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First Utility Super League XIX - Round 9 Review
Round 9 of the First Utility Super League was part one of the double round Easter period where each team plays twice in three days.
So below we review all the action:-
Leeds Rhinos 46
This used to be one of the biggest games in Super League but the Bulls are a shadow of the team which dominated the early years of the competition.
The Rhinos hit the ground running quickly and effectively killed off the game inside the first fourteen minutes when they ran in 4 unanswered tries to lead 20-4, as Bradford managed only two sets of possession.
Try number three duly followed as McGuire jinked his way over for a fine solo effort Hall was played in by Moon for another touchdown as it became far too easy for the men from Headingley.
After 22 minutes from an attacking kick by Rhinos full-back Zak Hardaker, the Bulls had some joy as stand-off Lee Gaskell collected the ball and raced 80-meters to score his first try for the club.
Luke Gale added the conversion to make it 20-6 after 22 minutes and that the score at the break.
However, it did not take long for Leeds to continue thier dominance as Hall added a quickfire brace to complete a hat trick as the score ballooned out to 30-6.
Bradford missed a clear-cut scoring opportunity when Kearney broke free from halfway only for the supporting Danny Bridge to drop the final pass.
The tempo was increased by the Rhinos and Liam Sutcliffe, who spent a month on loan to Bradford earlier in the season, got his name on the scoresheet.
Kallum Watkins added another before Rob Burrow-making his 400th appearance for Leeds - followed up Carl Ablett's break to round the scoring off as Leeds stayed in touch with League leaders St Helens as Bradford woes continue still 8 points off safety at the bottom of the table.
Hull KR 21
Hull took the game to Rovers and the early pressure told on 12 minutes when Jordan Rankin saw a gap and stretched out to score.
It took until 37 minutes before the next score arrived and it was the home side that got it as Mick Weyman went over from close range.
Burns added the extras as the team from the East side of Hull led 10-4 at the interval.
Both teams had tries chalked off by the video referee which setup an exciting final quarter of the game.
Enter ex Black and White Graeme Horner who helped himself two a quick-fire brace as Rovers led 20-10.
Danny Houghton burrowed over to give FC some hope and this end-to-end game was soon 20-20 as Kirk Yeaman sent Fetuli Talanoa over in the corner. Richard Whiting unable to add the extras and this led to a sensational finish.
Catalan Dragons held off a late surge by the London Broncos to claim the points at The Hive.
Good defence by Catalan kept London out and this led to quickfire scores around the half hour mark. Zeb Taia muscling his way over from close range after Escare wriggled out of a tackle. French international half back William Barthau then found a huge gap in the hosts defence to score next to the posts.
In the early stages of the second half, the Broncos lay siege to the Dragons line but they could not breach it and Eloi Pelissier stormed over from dummy-half to increase the visitors lead.
On 65 minutes, Vincent Duport squeezed over in the corner and this looked to have ended any hope for the hosts.
However, to their credit the Londoners did not throw the towel in and shocked Catalan by scoring three tries in the final ten minutes of the game.
Caton-Brown showed great speed to score the first then Nesi Mataitonga adding another moments later.
In a frantic finale Denny Solomona crossed in the corner but this was only a consolation for the winless Broncos as the French outfit claimed thier third win of the campaign.
After having three close battles recently, Saints put thier 100% record on the line against thier greatest rivals last year's double winners Wigan Warriors.
The house full signs were out at Langtree Park as the ground record was broken. It took Wigan just three minutes to open the scoring as a mistake by St Helens prop Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was punished by Sean O'Loughlin who scored from close range.
The storm was weathered by the Warriors and they took control of the game by adding two tries in five minutes to lead 18-6. O'Loughlin supported a half-break by Blake Green to send over Dan Sarginson for the first and then Liam Farrell took a pass one-handed to finish off good work by Joe Burgess after he had re-gathered Green's chip over the Saints defence.
In this blockbuster game, back came the hosts as Makinson took Walsh's cut-out pass to grab his second try and stand-off Lance Hohaia sent over Jordan Turner for try number four.
Walsh managed only one conversion to leave his side trailing 18-14 and on the half time hooter Matty Smith added a penalty goal to increase the lead to six points at the interval.
It would be one-way traffic in the second half as Wigan were very clinical .Farrell scored his second try immediately at after the resumption in freakish fashion, when his kick ahead rebounded off Lomax into his arms for a stroll to the line.
Bateman, switched from the second row to the centre following the loss of Ian Thornley, showed great skills with superb offload to send Burgess away in a 50-meter run to the line.
Smith made it 32-14 with his sixth goal and put the gloss on an impressive win for the Champions by kicking a drop goal in the 67minute as St Helens finally tasted defeat for the first time this season.
It was the Wolves who made the fast start and after just four minutes Gareth O'Brien scored the game's first try. Minutes later O'Brien turned provider as his kick to the corner was seized on by Joel Monaghan. Chris Bridge kicked the difficult conversion to make it 12-0.
Two more would follow before the break as Warrington were in total control. Michael Monaghan went over from dummy half and just before the interval Bridge finished off Mickey Higham' break to make it 24-0
The onslaught continued in the early stages of the second half when O'Brien's long pass allowed Rhys Evans to dive over in the corner. Young forward Ben Currie was next to touchdown and then Evans made it a double as by the hour mark the hosts lead was out to 38-0.
At last Widnes had something to show when Paddy Flynn scored a late consolation try but this was short lived as Ryan Atkins crossed in the final seconds to complete the rout as Warrington got some confidence back.
After blowing a 24-6 lead against Saints last week, the Tigers were looking to consolidate third place in the First Utility Super League against great rivals Wakefield Wildcats who had suffered two maulings by Leeds Rhinos in thier last couple of games.
After just four minutes, the visitors took the lead as powerhouse winger Justin Carney swatted off the defenders to score.
The Wildcats got some ball and hit back when Paul McShane cleverly jinked over from dummy half, but then the hooker turned villain as he lost the ball and shortly after Richard Owen made him pay by touching down.
Ben Sammut pulled another one back for Wakefield but Castleford finished the period strongly with Owen getting his second before Scott Wheeldon crossed on the half time hooter to make it 26-12.
Needing a good start to the second half, the Wildcats delivered Rhys Lynne and Sammut both dotted down in the opening minutes to make it 26-20.
Sneyd added a drop goal to ensure there would be no way back for Wakefield, whose misery was compounded when Clark and Wheeldon both touched down after breakaway moves late on to complete an emphatic win for Cas.
New Red Devils Coach Iestyn Harris was hoping mark his first home game with win over out of sort Huddersfield Giants.
Huddersfield looked a different team as they hit Salford with three tries in the opening 12 minutes of the game.
Lunt then re-gathered his own kick over the Red Devils defence and the supporting Scott Grix kicked ahead for Brough to touch down to make it 18-0.
Salford finally got on the scoreboard on 25 minutes when Francis Meli collected a long pass from Rangi Chase and then veteran prop Adrian Morley raced in from 20 metres out to score his first try for his home-town club.
Murphy scored his second try six minutes before the break to make it 22-10.
Chase kept hosts in the game as he picked up a loose ball and managed to get Meli over for his second try of the game.
Jermaine McGillvary and Chris Bailey added two quick-fire touchdowns as the Giants once more took control. In this high scoring game Matty Ashurst pulled a try back on the hour but Brough kicked a penalty and then Murphy scored his hat-trick to end any hope for the hosts.
The Red Devils had the final say when Meli completed his hat-trick four minutes from the end but the game had already gone as Huddersfield got back to winning ways.