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First Utility Super League XIX - Round 22 Review
After suffering a humiliating defeat at Wigan last week, Hull were looking for a drastic turnaround of form as they entertained high flying Castleford Tigers who were on a four game unbeaten run.
Ten minutes before the break young FC half-back Jordan Abdull stepped his way past two defenders to score a fine try. Rankin's second goal made it 12-4 and this was the score at half-time.
Within two minutes of the re-start, Kirk Dixon lost the ball just outside his own 20-metre area and the hosts made him pay as Abdull got Yeaman crashing over for their third try.
Going into the final 12 minutes of the game, Castleford were given some hope when Shenton carved out a score for Sneyd and five minutes later it was game on when Sneyd's grubber kick was picked up by left winger James Clare who sprinted over from 30-meters out to a make it 18-14.
It was now one-way traffic and the equalising score soon arrived as Clare collected another cleaver kick from Sneyd to score his second try of the game. Unfortunately Sneyd could not add the extras as Castleford claimed a second successive draw which denied Hull their first win in six games.
Widnes were looking to secure their top eight spot and after a win over great rivals Warrington last week they were involved in another local match this time against St Helens, the League leaders.
Saints opened the score after seven minutes when Luke Walsh sent Flanagan over and as the home side pile on the pressure a second touchdown soon arrived as Tommy Makinson took Flanagan's kick to score out wide.
Now it was the turn of Big Samoan Prop Mose Masoe who in a spell of five minutes bulldozed his way over the line for a quick fire brace. Mark Percival kicked his third goal as the lead went out to 22-0.
Just before the break, Widnes had MacGraff Leuluai dispatched to the sin-bin after the team was put on a warning for persistence infringements.
It did not take long into the second half for Saints to make the extra man count as Masoe's offload allowed Jordan Turner to send Makinson under the posts.
Makinson then returned the compliment to his centre with another neatly taken try three minutes later to leave the Vikings in disarray trailing 32-0
But the visitors dusted themselves down and hit back with three tries in a blistering five-minute spell .Cameron Phelps helped himself to a quick-fire double and Stefan March raced over from 80 meters out. Danny Tickle added two goals as the deficit was cut in half.
St Helens then suffered a huge blow when scrum half Walsh was carried off on a stretcher with a lower leg injury.
Makinson restored some order for Saints as he score his hat-trick and then it was definitely game over as Willie Manu pounced on loose ball to score try number eight.
Rhys Hanbury had the last word by scoring a late consolation for the visitors but it was not their night as they just about hang on to eighth spot.
In addition to the suspended Kevin Sinfield, Leeds were also without forwards Brett Delaney, Ryan Bailey and Mitch Achurch through injury as The Red Devils gave a home debut to star Kiwi signing Kevin Locke.
On the hour mark Full-back Zak Hardaker dived full length to ground the ball from Danny McGuire's stabbed kick as the Rhinos got on terms and soon after centre Kallum Watkins finished off a spectacular 60-metre move started by hooker Paul Aiton and continued by winger Tom Briscoe.
Hardaker added both goals but the Red Devils finished the first half the stronger side and with the last play Rangi Chase's kick to the line was grounded by Theo Fages. Josh Griffin tied the scores up at 12-12 with his second conversion.
The game turned Leeds way with two tries early into the second half. Carl Ablett twisted and turned out of a three-man tackle to score one of his trademark opportunist tries and then after a break by Liam Sutcliffe, Stevie Ward went through a huge gap in the Red Devils defence.
Hardaker kicked his third goal was the side from Headingley led 22-12.
Salford, got back into the contest when substitute forward Jordan Walne bursted onto Chase's drop-off pass to score his first try of the season underneath the posts.
Hardaker missed with a 40-metre penalty kick which would seal the win for Leeds, who had to hold on at the end as the Red Devils piled on the pressure.
So the loss for Salford looks like the end of their hopes of making the eight as for the Rhinos a top two finish is still on for them.
With the Vikings loosing on Friday night, Rovers knew that a win in the capital would reignite their top eight hopes.
Kevin Larroyer got the next and there was still time for Eden to claim his second as he outpaced the cover defence. Travis Burns kicked a penalty to go with his four goals as the side from Eats Yorkshire led 26-0 at the break.
For the poor Broncos, they got more of the dame in the second half. Liam Salter intercepted a loose pas and raced the length of the field.
Atkins got his second for the Broncos after good work from Ben Farrar, but this would the last of their scoring as three tries for the visitors would follow in the final five minutes of the game.
Weyman added his second after a flat pass from Burns, with Salter adding a second of his own after a David Hodgson break.
The final word was Eden's as he collected a hat-trick in a one-sided win for Rovers as they kept alive their top eight hopes as the poor Londoners suffered a 23rd successive defeat this year.
It only took nine minutes for the Champions to take the lead and it came thanks to good work by Matty Bowen as he played in winger Dom Manfredi who scored an unconverted try.
Bradford gradually got a foothold in the game and on 29 minutes they were back in it as slick passing got on-loan Salford winger Danny Williams over in the corner. Luke Gale's conversion edged Bradford into the lead and by the break they were in-front.
Adam O'Brien went through a gap after a scrum and superbly offloaded for Joe Arundel, to score next to the posts as the hosts led 12-4 at the interval.
In the early stages of the second half Lee Gaskell pulled off a try saving tackle on England winger Josh Charnley and then the Bulls withstood a barrage before increasing their lead.
Once again slick passing led to Matty Blythe finishing well in the corner as Bradford effectively won themselves the game.
The match did not start well for both sides despite perfect conditions, there was number of enforced errors.
Just before the hour mark try number three arrive as Jermaine McGillvary squeezed over at the corner for his 100th try of his career.
Five minutes into the second half Joe Wardle scooped up the loose ball to sprint 50 metres for an opportunist try as the Giants increased their advantage.
Danny Brough then turned provided as his weaving run created an opening for McGillvary to go over for his second try.
However, this was a blip for the hosts as Wardle got his second score and then Brett Ferres forced his way over for his side's seventh touchdown of the game.
Daryl Millard broke clear to get full-back Morgan Escare over for a consolation for the Dragons as their dismal away form continued with just two wins at relegated Bradford and London to show for their away day travels this year.
Warrington had won their last 10 matches before their 28-14 derby defeat at Widnes as they looked to get back on track against the Wakefield Wildcats.
Wakefield soon hit back and it came courtesy of Chris Riley who scored in the corner against his parent club. The Wildcats then hit the front when a break by Tim Smith led to Danny Washbrook crashing over the line. Jarrod Sammut's conversion made it 12-4 midway through the first half.
Warrington made another flying start to the second half with O'Brien and Currie combining again to get Evans over for hid second try.
This did not hinder the Wildcats as they continued to dominate and it was no surprise when Riley completed his hat-trick after Jimmy Keinhorst' break.
Andy Raleigh then superbly setup Keinhorst to touch down from Tim Smith's kick and give Wakefield a six point lead on the hour. Sammut tagged on a penalty before ex Wildcat Centre Ryan Atkins gave Warrington some hope by collecting Ratchford's kick to make it 28-26.
However, it was the West Yorkshire sides day as Mathers and Nick Scruton both scored late on to confirm a famous win which leave the Wildcats two points off a play-off spot.
First Utility Super League Ladder after Round 22
|11||Salford Red Devils||22||8||1||13||470||554||17|