Stobart Super League XVII - Round 5 Review
It was Round 5 of the Stobart Super League and despite some bad weather conditions, on Sunday we still saw some good games and below we have a look at how things went:
Castleford Tigers 14
Tries: Milner, Dixon, Griffin
Leeds Rhinos 36
Tries: Hall 3, Watkins, McGuire, Hood
Goals: Sinfield 6
Leeds Rhinos held off a spirited Castleford Tigers fight back, to run out comfortable winners at the Probiz Coliseum.
After suffering a mauling last week, at the hands of Wigan, the Tigers were itching to get at their great local rivals Leeds Rhinos, who came into this one in good form.
As both sides field each other out it was the visitors from Headingley who finally broke the deadlock, on ten minutes, after some good work by Danny McGuire, England winger Ryan Hall showed his clinical finishing by scoring out wide. Kevin Sinfield added the extras from the touchline.
After both sides had tries disallowed, Hall again was on the mark after he brushed off two Castleford defenders to make it 12-0.
On 28-minutes it was 18-0 as the Tigers attacked the Leeds line, centre Kallum Watkins stole possession from Castleford prop Nathan Massey and raced in from 80-metres out.
In the closing stages of the first half, Castleford showed some real spirit as they hit back to get a foothold in the game. Young hooker Daryl Clark went over next to the posts and Kirk Dixon also touched down from close range as the lead was cut to 18-10.
Shortly after the restart it got even better for the hosts as Josh Griffin, continued his run of scoring in every game this year by collecting a pass from Brent Webb, which had ricocheted off Zak Hardaker, to race 90-meters. Unfortunately Dixon who was having an off day with the boot could not convert and the gap was only narrowed by four points.
The Rhinos then began to have more possession, but Castleford' defence held firm until that man Hall made it hat-trick after finishing off a break out in defence by Ben Jones-Bishop.
In the last five minutes, Leeds added two more to run out easy winners. McGuire jinked over from about 20-meters out and young hooker Lima Hood-making his first team debut-took a quick tap penalty and scooted over from close range. Sinfield maintained his 100% record kicking six from six as the Rhinos kept the pressure on the teams at the top of the table.
Salford City Reds 44
Tries: Gleeson 2, Adamson, Smith, Nero 2, Moon, Paleaaesina
Goals: Holdsworth 6
London Broncos 12
Tries: Howell, Kaufusi
Goals: Witt 2
Salford City Reds handed out another heavy defeat to the London Broncos by running in eight tries at the Salford City Stadium.
London Broncos were looking to put to an end their loosing run which as not seem them win a game since last August. Salford and the other hand were hoping to make it three wins on the bounce.
The Londoners made a good start and might have taken the lead but some good defence by Daniel Holdsworth kept Michael Robertson out.
On 14 minutes ex Bulldog Luke Pattern made a brilliant 40-meter run to set up Chris Nero for the opening score. It got even better for the City Reds as Iafeta Paleaaesina put Holdsworth through a gap for the supporting Luke Adamson to cross and stretch the lead to 8-0.
Holdsworth was pulling the strings and on 32-minutes his pass led to half-back partner Matty Smith going over. Just before the break Paleaaesina blasted his over the line as the hosts took complete control with a 20-0 advantage.
It got even worst for the visitors as early into the second half both Salford half-backs combined for Sean Gleeson to make it 26-0.
The floodgates now started to open as the Broncos had no answer to the pace and power of the City Reds. Joel Moon finished off a touchline run from Nero before turning provider for his wing partner.
Gleeson made it a double as Salford moved into a 42-0 lead. David Howell and Antonio Kaufusi did manage to stop a whitewash by scoring a try a piece late on but these were only consolations as the Broncos were well beaten and remain at the wrong end of the table as the City Reds continue their good form.
Bradford Bulls 10
Tries: Crookes, Diskin
Warrington Wolves 23
Tries: Waterhouse, Atkins, Riley, Higham
Goals: Bridge 3
Drop Goal: Briers
League Leaders Warrington Wolves were made to work for their win over Bradford Bulls at Odsal.
Bradford were looking to back up last week's good win at Wakefield but they were up against the unbeaten Wolves who were looking to cement top spot , but they had to do without hugely influential hooker Michael Monaghan and England second rower Ben Westwood, who picked up an injury in training.
The Bulls made the better start and took the lead on 5-minutes as hooker Matt Diskin, forced his way over from acting half-back on the last tackle. Jarrod Sammut added the extras.
Warrington got a foothold in the game and opened their account through winger Chris Riley, who took a cut-out pass from Brett Hodgson to cross out wide.
The hosts were the better team for most of the first half and had two efforts ruled out by the video referee.
And unfortunately they found themselves trailing at the break as with a rare attack in the Bulls 20 Mickey Higham dummied his way over from acting half-back and Chris Bridge's goal made it 10-6
Warrington were clinical in attack and they went further ahead in the second period when Ryan Atkins picked up the loose ball to race 80 metres for a breakaway try.
Ex Panther second rower Trent Waterhouse made sure that the Wolves would go home with the pints as he stretched out to plant the ball on the line for his side's fourth try and Briers put the icing on the cake by adding a drop goal.
Bradford grabbed a deserved consolation score when winger Jason Crookes scored at the corner but it was not there day and despite pushing the League Leaders all the way they could not prevent themselves going down to a third successive home defeat this year.
Huddersfield Giants 17
Tries: George 3
Goals: Brough 3
Drop Goal: Bough
St Helens 16
Tries: Lomax, Gaskell, Gardner
Goals: Lomax 2
Huddersfield Giants edged past St Helens in a thriller at the Galpharm Stadium.
On the back of conceding 70-points in their last two outings, St Helens coach Royce Simmons was hoping for a much better showing from his defence.
