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First Utility Super League XIX - Round 25 Review
Warrington started well and led by veteran hooker Michael Monaghan they built up the pressure on the Giants line and it took 18 minutes for the visitors to crack.
Gareth O'Brien got over the line and converted his own score to make it 6-0.
Without any ball in the first quarter, Huddersfield got some possession and turned the whole game around with a devastating spell of three tries in eight-minutes.
The first came when Danny Brough's kick bounced off Monaghan into the hands of Chris Bailey who scored a simple try. Now in control the next soon arrived as hooker Shaun Lunt sent big second rower Ukuma Ta'ai charging over from close range.
Another soon followed as Lunt got into the try scoring act by forcing his way over from dummy half. Brough kicked all three conversions and slotted over a drop goal on the half-time hooter to give the Giants a useful 19-6 lead at the break.
Huddersfield continued where they left off at the start of the second half when Lunt collected Richie Myler's grubber kick near his own line and sent winger Jodie Broughton on an 80-metre run for a spectacular try. Unfortunately, Brough was off target with the goal which was crucial in the final result of the game.
Suddenly, Warrington awoke from their slumber and got back into the contest when Ryan Atkins pounced on O'Brien's kick to cut the deficit.
It was now the turn of big forward Ben Harrison to turn the game on its head just after the hour mark he helped himself to quick-fire brace and with two goals from O'Brien, the hosts took the lead 24-23.
However, with time running out centre Leroy Cudjoe intercept a Monaghan pass to set up the position for Brough to land his second drop goal of the game as the game ended in a draw.
Rovers came into this one knowing anything other than the two points would almost certainly end their hopes of making the end of season play-offs. For Hull they needed the win to avoid a third defeat by their great city neighbours this season.
The game started ferociously as both teams went at each other. The Black and Whites settled down better and took the lead on 10 minutes when Richard Horne and Kirk Yeaman combined to put Fetuli Talanoa over in the corner.
Rovers struggled to get any foothold in the game and they fell further behind when Rankin kicked a penalty goal to make it 12-0 at the break.
The Black and Whites soaked up the pressure and increase their lead further as Sa fed Tom Lineham to dive over for a simple score and just on the hour mark Jordan Thompson took the game further away from Rovers as he finished off a break by Aaron Heremaia.
And Lineham claimed the local bragging rights by plucking a Kris Keating pass out of the air to race almost the full length of the field as FC claimed the points in a one-sided win.
Saints took the lead with a fifth-minute penalty goal from Mark Percival but then spent most of the first half on defence.
However, on twenty minutes the whole game changed when the Rhinos were reduced to 12 men with Joel Moon shown a red card for a Shoulder charge on Percival.
Sinfield kicked his side into a 4-2 lead with a couple of penalties and then the hosts scored the only try of the first half on 29 minutes when Brett Delaney ran an angle across the Saints defence and half-back Liam Sutcliffe stepped past Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook to touch down.
Sinfield's conversion made it 10-2 and he added another two points with a third penalty goal just before the break.
But, in the second half Coach Nathan Brown changed his tactics and eventually he wore down Leeds who held on superbly until the final quarter when the extra man counted.
Hohaia moved the home defence around and this created a gap for McCarthy-Scarsbrook to score on 62 minutes. Turner missed an easy goal-kick but seven minutes later the game was all squarer when James Roby went over from dummy half.
And with just five minutes left on the clock Hohaia kept his nerve to land the all-important drop goal as St Helens claimed the points, which leaves them one win away from the taking pole position into the play-offs.
Wigan, welcomed back Michael McIlorum and Iain Thornley from long term injuries alongside recent absentees Gil Dudson, Tony Clubb and John Bateman but Matty Bowen, Ben Flower and Joel Tomkins were missing.
The Vikings made the better start and after winning a scrum against the head, Kevin Brown's long pass put Patrick Ah Van over in the corner. Ex Wiganer Danny Tickle added the extras and kicked a penalty goal.
