First Utility Super League - Round 17 Review

Round 17 produced one shock as Wakefield Wildcats defeated Wigan to move clear of the relegation zone as the Bradford Bulls moved one step nearer to the drop.

Saints moved back top with good win over fourth place Castleford Tigers. Leeds, Huddersfield and Warrington also gained wins as just four points separates the top six in a tight race for poll position in the Play-Offs.

Bradford Bulls 18

Tries: Kear, O'Brien, Addy
Goals: Gale 3

Hull KR 44

Tries: Burns, J. Hodgson, Welham, Hall 2, Eden 2, Walker
Goals: Burns 6

Att: 5,601

Coachless Bradford Bulls moved another step closer to the trap door as Hull KR eased to victory at the Provident Stadium Odsal.

Caretaker Player Coach Matt Diskin took charge of the Bulls as they faced a must win game in thier bid to avoid the drop as they entertained a Hull KR side looking for a place in the top eight.

The visitors made a good start and took the lead when Travis Burns dummied his way over on 14 minutes. It did not take long for Bradford to draw level as good work by Lee Gaskell got Elliot Kear in for the equalising try.

In a good spell of pressure, the Bulls had both Adam O'Brien and Manase Manuokafoa held up over the line without being able to ground the ball.

Rovers withstood the pressure and hit their hosts with two quickfire tries on the counter-attack before the break to take control.

Hooker Josh Hodgson went over from dummy half 10 metres out and Kris Welham took a loose pass from Adrian Purtell to stroll to the line.

Burns kicked his third goals as the Robins led 18-6 at the interval.

Craig Hall ended any hopes for the Bulls as he scored shortly after the resumption and then it got even worst when Greg Eden punished a mistake by Kear to put Hull KR out of sight.

O'Brien finally got his try as he scored his side's second try on the hour mark but once again Bradford fell of the tackles and Adam Walker took Keal Carlile's pass to crash over before Hall dummied his way over for his second.

Danny Addy got a consolation for the Bulls before Eden went 90 metres for his second try of the game as Rovers confirmed a one sided win as Bradford looked likely to be playing thier rugby in the Championship next year.

Huddersfield Giants 38

Tries: Grix, Ferres, McGillvary2, Wardle 2, Broughton
Goals: Brough 5

London Broncos 22

Tries: Cunningham, Drinkwater, Solomona, Caton-Brown
Goals: Drinkwater 3

Att: 4,849

Huddersfield Giants made it eight Super League wins in nine games as they dispatched bottom of the Table London Broncos at the John Smith's Stadium.

After beating Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors in thier last two outings, the Giants were bang in form and they took just four minutes for Craig Kopczak to burst down the middle and find the supporting Scott Grix to score the games first try.

Brett Ferres was next to score once again good work by Kopczak. Jermaine McGillvary soon added try number three and then Danny Brough and Ferres combined to put Joe Wardle over as the hosts built up a 22-0 lead.

James Cunningham reduced the arrears two minutes from the break as he scored out wide. Josh Drinkwater's conversion made it 22-6 at half time.

McGillvary added his second seven minutes into the second half as Huddersfield moved further ahead, but suddenly the Londoners had a good spell of possession and they hit back with a quick two try burst.

Drinkwater intercepted a loose pas and raced virtually the full length of the field for a spectacular score and then winger Denny Solomona went over to make it 26-16 going into the final twenty minutes of the contest.

A quick double from Jodie Broughton and Wardle, his second of the afternoon, put to an end any hopes of a Broncos comeback.

Mason Caton-Brown went over in the left corner late on for a consolation as the visitors remain winless this year.

Catalan Dragons 20

Tries: Escare, Oldfield, Garcia, Millard
Goals: Bosc 2

Hull FC 16

Tries: Ellis, Yeaman, Shaul
Goals: Rankin 2

Att: 9,275

Catalan Dragons withstood a late Hull FC fightback to claim another win at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium in Perpignan.

The Frenchside, who had only lost to Leeds at home this year, made thier customary fast start when Ben Pomeroy released Morgan Escare for a 95-metre run to the line. Thomas Bosc added the goal as the hosts led 6- 0 after ten minutes.