The hosts were looking to cement their place in the top three and after making a bright start they took the lead on 16-minutes as Luke Robinson's pass found Luke George who went in at the corner.
Led by their young half-backs Jonny Lomax and Lee Gaskell, they hit back as the latter jinked thorugh the hosts defence to score, but they suffered a major blow was influential hooker James Roby was helped off the field with a serious looking knee injury.
With the game finally balanced Lomax pounced on a mistake by Leroy Cudjoe to send Saints into the break with a 12-4 advantage.
In the early stages of the second period the Giants ht back after good work by Michael Lawrence and Kevin Brown saw George go over for a double. Danny Brough converted from the touchline.
Brough missed a penalty goal, but he made amends for this as he collected Gaskell's kick five metres from his own line and went on a glorious 50-metre run before finding Scott Grix, who sent George over the line to complete his hat-tick.
Then the scrum-half kicked the conversion before putting Huddersfield into a 17-12 lead by kicking a drop goal.
However, St Helens hit back and closed to within one-point as winger Ade Gardner squeezed over at the corner, but Lomax's put his conversion well wide as the Giants held on for an important narrow win to keep up the pressure on Warrington and Wigan at the top end of the table.
Hull FC 14
Tries: Sharp, Yeaman
Wakefield Wildcats 10
Tries: Wood, Cockayne
Hull FC got the better of Wakefield Wildcats in hard-fought encounter at the KC Stadium.
It was the return of ex FC coach Richard Agar, who was looking to put one over his old team. Peter Gentle was looking for the hosts to continue their good form at home.
But both sides were hampered by the atrocious conditions in which there was torrential rain mixed in with snow.
The Black and Whites employed a strong defence with some astute kicking and this finally broke the Wildcats as Richard Horne turned the provider for Kirk Yeaman to score the opening try of the game. Danny Tickle kicked two goals as his side went into half time with an 8-0 lead.
As the chances became few and far in the second half, Hull looked to be out of sight as Will Sharp took Tony Martin's pass to score with just under twenty minutes remaining.
However, Wakefield would not be shut out and stunned the hosts with two quick-fires tries to set up a nervy last five minutes. Ben Cockayne took advantage of a mistake by Wade McKinnon and Kyle Wood scrambled over the line to make it 14-10.
Hull managed to hold the Wildcats out and take the points to stay unbeaten in 2012 at the KC Stadium.
Hull KR 36
Tries: Murrell, Hall 2, Withers, J Hodgson, Webster
Goals: Dobson 6
Widnes Vikings 0
Hull KR was too good for the Widnes Vikings as they were shutout at Craven Park.
Again the weather conditions played there part in this game as the pitch turned into mud.
Rovers got off to the perfect start with Lincoln Withers taking Michael Dobson's clever kick through the Widnes defence to score on three minutes.
It was all Hull KR but it took them another ten minutes to extend their lead ex Newcastle Knight Shannon McDonnell sent Jake Webster away on the left-hand side for the big centre to score. Dobson added the extras to make it 12-0.
The hosts pack was making good inroads into the Vikings half and with Dobson and Craig Hall directing things it started to become one-way traffic. Substitute Scott Murrell was introduced into the game and with his first touch, after some more good work by Hall, he dived thorugh the mud to make it 18-0.
It was 24-0 at half time as Rovers fourth try of the game came from a well-worked scrum, in which Hall spotted a gap in the Widnes defence and stretched over the line.
Normal service resumed on 51-minutes as the Robins made it 30-0 with Hall second effort of the afternoon. The conditions got worse and scoring became difficult.
But a brilliant break by prop Scott Taylor, from his own line, led to Josh Hodgson scoring Rovers sixth and final try of the game. Dobson made it six from six as coach Craig Sandercock must be pleased with his side's defensive effort in shutting out the visitors.
As for the poor bottom of the table Widnes Vikings it was a fifth defeat in five games as they struggle to come to terms with the pressure of playing in the Super League.
Wigan Warriors 36
Tries: Hughes, O'Loughlin, Richards, Charnley 2, Leuluai
Goals: Richards 6
Catalan Dragons 12
Tries: Mounis, Dureau
Goals: Dureau 2
Wigan Warriors showed their quality with a brilliant second half performance to run out comfortable winners over Catalan Dragons at the DW Stadium.
After a magnificent fightback to deny St Helens last week, Catalan were hoping to continue their 100% record by seeing off another big Lancashire team this time Wigan Warriors.
After Jack Hughes had spurned an early chance to cross, Scott Dureau kicked the visitors into the lead with a ninth-minute penalty.
A Catalan penalty allowed the Warriors to come straight back and Brett Finch turned provider as he sent half-back partner Thomas Leuluai over in the 15th minute.
Pat Richards added the extras but the French visitors showed their resolve and replied with a superb effort, slick handling by Setaimata Sa and Vincent Duport made the opening for Dureau to dive over in the right corner.
After being denied twice, Wigan made Jean-Philippe Baile pay for his mistake as Richards powered his way over the line.
But once again Catalan rallied and went into the break leading 12-10 as Gregory Mounis managed to reach over the line to score.
However, the second half was going to belong to Wigan as they upped the tempo to make sure that there would be no thrilling comeback this week.
Chris Tuson's offload presented the opportunity for Hughes to charge onto Finch's pass and put the hosts back in front.
As the visitors started to concede a string of penalties, Wigan punished them by moving the ball out wide for Josh Charnley to cross.
Point's machine Richards added a penalty goal as the lead went out to 24-12. The game was put to bed as both Sean O'Loughlin and Charnley added further scores to keep Wigan in second place just one-point behind the league leaders Warrington Wolves as the side from Perpignan suffered a first loss this year.