FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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After Leeds Rhinos became World Club Champions on Friday night by defeating Manly Sea Eagles, attention turned to Round 3 of the Stobart Super League and take a look at what happened in a high scoring weekend of games.
Catalan Dragons 28
Tries: Bosc, Duport, Millard 2, Baitieri
Goals: Dureau 4
Castleford Tigers 20
Tries: Griffin 3, Arundel
Goals: Dixon 2
Catalan Dragons turned in a strong second half performance by coming from behind to deny Castleford Tigers at Gilbert Brutus Stadium in Perpignan.
After seeing last week's game called off for a frozen pitch, the hosts brought forward the kick to the middle of the afternoon.
But, it was the Tigers who made a bright start and took the lead when Rangi Chase � cut out pass found Josh Griffin who dived in at the corner.
The lead was short lived as Clint Greenshields came into the line to create the overlap for Thomas Bosc to score.
Both teams were involved in a brawl which resulted in Steve Nash and Jason Batieri spending a spell in the sin-bin. Griffin then pounced on a mix-up between Leon Pryce and Sebastien Raguin to regain the lead for the visitors by racing in from 40 metres out.
Chase bumped off an attempted tackle from Scott Dureau to send Joe Arundel away as Castleford went into half time with a 16-6 lead.
In the early stages of the second half Catalan got back into the game after good work from Ian Henderson led to Vincent Duport scoring out wide.
Dureau missed the conversion and the Tigers went down to the other end of the ground and increase their lead to 20-10 thanks to Griffin who completed his hat-trick.
However, the Dragons would not lie down and stunned Castleford by storming back. On 55-minutes Henderson's kick to the left found Daryl Millard who dived over to score.
Leon Pryce and Greenshields created the opening for Millard to make it a double and with Dureau adding the extras the Dragons took the lead 22-20 with just over ten minutes remaining.
Then, with seven minutes left, Dureau and Steve Menzies both threw dummies to allow Baitieri to score the match winning try as the French outfit made it two from two.
Huddersfield Giants 22
Tries: Brough, Crabtree, Chan, Eden
Goals: Brough 3
Warrington Wolves 32
Tries: Riley 2, Bridge, Monaghan, Blythe, Myler
Goals: Briers 4
Warrington Wolves remained unbeaten as they saw off Huddersfield Giants in a brutal game at the Galpharm Stadium.
The Giants came into this game in good form with impressive wins over Wigan and Widnes.
Warrington skipper Adrian Morley was playing his 400th club match and his side got off to the best possible start when a fast flowing move ended with winger Chris Riley squeezing in at the left hand corner.
But, they suffered some disruption as both Simon Grix and his replacement Ben Harrison were helped off the field with leg injuries which left the visitors with only two interchanges players left on the bench.
Huddersfield made the most of this and hit back as a break by livewire hooker Luke Robinson was finished off by Danny Brough. Big prop Eorl Crabtree then produced a devastating sidestep to crash over for a try on his landmark 300th appearance for the club. Brough converted both tries to make it 12-4.
In the last ten minutes of the first half Warrington showed their quality and hit back with two quick-fire tries. Ryan Atkins and Richie Myler combined to get Riley over for his second and the visitors drew level when centre Chris Bridge dummied his way over the line. Lee Briers kicked the conversion as the visitors went into the break with a narrow 14-12 advantage.
At The early stages of the second half, the game looked like it was getting out of hand as both sets of players went at each other. Huddersfield captain Kevin Brown was placed on report for appearing to lead with his elbow and referee Phil Bentham was forced to speak to both skippers in an effort to calm tempers.
Play continued to flow from end-to-end and eventually Tommy Lee � short pass led to Jason Chan crashing over the line as once again the hosts led.
However, this spurred Warrington on and they upped the tempo to take control. Joel Monaghan plucked Ben Westwood's floated pass out of the air to touch down and substitute Matty Blythe was first to reach Briers' clever stabbed kick on the last tackle.