Another try soon followed when Jon Clarke's burst allowed Joe Mellor and Brown to combine with Paddy Flynn racing in at the opposite corner. Tickle added the touchline conversion to make it 14-0 after 14 minutes.
Widnes made a perfect start to the second half with Ah Van going over for his second try after Wigan were caught napping from a kick with Tickle's fourth goal making it 20-10.
The torrential rain made handling difficult and Wigan had Liam Farrell put in the sin-bin for a high and late tackle on Mellor.
Tickle struck two penalties to extend the advantage to 24-10 on the hour and this would be the final points off the contest as the hosts claimed a valuable win which virtually books their place in the end of season play-offs.
Catalan Dragons maintained their pay-off place with a one-sided win over London Broncos
at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium in Perpignan.
Last time out, the Broncos claimed a shock win over Challenge Cup winner Leeds Rhinos but they faced the daunting task of taking on the Catalan Dragons who still needed to win in order to cement their top eight place.
The one-way traffic continued as Pomeroy got his name on the scoresheet after taking a smart inside ball by Elliott Whitehead. Bosc made no mistake with the extras.
There was still time for the Frenchside to add two further scores. Daryl Millard collected Bosc' kick to the corner for a simple try and just before the break Escare finished off another break to complete a first half hat-trick as the hosts led 34-0.
However, there was still time for Catalans to add two more. Firstly Bosc's high kick was knocked back by Duport for Zeb Taia who strolled and then Daryl Millard scored the hosts eight and final try as they moved one step nearer the end of season play-offs.
After suffering defeat by rivals Leeds Rhinos in the Tetley's Challenge Cup final last weekend, Castleford were now looking to put things right by hoping to make Old Trafford at the end of the season.
Andy Lynch gave the Tigers the perfect start when he crashed on to a pass from Daryl Clark on five minutes and soon after it was 12-0 as both Marc Sneyd and Luke Dorn created the space for James Clare, who made up for missing out on last week's final, by scoring out wide.
Ten minutes before the break Dorn took a good offload from skipper Michael Shenton to outpace the cover and score.
Bradford pulled one back when Lee Gaskell took a pass from Luke Gale to touchdown but on the stroke of half-time, Shenton scored his side fourth try as the hosts led 24-6.
The Bulls, courtesy of Gaskell were given a lifeline as the Stand-Off went over for a try two minutes after the break and then he soon completed his hat-trick as the lead was down to 24-18.
Bradford tried their best to get level but they were finally undone by brilliant effort from Clark. After taking a quick penalty tap, the Warrington bound hooker, raced 80-meters for spectacular match winning try.
Sneyd kicked a late penalty as Castleford kept alive their hopes of a top two finish going into the last couple of rounds of the regular season.
The hosts came into this one knowing that a win would give them a chance of an unlikely place in the play-offs.
And this was evident from the start as Danny Washbrook made the break to send veteran prop Andy Raleigh over for his first try in over a year.
On-loan Salford half-back Tim Smith then began to pull the strings as the Wildcats continued to dominate. Washbrook got on the end of his grubber kick to touch down as the lead went out to 10-0 after 14 minutes.
Paul McShane's astute kick to the corner setup Chris Riley for a third score for Wakefield and Paul Sykes added a second goal to give his side a 16-0 lead
Salford then tried to force some pressure but the home-side was up to the task as they kept their opponents scoreless for the remainder of the first half.
After the restart, the Red Devils finally had something to shout about as a break by Tony Puletua was finished off by Harrison Hansen. Kevin Locke's conversion cut the gap to 10 points but there was no way back for the visitors when centre Dean Collis went over for their fourth try on 55 minutes.
There was still time for Pita Godinet to get on the end of McShane's grubber kick and after a 40-20 kick from Sykes , Owen completed the scoring by grabbing his second try was Wakefield remained just about alive in the play-off race.
First Utility Super League Ladder After Round 25
|12||Salford Red Devils||25||9||1||15||514||663||19|