First Utility Super League XIX - Round 16 Review

Round 16 produced some shocks as the top three, St Helens, Leeds and Castleford all lost. The big winners were Wigan who play their game in hand on Wednesday, in which a win over Widnes will take them top of the league.

At the other end London Broncos and Bradford Bulls are now most people's favourites to drop out of the Super League as both suffered defeats in crucial games.

Leeds Rhinos 22

Tries: Watkins, Jones-Bishop, Bailey, Sutcliffe
Goals: Sinfield 3

Huddersfield Giants 24

Tries: Wood, McGillvary, Crabtree, Wardle
Goals: Brough 4

Att: 13,104

Huddersfield Giants claimed the points at Headingley Carnegie Stadium with a good second half performance over Leeds Rhinos.

Leeds came into this one with stuttering form after losing two of thier last four games and faced the Giants without eight regulars through injury and suspension but they fought to the last in a dramatic clash.

Ton six minutes Kallum Watkins took Brett Delaney's pass to score the games first try with Kevin Sinfield adding the extras.

It did not take long for Huddersfield to get on terms when scrum-half Kyle Wood went through a huge gap in the home defence to score a simple try. Danny Brough kicked the conversion to make it 6-6

Just before the end of the first quarter, the Rhinos re-took the lead when good work by centre Joel Moon got full-back Ben Jones-Bishop, deputising for the suspended Zak Hardaker, over the line.

Sinfield's second goal made it 12-6 but both defences tightened considerably in the remainder of the first half and the Giants missed some chances as the score was the same at the interval.

Seven minutes into the second half the visitors made the most of a handling error deep in his own half by Jones-Bishop and a couple of play later Jermaine McGillvary took Aaron Murphy's pass to go over at the corner.

Brough's touchline conversion made it 12-12 and this gave Huddersfield the lift they needed as they took control of the game. Prop Eorl Crabtree forced his way over from close range and then Joe Wardle went in from long range following a clean break by Brett Ferres.

Brough added both conversions to give the Giants a useful 24-12 lead, but Leeds would not go away and struck back with two tries of themselves in three minutes to setup a dramatic finish.

Ryan Bailey powered his way past three defenders to touch down wide out for the first and stand-off Liam Sutcliffe grabbed an opportunist try after the ball bounced loose from Sinfield's kick on the last tackle.

Sinfield could land only one of the goals, though, to leave his side trailing by two points.

Huddersfield thought they had clinched the win when Brough's long pass got winger Jodie Broughton over at the corner but the video referee disallowed the try for an obstruction in the build-up.

In the last play of the game Leeds thought they had snatched a victory when England winger Tom Briscoe won the race to the line to touch down Joel Moon's speculative kick after the final hooter had sounded but the video referee disallowed the score for obstruction, leaving the Giants was the victors taking thier unbeaten run against Leeds to eight games.

Hull KR 4

Tries: Horne

Warrington Wolves 34

Tries: Ormsby, Ratchford, Monaghan 2, B. Evans, Atkins
Goals: Bridge 5

Att: 6,850

Warrington made it six wins on the bounce with an easy victory over Hull KR at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

Warrington still with the double on thier mind gave a debut to Joe Philbin as they were without main playmakers Michael Monaghan and Richie Myler.

Rovers, also down on numbers, made a good start to the game and came close to scoring when both Michael Weyman and Neville Costigan were held short of the line.

But Warrington gradually got into the contest and the pressure told on the half hour mark when right winger Gene Ormsby went over for the first of three tries in the last ten minutes of the first half.

A break by Simon Grix setup Stefan Ratchford for the second and try number three soon followed when a good offload by inform half-back Chris Bridge's offload got Joel Monaghan over the line.

Bridge kicked all three conversions to make it 18-0 at the break.

After making a better start to the second half , Hull KR pulled one back on 57 minutes when ex Penrith Panther Travis Burns created Graeme Horne touchdown and it could have been even better for the hosts as soon alter Greg Eden was tackled within meters of the line.

However, this only made the Wolves more determined and they put the game to be with three scores late on. Ben Evans swooped on a handling error by Eden to score the match winning try and then Ryan Atkins went over from close range before Monaghan pounced on another loose ball to grab his second try as Warrington completed a convincing win which keeps up thier great mid season from.

