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First Utility Super League XIX - Round 12 Review
Below we review how the games went:-
Third place Castleford were hoping to make amends for thier last gap defeat at Huddersfield last week but with only a four day turnaround they faced the daunting task of taking on the League leader's thier great local West Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos.
Played in damp, greasy conditions the opening few minutes both teams cancelled each other out until the Tigers gained the upper hand when hooker Adam Milner put Kirk Dixon through a gap out wide on eight minutes.
Marc Sneyd kicked the touchline conversion and then made it 8-0 by tagging on a penalty goal
Leeds began to settle down and built some pressure in the CAS twenty and this eventually told as the ball was moved out wide for Ben Jones-Bishop to squeeze over at the corner.
But, as typically for this season, the homeside would not go away and then took the game to the Rhinos after coming being stopped by some good gaol line defence,
Sneyd jinked his way over the line in final few minutes of the first half. The scrum-half added the extras to give his side a narrow 14-12 lead into the interval.
After the break, the Rhinos came out strongly and they re-took the lead as Hardaker was first to reach Danny McGuire's kick and he patted the ball back for Watkins to get Jones-Bishop, over for his second try of the night.
This was the key moment of the game as the men from Headingley began to dominate and they won the game on 55 minutes after good work by substitute Liam Sutcliffe led to Watkins showing tremendous strength in scoring his second try.
Sinfield kicked his third goal as Leeds closed the game out comfortably to remain as pace setters in the First Utility Super League.
But, this did not hinder them as makeshift Full-Back Dan Sarginson opened the scoring after seven minutes. Anthony Gelling then powered his way over and Matty Smith made it 14-0 with a penalty to add to his two conversions as Wigan dominated the early stages of the game.
Hull got into the game on the back of an error By Dom Manfredi and this led to Gareth Ellis going over the line on 26 minutes.
The visitors increased the lead three minutes before half-time when Smith broke clear and sent over the supporting Jack Hughes to make it 18-02 at the break.
There was no way back for The Black and Whites in the early stages of the second half when the Warriors hit them with two quick tries.
Gelling combined with Michael McIlorum to get Burgess over before Sarginson sliced through second try of the night.
Trailing 30-6 Jamie Shaul pulled a try back but Manfredi atoned for his early error by go in for Wigan's sixth try just after the hour mark.
Gelling added another before his run setup Sarginson to complete his hat-trick on 71 minutes but the hosts had the final say when Fetuli Talanoa scored in the last few minutes of the game.
The start of the contest was riddled with poor handling as both side struggled to hang on to the ball in the opening ten minutes of the game.
After the Dragons winger Michael Oldfield was denied a try in the corner by good defence by Rhys Evans, this gave the Wolves the impetuous they needed and soon after this Joel Monaghan opened the scoring on 17 minutes.
Try number three soon followed and it was a superb effort when full back Matty Russell broke from deep, Gene Ormsby carried on the move and his inside pass allowed Joel Monaghan to claim his second try of the night.
Five minutes before half-time Ratchford scored a fine individual try and with Chris Bridge kicking his fourth goal Warrington were out of sight leading 24-0.
It took less than a minute after the restart for the hosts to increase their lead when Ben Evans charged down William Barthau's kick and James Laithwaite scooped up the loose ball to send Bridge racing clear to score.
The dominance continued when a break by prop Chris Hill saw the supporting Micky Higham sprint clear to touch down underneath the posts. Laithwaite claimed Warrington's seventh try of the night before the French outfit finally got on the scoreboard on 65 minutes with Vincent Duport's try powering his way over.
The visitors also claimed a last minute try through Morgan Escare, but it was not thier night as Warrington claimed the points to stay in the eight.
The Wildcats went into the clash boasting a six-match winning run against Widnes stretching back to 2005 as they looked to put daylight between themselves and second bottom Bradford Bulls.
After build up some pressure, the Wildcats struck first when Jarrad Sammut collected Kevin Brown' loose pass and raced 80-meters before sending Chris Riley over. Sammut kicked the extras to make it 6-0 after seven minutes.
Veteran prop Richard Moore made even better for the visitors when he charged through two defenders to make it 12-0 on the twenty minute mark.
