ICYMI, on Thursday the @NRL - National Rugby League released the 2018 #NRLDraw.
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Bradford Bulls 34 (Bai, Hape, Lynch, McKenna, B.Harris, Pryce, Vainikolo tries; I.Harris 3 goals) v Wigan Warriors 12 (O?Loughlin, Richards tries; Tickle 2 goals). Att: 11,644.
Wigan Warriors sank to the foot of the Engage Super League table as Bradford Bulls overcame wet, foggy conditions to romp home at Odsal Stadium. Wigan, who have had their worst start to a season for 25 years are a pale shadow of the team which dominated British club rugby league in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Bradford raced to a 12-0 lead with tries from Andy Lynch and Ben Harris. The visiting fans did have something to shout about when Wigan?s Skipper Sean O?Loughlin scored after taking a good pass from Danny Orr. Danny Tickles conversion cut the Bulls lead to 6. However, Bradford hit back and extended their lead with two further tries through Shontayne Hape and Karl Pryce to take a 20-6 advantage at the break.
It took the Bulls only 80 seconds at the start of the second half to score their fifth try from Marcus Bai. After both teams struggled in the fog Chris McKenna?s try extended the home teams? lead to 30-6. Wigan then scored a consolation try through Pat Richards, goaled by Tickle. With seven minutes left, Lesley Vainikolo pounced for his 115 try, in only 110 appearances, to round off the scoring.
Hull FC 0 v St Helens 46(Pryce 2, Meli 2, Gardner, Lyon, Hooper, Anderson tries; Lyon 5, Hooper 2 goals). Att: 11,277.
St Helens maintained their 100% record with a very impressive victory over Hull FC at K.C. Stadium. The visitors showed their true credentials for being this year?s champion team with a superb quality performance of attacking rugby and mean defence to shut out a very disappointing Hull side.
After being put under some early pressure, the Saints scored first through Jamie Lyon after a good pass from Ade Gardner. The visitors then put the foot on the pedal and ran in 4 further first half tries through Francis Meli, Ade Gardner, Jason Hooper and Leon Pryce, which gave Saints a 30-0 lead at the break.
Hull?s defensive capabilities improved and they managed to hold out the Saints until the final quarter. Then normal service was resumed with the visitors running in three further tries through Vinny Anderson, Pryce and Meli who both scored their second.
Catalans Dragons 22 (Hughes 2, Wilson, Chan tries; Dobson 3 goals) v Salford City Reds 28 (Moule 2, Coley, Finnigan, Fitzpatrick tries; Hodgson 2 goals). Att: 6,547.
Salford got back to their winning ways with spirited victory over Catalans Dragons at Stade Aime Giral. With the arrival of new coach Mick Potter, the much improving Dragons team took a first minute lead when John Wilson pounced an error by Salford to score.
The visitors hit back and took a 20-6 lead by scoring four tries with man of the match, Karl Fitzpatrick scoring a brace and others coming from Aaron Moule and Andy Coley. On the half-time hooter, Alex Chan cut the lead to 20-12 with a try.
The home team stepped up the pace in the second half and with two tries from Mark Hughes the Dragons looked to be favourites to win the game with a 22-20 lead. However, Salford had other ideas and two late tries from Simon Finnigan and Moule?s second, after a superb long pass from Luke Robinson, gave the visitors a well earned victory.
Harlequins RL 0 v Leeds Rhinos 60 (McGuire 4, Burrow, Poching, Lauitiiti, Feather, Senior, Smith tries; Sinfield 9, Burrow goals). Att: 5,208.
Leeds Rhinos ran riot with 10-try demolition of a poor Harlequins team, who failed to register a single point at a soggy Twickenham Stoop. The home team were missing seven key players and never got a foothold in the game, they conceded 6 first half tries to trail 36-0. Chief architect for the Rhinos was man of the match, Danny McGuire who scored four of the six tries, with the others coming from Rob Burrow and Willie Poching.
After the break the Quins gave a much better performance and had a try chalked off by the video referee, when winger Nick Bradley-Qalilawa had a foot in touch. Leeds extended the lead on 52 minutes when Lee Smith intercepted Luke Dorn's long pass and galloped clear.
Three further tries came in the last quarter of the game, against a very dispirited home team. In the last minute of the game, the Rhinos showed real team sprit and refused to let the Quins cross their line after the Sin-binning of Keith Senior. The impressive Rhinos maintained second place in the table and handed out a record home defeat for Harlequins.
Castleford Tigers 22 (Manu 2, Dyer, Bird tries; Kain 2, Huby goals) v Huddersfield Giants 36(Wild 2, Drew, Snitch, Evans, Reilly tries; Thorman 6 goals). Att: 6,881.
Huddersfield held off a spirited fight back from the Castleford Tigers to gain victory at the Jungle. The Giants looked to have the game won in the first 11 minutes as they ran in 4 unanswered tries scored by Paul Reilly, Brad Drew and two by Stephen Wild. Chris Thorman landed three conversations and the Visitors led 22-0.
However, the Tigers roared back with three tries, two from Willie Manu, his first tries for his new club, and Luke Dyer to cut the deficit to just 22-14 at the break. With the second half only a minute old Deon Bird scored the home teams? fourth try to leave them only trailing by 2 points at 22-20 and on quarter time the game was all square with a Craig Huby penalty goal.
The game was still in the balance when Evans pounced on Robbie Paul's perfectly-judged kick for the clinching try eight minutes from the end. Steve Snitch then scored the finally try to give the Giants a nervy victory.
Wakefield Wildcats 21 (Rooney 2, Tadulala tries; Rooney 4 goals, 1 field goal) v Warrington Wolves 22 (Bridge 2, Swan, Kohe-Love tries; Bridge 3 goals). Att: 4,723.
Warrington Wolves came back from the dead to deny Wakefield Wildcats victory, at the Atlantic Solutions Stadium. In a game of two halves, the Wildcats threw away a commanding 21-0 half time lead to lose 22-21. The home team scored three first half tries from Semi Tadulala and two Jamie Rooney tries. Rooney also kicked four goals and with a drop goal he contributed 17 points but that was as good as it got for Wakefield.
With coach Paul Cullen?s words ringing in their ears, the Wolves produced a stirring second half comeback. Toa Kohe-Love turned the tide in the 47th minute before Chris Bridge and Logan Swann added two more. Bridge grabbed his second with six minutes to go to seal a dramatic win, leaving the Wildcats down at the bottom end of the table.