Wakefield Wildcats 18

Tries: Kirmond, D. Smith, Ryan
Goals: Sykes 3

London Broncos 10

Tries: Cook, Minns
Goals: Drinkwater

Att: 4,079

Wakefield Wildcats moved clear of the relegation zone with a hard-fought win over bottom of the table London Broncos at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.

After Richard Agar left the club last week, the Wildcats were under new boss James Webster as he they gave a second debut to on-loan Salford scrum-half Tim Smith.

As the match kicked off, the heavens opened which made the handling conditions difficult as the game became a war of attrition.

After a knock-on by the Londoners inside their own half, Wakefield made them pay as on 10-minutes, Tim Smith's offload got Danny Kirmond crashing over the line.

The Broncos stayed in the game and hit back with two tries in three minutes to lead 10-4. First they struck in the 19th minute when Matt Cook pounced on the loose ball to -touchdown. Josh Drinkwater added the extras to make it 6-4.

Minutes later, Atelea Vea broke clear and the ball was worked across the line for on-loan Leeds Centre Tomas Minns to score the second try out wide.

Those gave the men from the capital the confidence they needed as they were on the front foot for the reaming minutes of the half.

After building up the pressure after the restart, the Wildcats finally cracked the Broncos In the 63rd minute as Lucas Walshaw broke down the field and this led to prop Daniel Smith crashing over from close range for the equalising try.

Paul Sykes converted to level the scores at 10-10 and then kicked a penalty to edged Wakefield in front before he added another conversion after Matt Ryan got on the end of a kick from Richie Mathers.

So the win for the Wildcats leaves London close to relegation as they remain the only team in Super League without a win.

Widnes Vikings 6

Tries: Flynn
Goals: Tickle

Hull FC 56

Tries: Lancaster 3, Paea, Shaul 3, Horne, Rankin
Goals: Rankin 10

Att: 5,014

Hull FC ran in nine tries as they romped to victory over Widnes Vikings at the Select Security Stadium.

Early on this year Widnes had beaten Hull at the KC 7-0, so after having a week off The Black and Whites were determined to put things right.

The Vikings made a better start and took the lead with a try from winger Paddy Flynn. Teenager Callum Lancaster got the visitors on terms and soon after Hull took the lead as Mickey Paea crossed after the homeside were guilty of some poor handling errors.

Widnes suffered injuries to players in their back line, Stefan Marsh was carried off on a stretcher after 20 minutes and Chris Dean had to leave the field with concussion.

Jordan Rankin added a penalty just before the break to make it 14-6 in favour of the visitors.

The second half was one-way traffic as the injuries caught up with the Vikings. Lancaster finished off a brilliant break from Jordan Thompson. Fetuli Talanoa sent in Jamie Shaul for another score as the floodgates began to open.

Aaron Heremaia created a try for Richard Horne and then the 17 year old winger Lancaster deservedly completed his hat-trick with six minutes remaining.

There was still time for Shaul to add two more and also score a hat-trick as Widnes suffered a mauling, and they don't' have long to wait for their next game as they play there rearranged game against Wigan-postponed for the World Club Challenge- on Wednesday night

Wigan Warriors 46

Tries: Manfredi 2, Bowen, James, Burgess 2, Farrell, McIlorum
Goals: Smith 7

Castleford Tigers 6

Tries: Gibson
Goal: Ellis

Att: 11,914

Wigan Warriors kept the pressure up on the top two with a commanding win over Castleford Tigers at the DW Stadium.

Wigan were dumped out of the Tetley's Challenge Cup last weekend by the Tigers and they were desperate for revenge.

The Warriors dominated the opening stages of this contest and deservedly took the lead on 12 minutes when Matty Smith and Anthony Gelling combined to send right winger Dom Manfredi over to score. Smith converted.

Ten minutes later Wigan doubled thier lead with ex Cowboy legend Matty Bowen going nearly the full length of the field with an interception try after he read Ashley Gibson's inside ball to perfection.

Now in full control the hosts added two more tries before the break. Jordan James was put into space after good work by hooker Michael McIlorum and then skipper Sean O'Loughlin sent Joe Burgess over for try number four as Wigan were out of sight with a 22-0 half-time lead.

