Super League XVIII - Round 5 Review
Round 5 of Super League saw two shocks as Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves suffered their first losses.
Leeds bounced back from defeat to Melbourne Storm by getting the better of St Helens with the London Broncos claiming their first win of the campaign at Salford, who later sacked head coach Phil Veivers.
St Helens 12
Tries: Lomax, Meli 2
Leeds Rhinos 20
Tries: Hall 2, Leuluai
Goals: Sinfield 4
Leeds Rhinos made up for last week's disappointment against Melbourne Storm by claiming their first away win over St Helens for five years.
The Rhinos made just one change to the side that lost the World Club challenge last week as Richard Moore replaced Mitch Achurch. St Helens had to reshuffle their line-up due to injury and drafted in youngsters Mark Percival and Anthony Walker.
The match began badly for Saints when Jordan Turner put the ball out on the full from the kick-off and Kevin Sinfield gave his side the lead with a third-minute penalty.
After getting a foothold in the game the hosts were the first side to go over the whitewash as make shift full-back Jonny Lomax took Jon Wilkin's pass and went past to defenders to score an unconverted try.
As the game became a war off attrition Sinfield drew his side level on 23 minutes with a second penalty and then his break set up the opportunity for the Rhinos first score.
The England skipper dummied his way through a gap in the defence and after good work by Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Danny McGuire Ryan Hall to finish things off in the left hand corner.
Sinfield's failed with the conversion to end his run of 41 successive kicks in competitive games for Leeds as his sided led 8-4 at the break.
Prop Ian Kirke burst through the Saints line but he could not ground the ball as the Rhinos missed a golden chance at the start of the second half.
As the game went on Saints looked the likely next scorers but some great scrambling from the visitors kept them out and the Rhinos then got stronger and took control.
Joel Moon carve out an opening which saw prop Kylie Leuluai go over and then the ex New Zealand Warriors Centre set up the decisive score of the game by showing some class to get Hall over for his second try of the night. Sinfield took his goal tally to four from five attempts to make it 20-4.
However, Saints finished with a flourish, with Percival capping a memorable debut by getting Francis Meli over for a late brace, but it was all in vain as the Rhinos claimed their first league win over St Helens for three years to still leave the hosts without a home win so far this year.
Salford City Reds 4
London Broncos 38
Tries: Dixon 2, Bailey 2, Channing, Dorn, Colbon
Goals: Witt 5
London Broncos claimed their first win of the season at they dispatched Salford City Reds at the Salford City Stadium.
Salford, fresh from their encouraging win over Hull KRF last Sunday night, gave debuts to the former Sea Eagles pair of Liam Foran and Vic Mauro.
The Londoners were looking for much improvement after conceding plenty of points this year in their four heavy losses.
After young winger Kieran Dixon came close early on, he took advantage of his second opportunity as a mix up in the home sides defence led to the youngster opening the scoring.
On the half hour mark it was 10-0 as Ashley Gibson failed to collect a Craig Gower kick and Michael Channing was on hand to score a simple try. Suddenly the floodgates opened as the Londoners blew the City Reds away.
Dixon followed his own kick ahead to touch down and Witt's conversion made it 16-0 and Luke Dorn made it 22-0 at the break by scoring his side's fourth try of the half.
The next scoring action did not arrive until ten minutes form time as Chris Bailey went thorugh a big gap .Wayne Godwin went over from dummy half to score a late consolation for Salford.
However, the misery continued for the hosts as Bailey grabbed his second try and Liam Colbon completed the rout with a last minute touchdown as the Broncos swapped places with the City Reds who dropped to the foot of the Super League table.
Catalan Dragons 29
Tries: Pala, Mounis, Blanch 2, Baitieri
Goals: Bosc 4
Drop Goal: Bosc
Wakefield Wildcats 22
Tries: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Smith
Goals: Sykes 4
Catalan Dragons came from behind to claim a late win over Wakefield Wildcats at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium in Perpignan.
Despite a narrow home defeat by Huddersfield, last time out, Wakefield were in confident move as they faced the daunting trip to the South of France.
But, they rose to the task as Frankie Mariano, in the side in the absence of injured captain Danny Kirmond, broke through the home defence to set up Richard Mathers for the opening try.
A second followed soon after ex Wildcat Damien Blanch knocked and Paul Sykes picked which led to Peter Fox going over to make it 10-0.
It got even better for the West Yorkshire visitors as on 26-minutes Ali Lauitiiti made the break and in support was Dean Collis to score try number three.
Suddenly Catalan awoke from their slumber and they hit back with a two try burst in the last ten minutes of the first half to narrow the gap to 16-12 at the break.
Mathias Pala was the first home try scorer, with Gregory Mounis adding the next one after Kyle Amor gave away a penalty.