But the Vikings hit back and they got back into the contest with Brown and Marsh combining for Declan Hulme to cross in the corner.
Brown continued to pull the strings and just before the break his long pass put Paddy Flynn over in the corner. Danny Tickle added his second goal as the teams went into the break all square at 12-12.
Shortly into the second half, Hulme struck as he got on the end of Danny Craven's kick. Once again the ever reliable Tickle made no mistake with the extras as the hosts took the lead for the first time 18-12.
Wakefield would not give in and they got back on terms with ex Dragon Harry Siejka plunging over the line.
This setup a frantic finish in which both side came close to breaking the deadlock and finally with time running out Paul Sykes swept over with the last play of the match to snatch the game for the Wildcats who moved clear of the relegation zone.
The Broncos welcomed back Scott Moore from suspension as new Head Coach Joe Grimar started his rein.
Huddersfield, who were on a three match winning run, started more brightly and grabbed the lead when Shaun Lunt crossed from close range on six minutes.
The Londoners struggled to get into the game but on 16 minutes after a break by Moore, Atelea Vea was on hand to touchdown.
It took just nine more minutes for the Giants to regain the lead and this came courtesy of Ukuma Ta'ai who broke through a series of tackles to power his way over the line.
But, showing good spirit, the Londoners responded with two scores of their own, to lead 14-10.
Josh Drinkwater kicked a penalty before half-time to give the hosts a six point cushion at the break.
The Giants flew out of the blocks after the restart and hit London with two tries in the opening four minutes of the second half to take control.
Anthony Mullally was the first to cross after a short pass from Lunt, with Ta'ai then grabbing his second when he went through a gap in the hosts defence.
The next score did not arrive until 65th minute when Danny Brough kicked a penalty goal to give the West Yorkshire side an eight-point advantage.
With time running out up stepped Leroy Cudjoe to score the match clinching try as the Giants inflicted a 13 successive defeat on London this season.
Hull KR 16
The opening quarter of the game was scoreless despite the visitors from Hull dominating and against the run of play the Red Devils took the lead.
Star-man Rangi Chase's long pass sent Francis Meli on a clear run to score out wide after 22 minutes. Four minutes later Rovers got back on terms when Travis Burns combined with his half-back partner Kris Keating to get Kris Welham over the line.
Salford made a better start to the second half and after building the pressure Junior Sau got his winger Meli over for his second try of the contest. Mullaney's touchline conversion levelled the scores.
However, Rovers regained the lead on 59 minutes when loose forward Neville Costigan gathered a loose ball following Burns' grubber kick to go over for his side's third try.
The game remained in the balance until on 63 minutes Red Devils centre Martin Gleeson followed up Chase's high kick to touch down and Mullaney kicked his second goal to make it 16-16.
Costigan was inches short of the line as Rovers went for the victory that probably deserved and Ben Cockayne fumbled a drop-goal attempt while Chase struck the woodwork with his attempted one-pointer, as both sides had to settle for share of the spoils.
Both teams came into this contest after good results last week. Bradford claimed a shock win over Warrington and Saints eased past winless London Broncos.
However, the Bulls had were down to bear bones as Luke Gale, Brett Kearney, Manase Manuokafoa, Matty Blythe, Dale Ferguson, James Donaldson, Jamal Fakir and Oliver Roberts were all absent through injury.
Bradford had the first chance to score but Adam Henry was held short after good defence by the visitors.
It took 11 minutes before St Helens broke the deadlock and this came courtesy of Matty Dawson who broke from his own twenty and was halted short of the line, but in the next play Jon Wilkin touched down
Just before the hour mark, Lance Hohaia made the break and in support was Luke Walsh to add try number two and then the Ex Penrith Panther setup the third score up for Jonny Lomax when his kick was palmed back by Tommy Makinson.
Walsh now pulling the strings laid on laid a second try for Wilkin just on Half time as Saints led 22-0 and effectively put Bradford out of the game.
In the final quarter as the hosts began to tire and Saints took full advantage of this as Soliola, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and James Roby all got on the scoresheet as the visitors kept the pressure on League Leaders Leeds Rhinos.
At the other end of the table, the Bulls remain eight points behind third-bottom Wakefield as they face a real relegation battle.
First Utility Super League Round 12
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