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First Utility Super League XIX Round 3 Review
Week 3 of the First Utility Super League saw impressive win for the four sides with 100% records St Helens, Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers and Widnes Vikings.
Wigan and Warrington both got off the mark, but Catalans Dragons, London Broncos and Wakefield all remain winless as below we review all the action:
Salford Red Devils 0
St Helens 38
Tries: Wilkin, Walsh, Percival 2,
Goals: Walsh 7
Salford City Reds suffered their first defeat of the season as they were shut out by St Helens at the AJ Bell Stadium.
After Back-to-back wins in their opening two games, the Red Devils were looking to top the table for the first time in the summer era as they took on another unbeaten side St Helens.
Once again Luke Walsh was instrumental in dictating play for the visitors and it was no surprise when his short pass got prop Kyle Amor into space and he offloaded for Jon Wilkin to touchdown for the games first score.
Tom Makinson then made a break and on hand was Walsh to finish things off as St Helens moved into a 12-0 lead. Salford ‘defence was much better for the rest of the first half as Saints kept their lead at the interval.
The Red Devils made a good start to the second half but they could not breach St Helens line and a breakaway on 50 minutes pretty much settled the game.
Sia Soliola picked up Tim Smith’s kick and he raced 40 metres up field before sending in Mark Percival who touchdown. Walsh added his third goal before Amor powered his way over the line to make it 24-0.
Walsh added a penalty goal on 63rd-minute penalty before Salford suffered more misery as Anthony Laffranchi crashed over and Percival rounded things off by claiming a double as St Helens continue their great start to the 2014 season.
Catalans Dragons 12
Tries: Oldfield, Phillippe-Baile
Goals: Barthau 2
Leeds Rhinos 40
Tries: Moon, Delaney, Briscoe, Ablett,
Goals: Sinfield 6
Leeds Rhinos made it three from three as they eased past an injury hit Catalans Dragons at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium in Perpignan.
With the strong arctic wind blowing off the Pyrenees, the Rhinos felt at home as they travelled to the South of France to take on a depleted Dragons side missing no fewer than eight regulars who were looking for their first win this year.
The home side started well and opened the scoring through Michael Oldfield following good play from a scrum down the short side. William Barthau converted, but this was as good as it got for the Frenchside as Leeds finally got a foothold in the game.
Joel Moon got things underway for the Rhinos by exchanging passes with Ryan Hall to go over out wide. Kevin Sinfield, who earlier in the week had been ruled out with an ankle injury, converted off the touchline.
Leeds then added another soon after as Brett Delaney raced onto Paul Aiton's flat pass from dummy half meters from the line.
On the half hour mark, try number three arrived as Sinfield and Kallum Watkins combined to send Tom Briscoe away down the right touchline and the winger scored his fifth try of the season by showing real pace to hold off the oncoming defenders.
Sinfield kicked his third goal as the visitors went into the break with an 18-6 lead and they continued their dominance at the start of the second half as they added two quick scores to end any hope for Catalans.
Carl Ablett went through a huge hole after good work by Rob Burrow, before Ryan Hall added the other after finishing a flowing move before the poor Dragons could even touch the ball.
Catalans got some consolation in the 52nd minute with Jean-Phillipe Baile getting on the end of Barthau's kick on the sixth tackle
However, the visitors soon regain their scoring touch and skipper Sinfield finished off a flowing move after great handling by Zac Hardaker and Watkins.
In the last play of the game Moon superb one handed offload sent Hall over in the left hand corner as Leeds continued their flying start to 2014 as Catalan remain at the wrong end of the table still looking for a first win.
Hull KR 10
Tries: Green, Caro
Castleford Tigers 30
Tries: Owen 3, Sneyd, Holmes
Goals: Sneyd 5
Castleford Tigers turned in another strong performance to deny Hull KR at KC Stream Craven Park.
The in-form Tigers with a 100% record intact looked for their first at Hull KR in Super League who were hoping for their first win of the season after a come from behind draw at Huddersfield last time out.
After starting well Rovers finally broke down a stubborn Tigers defence as James Green took scrum-half Kris Keating's short pass near the line to crash over and Travis Burns added the goal to make it 6-0.
Keating then fumbled the ball from the re-start and that gifted Castleford the position for Weller Hauraki and Michael Channing to get Richard Owen over for his first of two tries in eight minutes, the next arrived when the right winger leapt above Greg Eden to collect Liam Finn's high kick.
Another pinpoint kick from Finn set up Frankie Mariano for his first try for the Tigers and with Marc Sneyd's third goal the visitors led18-6 after 26 minutes.
Finn was then sin-binned for what appeared to be a leg twist on centre Kris Welham, but they continued to defend well until the numbers caught up with then as Omari Caro scored Rovers' second try on the stroke of half-time.
Hull KR dominated most of the second half as they penned Castleford inside their own half but the Tigers withstood everything thrown at them and hit back in the last 13 minutes to claim the points.
Oliver Holmes crossed wide out for their fourth try before Owen completed his hat-trick five minutes from the end, with Sneyd making it five from five in another good win for the Tigers.
Widnes Vikings 22
Tries: Hanbury, Clough, Mellor, Owens
Goals: Tickle 3
Huddersfield Giants 20
Tries: McGillvary, Cudjoe, Crabtree
Goals: Brough 4
Widnes Vikings stunned Huddersfield Giants with a late comeback to claim the points at the Select Security Stadium.
After having a week off due to Wigan’s involvement in the World Club Challenge, Widnes were looking for their second win against Huddersfield Giants who were looking to get back to winning ways after they surrendered a lead last week against Hull KR to only get a point.
The opening try came after 10 minutes when Vikings full-back Hanbury spilled a Danny Brough kick and Jermaine McGillvary pounced.