The game was over as a contest in the 48th minute when Liam Farrell raced onto Sam Powell superb pass and after a 15 minute spell without any points, McIlorum forced his way over from close range with Smith adding the goal to make it 34-0.

Burgess scored his second try of the night as he collected Smith's high kick to the corner as Castleford prevented a whitewash with Ashley Gibson took advantage of a three-man overlap, to score in the right hand corner. Jamie Ellis converted from the touchline.

However, it was the Warriors night as Gelling put Manfredi over for his second touchdown to clinch a one-sided win for the double winners, as the Tigers suffered thier heaviest defeat of 2014.

Catalan Dragons 42

Tries: Duport 2, Oldfield 3, Henderson, Bosc, Millard
Goals: Bosc 5

St Helens 0

Att: 7,276

Catalan Dragons stunned League Leaders St Helens with an 8 try whitewash at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium in Perpignan.

New signing from Sam Williams was unavailable for the Dragons, so Leon Pryce and Thomas Bosc resumed thier half-back partnership as the hosts also welcomed back hooker Ian Henderson.

It did not take long for the French outfit to take the lead as Bosc's high kick was knocked on by Tommy Makinson and on hand was Vincent Duport to touch down in the corner.

Makinson then had a try ruled out as for a forward pass as the game stayed very tight right up to the closing minutes of the first half.

But, just before the interval a Pryce bomb to the right corner was collected by Michael Oldfield who scored out wide to make it 8-0.

After the break, St Helens came close to getting on the scoreboard but good last ditch defence kept them out and the tide was turned when Duport scored underneath the posts. Bosc finally kicked his goal to make it 14-0.

In the final quarter, Catalan took Saints to the cleaners and added five unanswered tries to complete an empathic win. Henderson powered over from close range to get things under way.

Eloi Pelissier flicked the ball inside to Ben Pomeroy who then raced clear to get and in support was Bosc to cross.

Oldfield stepped inside to score in the corner for his second and with four minutes remaining Daryl Millard broke away to score under the posts before the scoreless St Helens were put out of thier misery when with the last play of the game Oldfield completed his hat-trick.

So with this defeat for Saints, if Wigan beat Widnes in thier rearranged Round 2 game on Wednesday night then the Champions will regain top spot for the first time this year.

Salford Red Devils 46

Tries: Tomkins, Sau 2, Dixon, Chase 2, Meli, Evalds
Goals: Chase 7

Bradford Bulls 18

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

Att: 3,407

Salford City Reds blew Bradford Bulls away in the first half, at the AJ Bell Stadium to leave the West Yorkshire side close to relegation.

This was a must win game for both sides as 12 place Salford Red Devils took on 13th place Bradford Bulls in a big four pointer.

The Red Devils flew out of the blocks and hit Bradford with a three try burst in the opening eight minutes.

On loan Wigan hooker Logan Tomkins forcing his way over from close range after just two minutes and then good work by Gareth Hock and Niall Evalds led to Junior Sau in doubling the hosts lead.

Now enter Salford Talisman Rangi Chase where he regathered his own chip over the visitors' defence to get Andrew Dixon over and make it 18-0.

The Bulls struggled to have any ball in the opening quarter and it was soon 24-0 as that man Chase showed a dummy as he went on a 50 meter sprint to the line.

Bradford finally got some possession and they got on the scoreboard with a try from Elliot Kear but the winger soon made a mistake and this gifted a second try for Chase.

Sau added the hosts six try of the first half but just seconds before the interval Tom Olbison added a consolation to make the score 34-12 in favour of Salford.

In the second half, Bradford were much improved and they scored thier third try on 58 minutes when Adam O'Brien crossed from dummy half.

However, it was the Red Devils day as Francis Meli and Evalds both touched down in a huge win for big spending Salford as thier opponents Bradford Bulls look one step nearer the trap door.

First Utility Super League Ladder after Round 16

1St Helens16120449133224
2Leeds Rhinos16111443818023
3Wigan Warriors15110447325722
4Castleford Tigers16110552030922
5Warrington Wolves16100641427920
6Huddersfield Giants1692544836020
7Catalan Dragons1681742642417
8Widnes Vikings1581635340917
9Hull FC1670942231014
10Hull KR1662835541314
11Salford Red Devils16511031343211
12Wakefield Wildcats16501131146210
13Bradford Bulls1640122466102
14London Broncos1600162246570