Briers added both conversions to make it 26-16 but Huddersfield would not go away and they were given some hope when full-back Greg Eden forced his way over. Brough's third goal of the game cut the deficit to 26-22.
But this was as close as they got as Westwood had the ball ripped out of his grasp by Joe Wardle and Myler scooped up possession to race over for the match winning try as Warrington ended the Giants winning start to Stobart Super League XVII.
Bradford Bulls 16
Tries: Crookes, Kearney, Sammut
Goals: Sammut 2
Wigan Warriors 54
Tries: Farrell 2, Charnley 2, Goulding 2, Hock, Richards, Tuson 2
Goals: Richards 6, Tomkins
Wigan Warriors ran in 10 tries to demolish Bradford Bulls at Odsal Stadium.
The Bulls gave debuts to Keith Lulia and Phil Joseph, but they suffered a major blow on nine minutes when main playmaker Luke Gale was carried off the field with ankle ligament damage.
Sam Tomkins did the damage as he created an overlap for Darrell Goulding to send winger Josh Charnley over for the opening try of the game.
It got even better for the Warriors as points machine Pat Richards and Gareth Hock both got over the whitewash to increase the lead to 16-0 after 22 minutes.
Bradford were given some hope as Jason Crookes touched down Brett Kearney's pinpoint kick to the corner. New signing Jarrod Sammut, who was not having his best game after twice failing to find touch with penalty kicks, made amends by landing the touchline conversion and then he scored a superb 80-metre breakaway try, pouncing on a loose pass from Tomkins and accelerating away.
With the hosts now only trailing by six points they undid much of their good work by conceding a sloppy try on half time to Wigan substitute Chris Tuson as he took his side lead to 22-10.
The visitors made a dream start to the second half as within 90 seconds of the restart Goulding made the most of some soft tackling to score his first try of the season before Tuson took Brett Finch's pass to wrong foot Kearney for his second try of the game.
Substitute Liam Farrell was on hand to finish off a Richards break and, with the winger clearly winded by his efforts, Tomkins kicked the conversion.
The floodgates began to open as Goulding and Charnley both scored their second touchdowns of the game. Kearny pulled one back for the Bulls but it was not their day.
Richards fittingly had the final say when he broke clear to send Farrell over for his second try and kicked his sixth conversion as Wigan romped home for a comprehensive win.
Hull FC 22
Tries: Briscoe, Yeaman, Westerman, McKinnon
Goals: Tickle 3
London Broncos 14
Tries: Melling, Dorn, Robertson
Twelve men Hull FC were force to hold on for a win over London Broncos at the KC Stadium.
After been frozen off in Perpignan last Saturday, the Black and Whites were desperate for the game against the Londoners who were looking for their first win of the season after tough games against St Helens and Warrington Wolves.
Brett Seymour made his eagerly awaited debut for Hull and the hosts took the lead after some poor defending by the Broncos saw Tom Briscoe touchdown in the corner.
Ex Manly Sea Eagle Michael Robertson scored his third try of the season after given the nod of the video referee when he had no space to spare in the right hand corner.
Hull brought on substitute forward Joe Westerman and he managed to twist his way over the line to regain his side the lead. However, moments later he suffered a dislocated shoulder and had to leave the field.
On 32 minutes ex Warrior Wade Mackinnon gathered a kick thorugh to send the Black and Whites into the interval with 16-4 lead.
After the break Willie Manu caused havoc in the Broncos defence and he shrugged off Robertson's tackle to feed England Centre Kirk Yeaman on the inside to score.
The Londoners started to get a foothold in the game and they were given an advantage as Sam Moa was shown a red card for knocking Julien Rinaldi out cold with a shoulder charge to the face.
Luke Dorn made the most of the extra man advantage to give his team some hope.
Ex London winger Will Sharp made a hash of Craig Gower's grubber and spilled the ball in goal, only for Chris Melling to react first, but Witt missed the kick and this was as close as the visitors got.
