie Barnett Jr, Gareth Raynor, Nick Scruton, Richard Whiting, Shaun Briscoe and Jason Smith all got tries for Hull.

Chris Leikvoll gave the hosts an early lead with his first try for the club, but Wolves did not score again until the final six minutes.

Brent Grose and Mike Wainwright made the scoreline more respectable, but by then the damage had been done.

Warrington were ahead after nine minutes through Leikvoll, with Lee Briers converted.

But despite conceding early, the rest of the first half belonged to the visitors as they built up a 20-6 half-time advantage.

Barnett crossed for Hull's opener, and five minutes later Gareth Raynor blasted through two attempted tackles to touch down.

The winger was forced to leave the action with a suspected damaged cartilage after crashing over the advertising hoardings after scoring.

Hull added to their tally when Paul King sent Whiting clear and the centre raced 40 metres to score.

Paul Cooke added all three conversions and also landed a penalty to help give his side their healthy interval lead.

The visitors extended their advantage six minutes after the restart when Jason Smith's high kick bounced loose and Scruton scooped up the ball to score, with Cooke converting.

Full-back Briscoe then got on the scoresheet when he touched down Richard Horne's kick and Cooke made it 32-6.

Warrington's late rally gave the home fans something to cheer but the visitors had the final word when Smith went over and Cooke made it seven kicks out of seven.

"I am thoroughly disappointed with the performance and defensively it is completely unacceptable, " said Wolves coach Paul Cullen.

"We succumbed to the fight and that aggressive element you would expect from a Warrington pack was non-existent. There was a lack of desire.

"To credit Hull they took the fight to us and won it hands-down, and the most disappointed factor is that we backed off and took it."

But Shaun McRae was thrilled with his side's performance.

"It's a great double over Warrington this year because it is a difficult place to get a result," he said.

"It was a gutsy performance when you consider you lost key players Richard Horne and Gareth Raynor with injury.

"I thought it was a committed effort from a side that is hell-bent on making the play-offs and the two points take us that little bit closer." ---------- Warrington: Hulse, Sibbit, Westwood, Grose, Gaskell, Briers, Appo, Leikvoll, Clarke, Hilton, Noone, Wainwright, Forshaw. Replacements: Burns, Guisset, P. Wood, Lima. Hull: Briscoe, Best, Whiting, Yeaman, Raynor, Cooke, R Horne, Dowes, Swain, King, McNicholas, McMenemy, Smith. Replacements: Barnett Jnr, Bailey, G. Horne, Scruton. ******** Huddersfield 26-20 Widnes Huddersfield (20) 26: Tries: Jones 2, Evans, Costin. Goals: Costin 5. Widnes (10) 20: Tries: Peters, Hughes, Giles. Goal: J F O'Neill, J O'Neill 3. Huddersfield maintained their play-off hopes as they held off a late Widnes rally at The McAlpine Stadium. The Vikings started brightly and led 10-2 through Willie Peters' solo try plus two goal kicks from Jules O'Neill.

But Stuart Jones scored the first of his two tries, Brandon Costin set up James Evans and went over himself as the Giants led 20-10 at half-time.

Widnes fought back in the closing stages after Sean Penkywicz was sin-binned but the Giants had done enough.

Huddersfield's victory condemned the Vikings to their ninth defeat in 10 games in the Tetley's Super League and made for a miserable start for caretaker coach Stuart Spruce.

"We have already changed a few things in training and the players know that they have to work much harder," Spruce said.

"They know they are playing for their futures because we only have seven players contracted for next season and at the moment the signs are encouraging.

"I was very pleased with the efforts as it showed a 100% improvement on performances in previous games."

But Giants coach Jon Sharp's delight at the win was marred by a suspected broken bone in Stanley Gene's foot.

"Gene's injury has taken the edge off what was a good win for us," Sharp said.

"He is vital to what we do and there is no doubt his injury is a blow.

"It wasn't our best performance by any means but we did enough for 60 minutes or so to win the game - though I was a little worried in the last quarter when Widnes started coming back into it." ---------------------------------------- Huddersfield: Reilly, O'Hare, Nero, Evans, Donlan, Costin, Gene, Fleary, Joseph, Crabtree, Jones, Smith, Roarty. Replacements: Grayshon, Penkywicz, Gannon, White.

