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First Utility Super League XIX Round 5 Review
After five rounds of the First Utility Super League, there were two teams St Helens and Castleford Tigers with 100% record after unbeaten Leeds Rhinos ended Widnes Vikings faultless start to the season with an emphatic win.
Wigan got back to winning ways as below we review how the games went:
Leeds Rhinos 38
This was the battle of the unbeaten teams as Widnes with a 100% record, three wins from three, were looking to defeat Leeds Rhinos who had three wins and a draw from their opening four games this season.
And after a cagey opening, Jones-Bishop got Leeds on their way by finishing off a flowing move going thorugh seven pair of hands in the right hand corner on 17-minutes.
Despite having some ball Widnes could not unlock a tight home defence despite forcing a number of drop outs as the hosts kept their lead at the interval.
After the break, it was the Rhinos who would cut lose to put the Vikings to the sword, by adding five more tries.
From the kick off, Leeds got possession back from a clever Sinfield kick-off and Kallum Watkins showed great footwork to score his side's third try.
Jones-Bishop, then turned provided as he sprinted clear and fed Sinfield for a simple score as Widnes had no answer to the pace and power of the Rhinos.
In the final minutes of the game Rhys Hanbury made sure there would be no shutout by scoring a consolation for the well beaten Vikings , who's six match wining record stretching back to last August was ended by the impressive Rhinos who stayed on the heels of League leaders St Helens and Castleford with their unbeaten record still intact.
The Red Devils were hoping to stop their two match loosing run as they entertained the Warrington Wolves who were on the upward curb as they were looking to keep up their improvement with a third successive win , after a stuttering start to the season.
After a scoreless twenty minutes suddenly the Wolves roared into action and hit the hosts with a three try burst in nine minutes to lead 16-0.
Gareth O'Brien's kick caused havoc in the Salford defence and Chris Bridge was on hand to open the scoring. Mickey Higham darted over for the next before the third soon arrived with Gene Ormsby crossing out wide.
The Red Devils finally got over the line seven minutes before the break with smart handling by Smith and Mullaney allowing a clever flick by Junior Sau to put on-loan Wigan winger Dom Manfredi over in the corner.
Twelve minutes into the second half good work by Ben Westwood and Richard Myler led to Joel Monaghan twisting over the line to effectively end any hope for Salford in the game as the lead went out to 22-4.
Manfredi took Smith's well-judged pass neatly to grab his second try on the hour to cut the gap to 22-8 but minutes later Roy Asotasi powered over for the Wolves fifth try of the night.
At least the Red Devils had the final say when Johnson scored a late consolation after taking a pass from Mullaney.
St Helens 40
After a crushing defeat at Wakefield, Catalans hastily flew back to Perpignan for crisis talks and cancelled their week away in the North of England as they looked to become the first side this year to dethrone league leaders St Helens.
It was no surprise when the fourth try of half soon arrived as Makinson waltz through the middle of Catalan's defence to make it 24-0 with Luke Walsh kicking his fourth goal from four attempts before leaving the field with a leg injury.
However, the Dragons showed a bit of fight as they hit back with two tries to only trail 24-12 at half time. Benjamin Garcia crossed for his debut try for the French outfit and then hooker Eloi Pelissier scored the next from close range.
After the restart Saints increased their lead with Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook the next player to get on the scoresheet, but Saints were suddenly down to only one interchange already without Walsh thy also lost Sia Soliola and Jordan Turner to injury.
Catalan made the most as ex Saint Leon Pryce quickly spun the ball out wide for ex Manly winger Michael Oldfield to touchdown with inches to spare. Thomas Bosc converted his third goal before Lance Hohaia scored St Helens sixth try
Four minutes from time Lomax freed Swift to score the all important match wining try as Saints remained at the top of the table with their 100% record intact as Catalan stayed at other end of the table still looking for their first points of the campaign.
Hull KR 20
Craig Sandercock ‘ Rovers were hoping to finally land their first win of the season after only claiming a point against Huddersfield to show for their efforts this year.
But, it was Wigan who made the fast start as they registered two tries in the opening eight minutes of the game. Iain Thornley opened the scoring by finishing off a flowing move before Cowboys legend Matty Bowen took a high kick from Travis Burns five meters from his own line and then raced the length of the field for a spectacular score.