Soon after, the lead was 10-0 as a Leon Pryce high cross field kick to the right corner was taken out of the air by Michael Oldfield to score out wide.

Six minutes before the break, Gareth Ellis charged over the line as The Black and Whites got on the scoreboard but moments alter the Dragons had thier third try of the first half as Benjamin Garcia scored underneath the posts. Bosc added his second goal to make it 16-4 at Half Time.

It did not take long after the resumption for the hosts to extend thier lead when Daryl Millard took a superb pass from Pryce to race down the touchline and score.

After Vincent Duport had a try chalked off by the video referee on the hour mark, The Black and Whites suddenly spring into action and setup a tense finally by scoring back-to-back tries.

Fetuli Talanoa created the first for Kirk Yeaman after a good offload and then Jamie Shaul took Joe Westerman's pass to score in the right hand corner.

Rankin kicked his second goal as the gap was down to 20-16 with fifteen minutes left to play in the game

Both team missed chances late on as the Dragons just about hung on the claim the win which keeps thier place in the top eight.

St Helens 38

Tries: Makinson, Wellens 2, Turner, Percival 2, Walsh
Goals: Walsh 5

Castleford Tigers 16

Tries: Dixon, Sneyd, Dorn
Goals: Sneyd 2

Att: 12,648

St Helens moved back to the summit of Super League with a routine win over Castleford Tigers at Langtree Park.

Saints were looking for a response after being shut out in Perpignan last week and with them loosing Full-Back Jonnie Lomax for the rest of the season with a knee injury, Paul Wellens was switched to his favourite position.

It took just five minutes for Tom Makinson to finish off a break from Mark Flanagan. But the Tigers who also lost heavily at Wigan last week responded well and got on terms when Frankie Mariano set up the position for winger Kirk Dixon to score out wide.

This only made St Helens more determined and in the second quarter they added three scored to lead 22-4 at the break. Wellens took an inside pass from stand-off Lance Hohaia to get things under way, then he sent Jordan Turner over for the next one.

In the last move of the first half James Clare made a mistake and on hand was Wellens to grad his second of the afternoon.

The momentum was firmly with the hosts and it did not take long after the restart for Mark Percival to regather his own kick and score try number five.

Luke Walsh then heaped more misery on the Tigers before another break from Flanagan set up Percival for his second try as the lead ballooned out to 36-4.

At least Cas did not throw towel in made the final score more respectable by adding two scores in the last ten minutes of the game from Marc Sneyd and Luke Dorn.

Walsh then kicked a last-minute penalty as Saints went back to the top of the table after great rivals Wigan, who they play next Friday, slipped up at Wakefield.

Wakefield Wildcats 36

Tries: Kirmond, Smith, Owen, Moore, Washbrook, Lyne
Goals: Sykes 6

Wigan Warriors 28

Tries: Hughes, L. Farrell 2, Gelling, Sarginson
Goals: Smith 4

Att: 4,069

Wakefield Wildcats stunned Champions Wigan Warriors at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium to virtually guarantee themselves Super League rugby next year.

With this being Wigan third game in ten days, Coach Shaun Wane rested some players as his side looked to hold on to top spot.

The opening 15 minutes was a tight affair and it was Wakefield who took the lead as Danny Kirmond took a short ball from Tim Smith to cross. Paul Sykes added the extras to make it 6-0.

Jack Hughes took a flat pass from Matty Smith to level things up and then the Champions took the lead as Liam Farrell finished off a break by Jack Murphy.

It soon became 18-6 when Anthony Gelling collect Matty Smith's high kick and touchdown. However the Wildcats turned things on their head with three tries in the last five minutes of the first half.

Tim Smith jinked his way over for the first and then Pita Godinet setup Richard Owen to level things up. Just On the stroke of half-time Richard Moore crashed onto Godinet's pass from dummy half to give the hosts a 24-18 lead.

Early into the second half Liam Farrell crossed for his second try after good work by Smith and Sam Powell. A Sykes penalty edged Wakefield ahead with just over a quarter of the game to go but Wigan were back in front soon after when Dan Sarginson showed good footwork to score.