Widnes: J. O'Neill, Atcheson, Hughes, Bird, Giles, S. Myler, Peters, J. O'Neill, Millard, Hobson, Wozniak, McCurrie, Frame. Replacements: Mills, C. Weston, Johnson, Finnigan. ******* St Helens 30-10 London St Helens (16) 30: Tries: Stankevitch, J. Roby, Feaunati, Wellens, Mason Goals: Sculthorpe 5

London (6) 10: Tries: Jackson, Wells Goal: Sykes St Helens needed two tries in the last seven minutes from Paul Wellens and Keith Mason to see off battling London. The ailing Broncos trailed 12-0 inside 15 minutes after the fit-again John Stankevitch and youngster James Roby touched down for the home side.

But tries from Rob Jackson and Jon Wells, either side of a score from giant winger Dom Feaunati, helped cut the deficit to six points.

But Saints hit back to consign London to their 10th successive defeat.

London boss Tony Rea saw reason for optimism despite another loss.

"The way the players stuck together and applied themselves was impressive but a couple of defensive lapses early on cost us and enabled Saints to get their noses in front," he said.

"Once we had cleared that up we were okay, but a couple of individual plays from St Helens was the difference in the end."

St Helens coach Ian Millward was not entirely pleased with his side's display.

"I could use our three games in eight days as an excuse for the way we attacked," he said.

"We didn't play well enough with the ball and lacked creativity and thought. We made it hard for ourselves but I never thought we were going to lose." --------------- St Helens: Wellens, Feaunati, Albert, Talau, Gardner, Hooper, J. Roby, Bibey, Cunningham, Mason, Gilmour, Stankevitch, Sculthorpe. Replacements: Bennett, Edmondson, Wilkin, Fa'asavalu.

London: Sykes, Wells, Jackson, Roy, Greenwood, O'Halloran, Moran, Trindall, Budworth, Stringer, Brocklehurst, Botham, Retchless. Replacements: Moore, Highton, Kirkpatrick, Stephenson. *********

Salford 16-32 Wigan Salford (6) 16: Tries: Kirk, Johnson, Stewart Goals: Charles 2 Wigan (22) 32: Tries: Hansen, O'Loughlin, Dallas 2, Aspinall, Tickle Goal: Orr, Tickle 3 Brett Dallas moved clear at the top of the try-scoring chart with a brace of tries in Wigan's comfortable win. Dallas raced half the length of the field after six minutes and made it 17 for the season 20 minutes later as the Warriors led 22-6 at half-time.

Andy Johnson scored against his old club to reduce the deficit but Harrison Hansen claimed his first try for Wigan to make it safe.

Danny Orr saw four of his kicks leading to tries.

Johnson put Tony Stewart over for Salford's third touchdown after 65 minutes before O'Loughlin added Wigan's sixth try to complete a convincing win.

Brian Carney also made a successful return for Wigan after five months out following a broken ankle.

"We showed great determination and character and Brian Carney's return is a big boost for us," said Wigan coach Denis Betts.

"Danny is getting better every week and over the last month he and Adrian Lam have really started to click.

"Sean O'Loughlin is also maturing into a sensational strike pivot player and we looked dangerous all over the field.

And Salford boss Karl Harrison insisted the margin of victory did not fully reflect the closeness of the game.

"We played well and there was nothing to choose between the sides," he said.

"Four of Wigan's tries came from kicks on the last tackle and that's something we'll have to address.

"Danny Orr played exceptionally well and showed a lot of leadership with Andy Farrell not playing." ----------- Salford: Caine, Kirk, Littler, McGuinness, Stewart, Beverley, Clinch, Highton, Alker, Rutgerson, Shipway, Coley, Charles. Replacements: Fitzpatrick, Jonkers, Johnson, Haggerty.

Wigan: Radlinski, Dallas, Connolly, Aspinwall, Carney, Orr, Lam, C. Smith, M. Smith, Cassidy, Wild, Tickle, O'Loughlin. Replacements: Hargreaves, Hansen, Hodgson, Beswick. *************

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