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Super League XVIII Round 20 review
After defeat at Warrington last Monday night, Wigan had to make do without Sam Tomkins and Lee Mossop, which meant former Wales rugby union international Andy Powell made his Super League debut from the bench.
Castleford were in confident move after a good home win over Hull last week and this showed throughout the contest.
There was no breakthrough in the game until the 20th minute when a mistake from young Wigan full-back Lewis Tierney , who dropped the ball on his line allowing Kirk Dixon to score the opening try of the game.
However, the mistakes were punished by the Tigers as Dixon added a penalty goal before from the restart Richard Owen burst down the right to set up Jordan Tansey who offloaded to Grant Millington to score a superb try to make it 12-0 to the visitors at half-time.
It did not get much better for Wigan after the restart. After getting a few penalties Rangi Chase increased the homeside’s woes by setting up James Clare with a superb pass as the lead went up to 16-0.
Just before the 60 minute mark, Charnley got across the line to cut the gap and Blake Green went close shortly after,
But with time running out Dixon kicked another penalty goal as Castleford claimed a famous win which leaves the League Leaders Wigan just one-point ahead of second place Huddersfield Giants.
St Helens 12
Tries: Meli, Laffranchi
Goals: O’ Brien, Makinson
Hull KR 24
Tries: Burns, Brown, Eden
Goals: Dobson 6
Burns now turned provider as his burst set the position up for Greg Eden to kick ahead for Alex Brown to make it 10-0 after ten minutes.
On the twenty minute mark Burns was sin-binned with Paul Wellens after a flare-up.
Rovers dealt with it much better than Saints’ and Eden scooped up a pass from Dobson to make it 16-0 as the score remained unchanged for rest of the first half.
St Helens continued to make mistakes early in the second half but finally got on the scoreboard when Francis Meli took Jonny Lomax's pass to cross out wide. Gareth O'Brien landed the touchline conversion.
Dobson added a penalty to make it 18-6 after 55 minutes when Saints threatened a comeback.
Rovers had another player, Mickey Paea, sin-binned on the hour for a professional foul but St Helens could not make the extra man count as Dobson landed two more penalties to increase the visitors lead to 22-6
The gap in the end was too big despite Anthony Laffranchi scoring a consolation for Saints and Dobson made sure of the two points by kicking a late penalty.
Huddersfield Giants 60
Tries: Ferres 3, Murphy, McGilvary 3, George, Lunt, Cudjoe
Goals: Brough 10
Catalan Dragons 16
Tries: Duport, Vaccari, Blanch, Taia
Huddersfield drew within one-point of League Leaders Wigan Warriors by crushing Catalan Dragons at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The inform Giants began their domination early on as England second rower
As both teams struggled with their defence, Catalan hit back with two tries. Centre Vincent Duport touched down after collecting Scott Dureau's high kick and left winger Frederic Vaccari scored the other in the corner.
Ferres scored another one for the Giants but Damien Blanch went through two defenders from dummy half to add a third for the Dragons to make it 16-12.
The second half started well for the hosts as Luke George got things underway by scoring his side’s fifth touchdown.
The errors continued by both sides but somehow Huddersfield found away to get over the whitewash as they added five tries in the last quarter
McGillvary then had a purple patch as he added two more to complete a hat-trick and with time running out Lunt picked up a loose ball to feed centre Leroy Cudjoe who raced away to score as Huddersfield broke the sixty point barrier to give themselves a great chance of finishing top of the table.
London Broncos 30
Tries: Dollapi, Bishay, Fairbank, Soward, Sarginson
Goals: Soward 5
Salford City Reds 44
Tries: Gaskell 3, Gibson, Broughton 2, Godwin, Fages
Goals: Sneyd 6
Within hours of his arrival on UK soil, ex Dragon Jamie Soward made his debut from the interchange bench as the Broncos looked for the win against their fellow strugglers.
The Salford dominance continued as Ashley Gibson went through a host of miss tackles to creep in at the corner and it got even better for the visitors when Broughton raced over from inside his own half as the lead went up to 14-0 after 14 minutes.
More misery was to follow for the Broncos as fast hands saw Gaskell going over for his second. Wayne Godwin continued the onslaught as he burrowed over from close range after another spell of pressure.
At last, London stopped the one-way traffic when Erjon Dollapi showed great strength to muscle over, but this was a short-lived reprieve as Salford continued to rack up the tries.
