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First Utility Super League XIX Round 8 Review
Round 8 of the First Utility Super League saw St Helens once again came from behind to keep thier 100% record intact.
Leeds Rhinos moved up to second with a one sided win over local rivals Wakefield Wildcats and Wigan Warriors made it four wins on the bounce with a comeback win over winless London Broncos.
There were also big wins for the two Hull clubs Rovers and FC ahead of their show down next Thursday, when the double round of games take place over the Easter holiday weekend.
Below you will find a full round up of how all the games went:
Tries: Talanoa, Whiting, Rankin, Houghton, Miller, Hadley
Goals: Rankin, Whiting
Huddersfield Giants 6
Hull FC got a much needed win at the KC Stadium as they handed out a fourth successive defeat to Huddersfield Giants.
Both teams headed into the contest on the back of heartbreaking Tetley's Challenge Cup defeat and for Hull they were also looking to avenge thier embarrassing 76-18 defeat at Huddersfield in last year's play-offs.
The Black and Whites got the start they wanted as they made the most of a poor start by the visitors. Scoot Grix lost the ball and minutes later Fetuli Talanoa powered his way over the line to get the hosts on thier way.
Try number two soon followed also courtesy of an error by Joe Wardle who flicked a loose pass by Danny Brough back infield but only into the path of Richard Whiting ,who touchdown with ease.
Now in total control, Hull added another when ex Gold Coast Titan Jordan Rankin squeezed over on the line. The try scorer added the extras before minutes later a superb break down the right by Whiting ended with Danny Houghton scoring under the sticks to make it 20-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Led by Danny Brough, the Giants finally got into the game and reduced the deficit to 20-6 at the break thanks to Jodie Broughton scoring out wide.
Huddersfield made a better start to the second half but failed to narrow the gap and after good work by Gareth Ellis in stripping the ball off Brough, moments later Jacob Miller leaped high to claim Rankin's kick and score underneath the posts.
The final score of the game came on the sixty minute mark as Dean Hadley picked up Kirk Yeaman grubber kick to slide over the line.
Both teams were reduced to 12 men on 64 minutes when Brough and Whiting were sin-binned after an altercation, but there were further additions to the score as The Black and Whites calmed a moral boosting win.
Tries: Purtell, Sidlow, Kear, Henry
Goals: Foster 4
Salford Red Devils 38
Tries: Mullaney, Sa'u, Smith, Ashurst, Puletua, Chase, Meli
Goals: Mullaney 5
Salford Red Devils gave new coach Iestyn Harris the perfect start as they saw off bottom of the table Bradford Bulls at the Provident Stadium Odsal.
Head coach Harris, a former Bradford player, moved from assistant at Wigan to take over the reins from Brian Noble, at the Red Devils, earlier on this week.
Bradford were looking for a win to try and cut the gap and get on terms with other teams around them at the bottom of the Super League table.
The visitors made the better start and got on thier way when Rangi Chase sent Gareth Hock through a gap on the 40-metre line and Jake Mullaney was in support to score.
Back came the hosts and after building the pressure, Adrian Purtell charged over beside the posts leaving Jamie Foster with the easy goal to make it 6-4.
In the final fifteen minutes of the first half Salford hit back with three tries. Firstly Junior Sa'u scored from close range and after good work by Tommy Lee and Chase Tim Smith scored the next one.
Chase again at the heart of everything for the Red Devils setup Matty Ashurst for the visitors fourth try as they opened up a useful 22-6 lead at Half Time.
The Bulls knew they needed to score first after the break and they delivered when Adam O'Brien got Adam Sidlow over the line to score against his old club.
Tony Puletua gave Salford some breathing space only for Elliot Kear to score a well deserved try to give the hosts late hope.
But Chase steadied any nerves the visitors might have had despite Adam Henry grabbing a further consolation try three minutes from time.
However, it was the Red Devils day as Francis Meli scored in the last minute to hand out a fifth successive defeat to the Bulls which leaves them still on minus two points - two adrift of London Broncos at the foot of the table - and with a daunting run of fixtures against Leeds, Wigan, Warrington and St Helens to come in the next few weeks.
Castleford Tigers 28
Tries: Webster, Shenton 2, Millington, Carney
Goal: Sneyd 4
Tries: Soliola, Lomax, Makinson, Turner, Wellens, Swift
Goals: Walsh 3
St Helens once again left it late as they denied Castleford Tigers at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle to remain unbeaten.