Hull managed to hold on as they grounded out a win to remain unbeaten.
Hull KR 36
Tries: Welham, McDonnell, D. Hodgson, J. Hodgson, Mika 2
Goals: Hall 6
St Helens 36
Tries: Flannery, Roby, Soliola, Shenton, Meli 2, Wellens
Goals: Foster 4
St Helens snatched a point with the last kick of the game in a thrilling draw with Hull KR at Craven Park.
Saints were out of the blocks quickly and took the lead on six minutes thorugh Sia Soliola. Michael Shenton added another shortly after in his first appearance since dislocating his elbow in the Grand Final.
It was 14-0 after 17-minutes as England hooker James Roby scooted over from dummy half.
But, Rovers who were without playmakers Michael Dobson and Blake Green would not lie down and stunned the visitors by hitting back to lead 18-14. Dave Hodgson started things off by grounding Lincoln Withers' close-range grubber kick.
On the back of several penalties the hosts got near the Saints line where Withers was provider again as Con Mika scored his side � second try.
Suddenly Rovers had all the momentum and Shannon McDonnell scored his first try in Super League as the comeback was complete.
However, St Helens gained some possession and Chris Flannery charged through to restore the visitors lead.
The Red and Whites finished off the thrilling first half in style to gain a 24-20 lead at the break as Josh Hodgson scored the game's eighth try.
In the open nine minutes of the second period Saints hit back to lead 30-20 with Francis Meli and Paul Wellens both getting over the try line.
Rovers dusted themselves down and created an opening for Mika to power through for his second try of the game. Craig Hall's fifth successful goal tied things yup at 30-30 with over 25 minutes left on the clock.
Kris Welham broke the deadlock on 65 minutes after a fine offload from Graeme Horne.
But, in this high scoring game there would be a twist in the tale Meli scored his second of the game but Jamie Foster missed the kick which would have levelled things up.
Seconds before the final hooter sounded, Saints were awarded a penalty after Mickey Paea's high shot on Tony Puletua. Foster cooley slotted the goal over and earned his team a point in the highest scoring draw in Super League history.
Widnes Vikings 18
Tries: Ah Van 2, Flynn
Goals: Hanbury, Ah Van 2
Salford City Reds 38
Tries: Paleaaesina, Broughton, Patten 2, Holdsworth 2, Owen
Goals: Holdsworth 5
Salford City turned in a dominant first half performance to ease past Widnes Vikings at the Stobart Stadium to claim their first win of 2012.
Both teams were desperate for the two points after failing to collect anything from their first two games.
A mistake by Ben Cross led to Daniel Holdsworth opening the scoring for the visitors on two minutes. Ex Bulldog Luke Pattern made it 12-0 as he took Matty Smith's pass to touchdown.
It got even better for the City Reds as Danny Williams superb break was finished off by Pattern. Finally Widnes gained some territory and Patrick Ah Van got over the line to cut the gap.
The Vikings then lost Ben Kavanagh who was carried off on a stretcher, with a suspected snapped Achilles tendon when appeared to catch his studs in the controversial 4Gpitch after fielding a kick with no Salford defender in close proximity.
It affected Widnes as Holdsworth brushed off Jon Clarke's poor tackle and booted his third conversion to stretch the lead to 22-6.
Patten, who was having a tremendous game alongside Holdsworth and Smith, sent Jodie Broughton over and when new signing ex Rooster Anthony Watts was sin-binned for dissent , Salford effectively won the game as Gareth Owen nipped over from dummy-half to give them a commanding 32-6 lead at the interval.
Iafeta Paleaaesina continued the City Reds dominance after the restart as he powered his way over the line from Owen � pass with Widnes still a man down.
Watts returned from the sin-bin but went off almost immediately with a leg injury.
Ah Van and Paddy Flynn both score consolation as Widnes gave their fans something to cheer, but they are still without a win since their return to the big time.