Rovers suddenly switched themselves on and hit Wigan with a three try burst in 14 minutes to lead 16-8. Kris Keating's pinpoint pass got Jamie Langley striding through a gap for his first try for the club and then Liam Salter stretched out of Joe Burgess' tackle to touch down for the second.
Kris Welham got the overlap to add the third with Burns kicking two goals. Thornley burst through for his second try on the half hour before Ben Cockayne went over for a fourth try for the visitors six minutes before the break to make it 20-14.
In the final ten minutes of the contest Smith kicked a penalty and Thornley made it a hat-trick by getting on the end of Green's kick four minutes from time as the Warriors claimed their second win of the season.
After a huge win over Catalans last week, the Wildcats recalled Dean Collis following his suspension, with prop Scott Anderson back in the line-up after a knee injury and the visitors from West Yorkshire did not take long to open the scoring.
On seven minutes Richard Mathers got things underway and shortly later he made it a double by finishing off a break from Taulima Tautai.
But Wakefield responded immediately as Jarrod Sammut seized on a loose ball to race clear for a simple touchdown.
Two more four pointers were to follow before the break from Collis and Reece Lyne as the Wildcats opened up an unassailable 30-6 lead.
Within seven minutes of the resumption Mathers capped his fine day off by completing his hat-trick to extend his sides lead further.
Normal service resumed as Collis added his second by bouncing of the tacklers to score beneath the posts, before Solomona added another.
Godinet scored try number eight for Wakefield as he was quickest to react to a loose ball and in the final five minutes of the game both sides exchanges scores.
Matt Cook then muscled his way over, but Mathers rounded off his great game by scoring his fourth try from close range with seconds remaining.
So the Wildcats register their second win of the season as the poor Londoners remain at the wrong end of the table sill looking to open their account.
The Bulls, who dominated the Super League 10 years ago , had to go into the game against West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Giants with just one recognised prop available which meant former England winger Chev Walker playing up front.
Also, in the crowd was one of Bradford ‘ prospective new owners Mrs Mandy Koukash - who was accompanied by husband Marwan, the Salford Red Devils owner and from the kick-off they realised should they buy the club off the administrator what a huge task they face.
Tom Olbison knocked on from and second later Scott Grix to scored the game's first try , but the Bulls hit back and took the lead after 10 minutes when ex Sydney Rooster Adam Henry went over with Jamie Foster adding the extras.
But, Bradford would be out of the game at the as Huddersfield ran in five unanswered tries to lead 32-4 at the break
Grix made it a double with Jason Chan scoring the visitors sixth try on the half time hooter.
The Bulls pulled a try back early in the second half through Henry but Huddersfield continued on their way with another six further touchdowns.
Brough and Robinson combined to get substitute Ukuma Ta'ai over by the posts before Ferres Wardle and right winger McGillvary also crossed.
There was brief respite with an Adam O'Brien scoring a consolation, but a second for Ta'ai and McGilvary took the Giants past the 60 point barrier as they cantered to victory.
Hull FC 16
After a last gasp win over Wigan last week, Daryl Powell's Tigers put their 100% record on the line as they entertained Hull FC who had a 50% record form their four games this year.
After not touching the ball for the first five minutes of the game, in one of their first sets, the Tigers levelled things up. Hooker Daryl Clark broke through the visitors defence before Grant Millington fed Michael Shenton who race clear to score.
The Black and Whites continued to dominate but were kept out by good home scrambling defence until the pressure finally told on the half hour when ex England back-rower Gareth Ellis crashed over from close range.
Ben Crooks added the extras to give Hull a narrow 12-6 lead at the break.
Castleford came out firing in the second half and with a charge up field from Frankie Mariano, scrum-half Mark Sneyd dummied over the line and then converted his own effort to level things up.
Trailing by four points going into the final minutes of the game, Castleford showed real sprit as skipper Shenton broke clear and in support was Mariano who scored the decisive try. Sneyd kicked the extras then a drop goal as the Tigers claimed their second successive win at the death as Hull ‘ efforts went unrewarded in this entertaining game.