It was second against first as the Tigers were looking to be the first side to knock Saints of thier perch and the hosts go the start they wanted.
From the kick-off Jon Wilkin knocked-on and Jake Webster got things underway by taking Daryl Clark's short pass to score. Marc Sneyd added the extras.
Justin Carney setup the next score for Castleford as he collected Liam Finn's high kick to send over ex Saint Michael Shenton.
A grubber kick from Sneyd then bounced awkwardly for Saints and created a try for loose forward Grant Millington and then the half back landed his third conversion to make it 18-0.
St Helens finally got into the contest and pulled one back on 27 minutes when second rower Sia Soliola took Wilkin's pass to power his way over the line.
Luke Walsh's goal made it 18-6 but the Tigers continued with thier purple patch and struck again when Shenton scooped up a wayward pass from Jordan Turner to score his second try of the night to make give his side a useful looking 24-6 lead at the break.
Saint legend Paul Wellens -playing in his Super record breaking 414thgame- was brought on to the field in the second half and his presence turned things around for the League Leaders.
Full-back Jonny Lomax took a return pass from centre Josh Jones to touch down wide out and right winger Tom Makinson produced a trademark flying finish in the other corner as the gap was down to ten points.
But to thier credit, on the hour mark, Castleford hit back when Carney won the race to Sneyd's kick to the corner.
However, three tries in the final 12 minutes for the visitors turned the game on its head. Firstly Turner collected Wilkin's kick on 67 minutes to start the fightback and then Wellens finished off a thrilling crossfield move for his 1,000th point of his illustrious career.
Then with time running out young Saints winger Adam Swift was the hero as he gathered Wilkin's pass to cross for the winning try which kept his side 100% record intact.
Leeds Rhinos 42
Tries: Sutcliffe, Hall, Briscoe, Ablett, Peacock, Clarkson, Burrow
Goals: Sinfield 7
Wakefield Wildcats 6
Leeds Rhinos move into second place with another commanding win over Wakefield Wildcats at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
It was déjà Vue as the Rhinos and Wildcats played each other for the second time in five days. Last Sunday Leeds hammered the Wakefield 60-6 in the Challenge Cup and most people were expecting more of the same.
The Rhinos called it "JP" day at Headingley as they celebrated the 500th game of former England captain Jamie Peacock's career against the side he played against in his first game some 15 years ago.
And it was no surprise on nine minutes when Liam Sutcliffe got Leeds on thier way after good work by Ryan Hall and Joel Moon.
Five minutes later Rob Burrow setup the second try of the game as his kick was taken out of the air by Hall.
It was now all one-way traffic as superb interplay between Kevin Sinfield and Kallum Watkins created the space for Mitch Achurch to dummy and pass back inside for Tom Briscoe to score an easy try.
After forcing three line drop outs before the break, the pressure told and Carl Ablett crashed over the line for the host ‘ fourth try of the first half.
Sinfield made it four from four with the boot to give the Rhinos a 24-0 lead at the interval and effectively end any hope for the Wildcats.
To thier credit, Wakefield defended much better in the second half and they kept Leeds until the 55thminute, when the man of the moment Peacock reacted quickest to Burrow's short kick to touchdown in his special game.
Chris Clarkson added try number six for the hosts to make it 36-0, before Jarrod Sammut finished off a break by ex Leeds hooker Paul Mc Shane for a consolation.
However, Burrow would have the last say in the game as he scampered over late on to complete another empathic win for the Rhinos who stay on the heels of League Leaders St Helens.
Warrington Wolves 12
Tries: Myler 2
Goals: Bridge 2
Hull KR 25
Tries: Weyman 2, Burns, Keating
Goals: Burns 4
Drop Goal: Burns
Hull KR ran out victors at the H.J. Stadium to inflict a third home defeat on Warrington Wolves this season.
After losing narrowly to the Wolves last Sunday , in the Challenge Cup, Rovers were looking for revenge and hoping to claim thier first way win since beating Leeds at Headingley last August, but were given a boost when Craig Hall returned from a four match absent due to injury.
Warrington had to make the changes as they were without Ben Westwood., Roy Asotasi, Mickey Higham and Ben Evans, but they welcomed back Ben Harrison and Brad Dwyer for their first appearances of the season.
Despite having most of the play in the first half the hosts missed chances to score and four minutes before the break ex Panther Travis Burns crashed through his former team mate Trent Waterhouse's tackle to send the supporting Michael Weyman over under the posts. Burns added the extras to make it 6-0 to Rovers.