Widnes responded well but another mistake led to Leroy Cudjoe intercepting a Danny Craven pass and racing 80 metres to score. Brough converted to make it 10-0.
Hanbury made amends for his earlier error as he side-stepped his way over the line 10 minutes before the break and just on half-time , Widnes added their second score when on-loan Saints forward Paul Clough crashed over from short range.
Danny Tickle added the extras as the home team claimed a narrow 12-10 advantage.
The Giants were soon back ahead after the resumption as big prop Eorl Crabtree showed his strength to power over the line.
Brough then slotted over two penalty goals to increase the led to 20-12 but déjà Vue struck as the Giants surrendered another winning lead for the second week running.
Joe Mellor nipped over to get the Vikings back into the game and the comeback was complete when Jack Owens appeared to have been halted in a three-man tackle in the left corner and somehow the ball came out for Hanbury to score the all important try.
There was still time for Huddersfield to snatch it but Widnes held firm to claim a superb comeback win.
Bradford Bulls 25
Tries: Gale, Sidlow, Addy, Olbison
Goals: Foster 4
Drop Goal: Gale
London Broncos 12
Tries: Minns, Cunningham
Goals: Drinkwater 2
Bradford Bulls claimed a valuable win against other relegation candidates London Broncos at
After being docked six points in midweek for entering administration for the second time, the Bulls needed a win against the London Broncos also tipped for relegation.
The Londoners gave debuts to Ben Farrah, Josh Drinkwater and Nick Slyney, but it was Bradford who got the dream start when ex Bronco Luke Gale scored next to the posts after 11 minutes.
Adam Sidlow crashed over the line to double the host’s advantage before the visitors hit back immediately when Thomas Minns, on a season-long loan from Leeds, touched down Scott Moore’s kick to the corner.
Both teams came close to scoring but due to errors there were no further scores as Bradford led 12-6 at the break.
The game continued in a scrappy manor until just after the hour-mark, James Donaldson broke clear and fed Danny Addy who scored the Bulls third try of the game.
Thirteen minutes from time substitute James Cunningham gave London some hope.
But it was not the Broncos day as Gale landed a drop goal and Tom Olbison added a try in final five minutes to leave Bradford on minus 2 points just 2 behind their opponents at the bottom end of the table.
Warrington Wolves 18
Tries: Ratchford, Waterhouse, Evans
Goals: Ratchford 3
Hull FC 16
Tries: Houghton, Lineham, Talanoa
Goals: Crooks 2
Warrington Wolves held on to claimed their first win of the campaign as they edged past Hull FC at the H.J. Stadium.
After successive defeats to St Helens and Leeds, Warrington were desperate to get their season up and running as they faced a Hull side who themselves were looking to improve on their stuttering start to the campaign.
Needing a good start, the Wolves delivered after just five minutes when on the last tackle Richard Myler's kick was collected by Ratchford who scored and then converted his own try.
Hull got a foothold in the game and after coming close on two occasions they finally levelled things up on 12 minutes when Mickey Paea setup the position for Danny Houghton to dart over from dummy half.
The lead did not last long as Micky Higham played in ex Kangaroo Trent Waterhouse to score an unconverted try.
A superb break by Ratchford from his own was halted by FC’s Jamie Shaul, who then held down the Warrington Full-Back too long and this led to him being put in the Sin-bin.
With the extra man advantage, the hosts scored their third try of the half as Gareth O'Brien's kick was pounced on by Ben Evans. Ratchford added the extras plus a last minute penalty to give his side an 18-6 lead at the interval.
The heavens opened at the start of the second half and this made handling difficult but, The Black and Whites got back into the contest on the hour mark as Joe Westerman and Richard Horne combined to get Tom Lineham flying in at the corner.
Two minutes from time it was game on when Aaron Heremaia's pass sent ex Rabbitoh Fetuli Talanoa over in the corner, and Ben Crooks landed the touchline conversion to cut the gap to just two points, but Warrington just about hung on to claim a much needed win.
Wigan Warriors 46
Tries: Manfredi, Thornley, O'Loughlin 2, Hampshire,
Bateman, Flower, Burgess, Farrell
Goals: Smith 5
Wakefield Wildcats 24
Tries: Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Fox, Lyne
Goals: Sammut 4
Wigan Warriors got their season up and running with a comfortable nine-try win over Wakefield Wildcats at the D.W. Stadium.
After travelling to the other side of the world, Wigan made eight changes from the side which lost to Sydney Roosters last week.
Wakefield were hoping for a win after two defeats to Salford and Bradford but it was the Warriors who opened the scoring on four minutes as winger Dom Manfredi went over out wide.
The Wildcats soon hit back to take the lead when Ali Lauitiiti barged over from 10 metres but this was short lived as Wigan blew their opponents apart with five tries in seventeen minutes.
Iain Thornley got things under way before skipper Shaun O'Loughlin then supported a break from halfway by scrum-half Matty Smith to score his first try and then jinked over for a second soon after.
It was all one-way traffic as Wakefield had no ball and they suffered further misery when Ryan Hampshire touched down Blake Green's crossfield kick and the fifth came courtesy of John Bateman who scored his first try since joining from Bradford.
But with only three successful kicks from Matty Smith, Wakefield struck back either side of half-time to cut the deficit 30-18.
A superb 90-metre break by Jarrod Sammut set up the position for Danny Kirmond to crash over five minutes before the break and Pita Godinet's interception got winger Peter Fox over four minutes into the second half as visitors got a foothold in the game
However, this was short lived as three further scores from prop Ben Flower, young winger Joe Burgess and Liam Farrell put Wigan out of sight with a 46-18 lead.
At least the visitors had the final say with a length of the field effort from Reece Lyne but it was the Warriors who claimed there first win of the season in only their second game.