In the final ten minutes of the game, the Wildcats struck twice to seal a famous and vital win. Danny Washbrook scored from close range and then a good offload by Sykes led to Rhys Lyne scoring the match winning try as Wakefield move up to 11th place 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

Warrington Wolves 36

Tries: Ormsby, Atkins, Bridge, Monaghan, Evans, Currie
Goals: Bridge 6

Salford Red Devils 20

Tries: Sau, Morley, Evalds 2
Goals: Chase 2

Att: 10,120

Warrington Wolves continued their rich vein of form by seeing of Salford Red Devils at the H.J. Stadium.

Salford could not have had a better start to this game as Ben Evans spilled a pass and from the scrum Junior Sau scored the game's opening try after just 83 seconds.

It did not take long for Warrington to draw level as Chris Bridge and Joel Monaghan combined to send Gene Ormsby crashing over in the corner.

Tommy Lee then lost the ball and Chris Hill pounced on the loose ball to send Ryan Atkins racing away for the host's second score.

The Wolves added two more before the break to take control. Bridge shrugged off Sau to power over for the first and then the Stand-Off sent Monaghan crashing over to make it 22-6.

Salford needed to score and they did early in the second half as Adrian Morley powered his way over the line on his first return to his former club.

Niall Evalds won the race to Chase's kick as the Red Devils got back into the contest only trailing 22-14.

Bridge then kicked a penalty goal and Rhys Evans then squeezed as the lead went out to 30-16.

Chase then made it 30-20 as he collected his own kick ahead, dummied and then found the supporting Evalds to cross for his second score but there was still time for Ben Currie to score in the last minutes as Warrington made it seven wins on the bounce.

Widnes Vikings 28

Tries: Dean, Hanbury, AhVan, Gore, Mellor
Goals: Ah Van 4

Leeds Rhinos 38

Tries: Watkins, McGuire 2, Sinfield, Sutcliffe, Briscoe, Walters
Goals: Sinfield 5

Att: 5,543

Leeds Rhinos came from behind to defeat Widnes Vikings at the Select Security Stadium.

After conceding over 100 points in thier last two outings, Widnes faced Leeds Rhinos without seven players in thier third game in ten days.

Leeds welcomed back Paul Aiton and Jamie Jones-Buchanan who both had not played since March and the visitors made a good start with Kallum Watkins scoring out wide after three minutes.

It did not take long for the Rhinos to make it 10-0 when Ben Jones-Bishop cut through and in support was Danny McGuire who touchdown underneath the posts.

Widnes got back into it on 20 minutes after good work by Rhys Hanbury led to Chris Dean finishing off a sweeping move

Patrick Ah Van added the touchline conversion and then the Vikings took the lead when Ryan Hall made a mess of Danny Craven's towering kick and Hanbury touched down.

With the Half time hooter sounding, Ah Van leaped high to take another Danny craven kick as the home side turned tings round to lead 16-10.

At the start of the second half, the Rhinos upped the tempo and they regained the lead with two tries in three minutes from Sinfield and Liam Sutcliffe.

A superb one handed off-load by Hall set up Tom Briscoe after a powerful run on 62 minutes to give the Headingley men a 28-16 lead.

McGuire made it double before young Widnes hooker Grant Gore pinched one from dummy half two meters out.

The win was confirmed for Leeds when Josh Walters scored his first senior try four minutes from the end.

There was still time for returning scrum-half Joe Mellor to race the full length as the Vikings claimed a consolation as the Rhinos moved up to second on the back of Wigan loss at the Wildcats.

First Utility Super League Ladder after Round 17

1St Helens17130452934826
2Leeds Rhinos17121447620825
3Wigan Warriors17120554929724
4Castleford Tigers17110653634722
5Warrington Wolves17110645029922
6Huddersfield Giants17102548638222
7Catalan Dragons1791744644019
8Widnes Vikings1781838549517
9Hull KR1772839943116
10Hull FC17701043833014
11Wakefield Wildcats17601134749012
12Salford Red Devils17511133346811
13Bradford Bulls1740132646542
14London Broncos1700172466950