After the resumption Hull KR extended their lead when Kris Keating's kick rebounded off Richard Myler for Burns to touchdown and make it 12-0.
Keating made it 18-0 when he took Burns ‘ pass on the hour mark. Moments after Warrington got on the scoreboard with Myler backing up Ryan Atkins' break to cross and Chris Bridge added the conversion.
Burns landed a one pointer for Rovers to extend the lead to 19-6 before Weyman added a second try 11 minutes from time to clinch the points.
Michael Monaghan had the last say in the game by putting Myler over for his second try but this was only a consolation as Hull KR claimed a well deserved win.
Wigan Warriors 36
Tries: Clubb 2, Sarginson 2, Thornley 2, Bowen
Goals: Williams 4
London Broncos 14
Tries: O'Callaghan, McMeeken, Macani
Wigan Warriors came from behind at the DW Stadium to keep London Broncos winless this season.
Dan Sarginson and Tony Clubb came up against their former club for the first time as Wigan coach Shaun Wane left out Matty Smith, Ben Flower and Liam Farrell, but did bring back Matty Bowen.
London were without the suspended Nick Slyney and injured George Griffin stunned the home fans as they took the lead after just three minutes. Gil Dudson knocked on and shortly later Jamie O'Callaghan touched down for an unconverted try.
This gave the Broncos real confidence and it soon became 10-0 London when McMeeken strolled over the line. Josh Drinkwater added the conversion.
Wigan finally awoke from thier slumber and hit back with three tries in the final thirteen minutes of the first half to take control.
Ex Londoner, Clubb started the comeback by taking a pass from Joe Burgess to score in the corner. Sarginson then collected a long ball from Green to also score against his former employers to level things up and then Ian Thornley showed good footwork to go under the posts.
Youngster George Williams kicked his second goal to give the Warriors a narrow 16-10 lead at the break.
The second half got very scrappy with the hosts dominating all the possession but not really creating any real openings until the final quarter when they added four further tries.
On 63 minutes Clubb took a quick tap from a penalty to barge over for his second and then in the final 10 minutes Sarginson and Thornley both added doubles with Iliess Macani responding for the Broncos.
Bowen had the final say as he outpaced a tired Broncos defence to score with last play of the game as Wigan made it four wins on the bounce.
Catalan Dragons 42
Tries: Pomeroy 2, Whitehead 3, Escare, Duport 2, Millard
Goals: Bosc 2, Escare
Widnes Vikings 20
Tries: Flynn, White, Owens 2
Goals: Tickle 2
Catalan Dragons scored 9-tries to run out easy winners over Widnes Vikings at Gilbert Brutus Stadium in Perpignan.
After two successive home wins over Huddersfield and London, Catalan were hoping for more of the same as they took on Widnes Vikings who had only suffered one defeat this year at Leeds.
The Dragons made the running early on and good work by Eloi Pelissier led to ex Shark Centre Ben Pomeroy powering his way over the line on five minutes.
A few minutes later, Catalan made it 8-0 when Pelissier and Leon Pryce combined to send Elliott Whitehead in; once again Thomas Bosc missed the conversion.
Soon after it became 14-0 with try of the match Morgan Escare went the length of the field after returning Kevin Brown's kick.
Widnes dusted themselves down and clawed back into the contest when Declan Hulme and Rhys Hanbury combined to send in Paddy Flynn to score. IT was soon game on as Jack Owens pounced on Brown's kick to the corner.
But, the comeback was short lived as Whitehead latched onto Pryce's pass to score his second try of the afternoon. Bosc missed another shot at goal leaving the half time score 18-10.
After the resumption, the Dragons upped the tempo and began to dominate Vincent Duport scored try number five taking a long pass from Whitehead. Pomeroy made it a double 10 minutes later, and from the restart, Whitehead picked up a loose ball and raced 40 metres to score under the posts for a hat-trick. Bosc found his range to make it 32-10.
Flynn ‘ superb offloaded got Lloyd White over for a consolation but Catalan were back in charge as Duport chased his own kick through to score down the right. Millard scored try number nine in a big win for the hosts.
But at least the Vikings had the final say when Hep Cahill sent Owens in for his second try in the final minute but the visitors were well beaten.
Ladder after Round 8
|8||Salford Red Devils||8||4||0||4||161||200||8|