Gaskell rounded off the first half nicely by going over for his hat-trick try as the game was effectively all over at the break with the Reds leading 34-6.
Enter Jamie Soward, who for the second half somehow dragged the Londoners off the floor. On 45 minutes, he set up Mike Bishay for the Broncos' second score.
Suddenly this gave the hosts some belief and Jacob Fairbank added another soon after.
However, Salford dusted themselves down and hit back with Theo Fages scoring a simple try.
Soward scored his debut try after good work by Joel Wicks but Broughton claimed his second as the City Reds closed the game out.
Bradford Bulls 12
Tries: Walker, Donaldson
Goals: Foster 2
Warrington Wolves 26
Tries: Currie, Briers, Monaghan, Waterhouse, Atkins
Goals: Hodgson 3
Bradford did a good a good job in preventing Warrington ‘ usual fast start, eventually the pressure told and youngster Ben Currie burst through a gap in the home defence on the 20-minute marl to get the visitors on their way.
Three minutes later the advantage was doubled as a slick move down the right ended with Chris Riley passing inside for Lee Briers to score try number two.
More was to follow for the Wolves as they took control of the game. After receiving a penalty, Michael Monaghan superbly dived over the line near the posts after clever work from dummy half before second-rower Tent Waterhouse squeezed over as the Bulls hopes were all but ended at the break as they trailed 20-0.
On 51-minutes it was defiantly game over for the hosts as Ryan Atkins intercepted a loose pass and dived over the line. Brett Hodgson made it three from five with goal kicks.
At least Bradford showed some spirit and opened their account on the 66th minute when Chev Walker scored next to the posts.
Widnes Vikings 36
Tries: Brown 3, Hock 2, Hanbury
Goals: Owens 6
Leeds Rhinos 52
Tries: Moon 2, Sutcliffe 2, Burrow 2, Hall, Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins
Goals: Hardaker 6
Widnes, fancied their chances against the under strength Rhinos as they looked to back up last week’s comeback win at Bradford.
However, for the Vikings the first half was a nightmare as the Rhinos clinically put them to the sword by running in seven tries.
Moon scored the first after taking Carl Ablett's pass and a second try soon followed after a blistering burst from Zak Hardaker near his own line, the full-back then passed to Watkins who sent Liam Sutcliffe over for a simple score.
Moon claimed his second try after good work by Sutcliffe and Hardaker as the lead moved up to 16-0. Rob Burrow went through some weak tackles for try number three and then Sutcliffe made it a great game for the teenager by adding his second.
The gap was narrowed on the half time hooter as Kevin Brown dummy his way over the line.
Leeds took only two minutes of the second half to go further ahead with Ben Jones-Bishop trotting in at the right hand corner .Ablett capitalised on another Widnes error to put Burrow clear for his second try.
Gareth Hock reduced the gap before Watkins scored a comeback try for the visitors as they broke the fifty point barrier
But, in a strange last fifteen minutes, the Vikings suddenly started running in the tries as the Rhinos tired. Brown completed his hat-trick and Rhys Hanbury added another before Hock scored the hosts sixth try late on as Widnes made the final score more respectable.
Hull FC 26
Tries: Crooks 3, Lineham, Yeaman
Goals: Holdsworth, Tickle 2
Wakefield Wildcats 27
Tries: Fox 2, Sykes, Wilkes, L. Smith
Goals: L. Smith 3
Drop Goal: L. Smith
The Wildcats were looking for third win on the bounce against a Hull team who looking to avoid a third loss in as many games.
Holdsworth added the conversion but the Wildcats hit back with two quickfire tries. Dean Collis superb off-load got Peter Fox in at the corner for the first and Paul Sykes took a return pass from Lee Smith to grab the second.
Hull soon drew level when they moved the ball wide for Tom Lineham to touchdown. Two minutes before the break the visitors hit back again to retake the lead 16-10.
Crooks soon made it all square shortly after the restart as he scooped up a grubber kick from ,Wakefield scrum-half ,Tim Smith and sprinted the full length of the field to score his second try.
And on 56 minutes The Black and Whites led again as Crooks completed his hat-trick after good work by Danny Houghton.
However, Wakefield would not go away as they once again hit Hull with a two try burst. Lee Smith took Sykes' pass to add the first then after a good break by Kyle Amour; Peter Fox plucked Tim Smith’s kick out of the air to make it 26-22 going into the last ten minutes.