Ten minutes into the second half it was 16-16 as Blanch made up for his earlier error by squeezing in at the corner.
Wakefield recovered well and after some good work by Danny Washbrook led to Lee Smith scoring the visitors fourth try to re-take the lead again.
However, the Dragons would not go away and hit back with second of the game for Blanch. Bosc levelled things up with a superb touchline conversion and then the French Stand-Off edged the hosts ahead with his second one pointer in successive games.
Jason Batieri put the icing on the cake with the match winning try on the full time hooter to deny the unlucky Wildcats.
Widnes Vikings 36
Tries: Flynn 2, Phelps 2, Dean, Winterstein, Hock
Goals: Ah Van 2, Hanbury 2
Hull FC 16
Tries: Westerman, Galea, Lineham
Goals: Westerman 2
Widnes Vikings claimed their second win of the season as Hull FC slumped to another away defeat.
After having a week off due to opponent Leeds Rhinos playing in the World Club Challenge, Widnes were able to give a debut to close-season signing Kevin Brown as they made six changes since their last outing two weeks ago.
Hull, still without an away win had Brett Seymour returning at scrum-half for his first match since the opening defeat at Leeds and made the best possible start after Paddy Flynn was forced into touch from Joe Arundel's clever kick-off. Two minutes later Richard Horne sent Joe Westerman over for the open try that the loose forward also converted.
The Black and Whites missed two more chances before Widnes hit back after building the pressure on the visitors line midway through the first half Joe Mellor and Rhys Hanbury setup Flynn to score.
But, Hull responded to lead 12-4 after 27 minutes, with Ben Galea taking Seymour's pass to power thorugh the home defence. On the stroke of half time the Vikings narrowed the gap to two as Flynn intercepted Seymour's pass to race 90-meters.
After the restart Widnes went ahead for the first time thanks to a thundering break by England forward Gareth Hock who sent Cameron Phelps over in the corner.
Then Brown's high kick was taken by Chris Dean as the hosts moved into a 20-12 lead. Hanbury sent Phelps over for his second score to increase the home side's advantage.
Tom Lineham gave Hull some hope after 66 minutes but this was short lived as Frank Winterstein confirmed a Widnes win by scoring nine minutes from time.
Hock made the score even better for the Vikings by stretching over late on as fancied Hull suffered another dismal away day this season.
Huddersfield Giants 18
Tries: Wardle, Faiumu, Lunt
Goals: Faiumu, Grix 2
Bradford Bulls 43
Tries: Sammut 3, Blythe, Addy, Kearney, O'Brien
Goals: Foster 6, Kearney
Drop Goal: Sammut
Bradford Bulls turned in their best performance, this year by ending Huddersfield Giants 100% record, with a great win at the John Smiths Stadium.
Huddersfield had to do without main playmaker skipper Danny Brough, through illness and gave a full debut to Ukuma Ta'ai, as they looked to make it 5 wins out of 5.
The Bulls were looking to bounce back after a heavy home loss to Saints last week and they got off to the best possible start as Scott Grix fumbled Jarrod Sammut's grubber kick to allow the half-back to score an easy try.
Winger Elliot Kear palmed Danny Addy's kick into the arms of centre Matty Blythe as Bradford made it 12-0 with Jamie Foster kicking his second goal.
Former Bull Joe Wardle got the Giants back into the contest as he took Luke Robinson's short pass to crash over and it was the lead was down to 12-10 as loose forward David Faiumu forced his way over from close range and converted his own try.
But, Bradford withstood the Giants revival and dominated the rest of the half to lead 24-12 at the break. Danny Addy took hooker Heath L'Estrange's pass to go over and full-back Brett Kearney added the visitors' fourth try. Huddersfield pulled two points back on the stroke of half-time through a Grix penalty goal.
However, after the resumption it got worst for the hosts as Grix gathered Addy's grubber kick behind his own line but had his pocket picked by Sammut who scored his second of the afternoon.
Grix bounced back by setting up a try for Shaun Lunt and kicking his third goal of the game to make it 30-18, but this was as close as the Giants got as Bradford turned the screw.
Substitute Adam O'Brien made an instant impact by scoring his first try for the Bulls and it was now over to Sammut as the ex Penrith Panther tagged on a 63 minutes drop goal and then completed a huge win for Bradford by scoring his hat-trick with the final move of the contest as the Giants tasted defeat for the first time this season.
Hull KR 26
Tries: D. Hodgson 2, Paterson, Brown
Goals: Dobson 5
Warrington Wolves 12
Tries: Ratchford, Atkins
Goals: Hodgson 2
Hull KR turned in a fine 80-minute display to get the better of high flying Warrington Wolves at MS3 Craven Park.
After suffering a humiliating defeat at Salford last time out, Rovers Head Coach Craig Sandercock demanded a better performance. The East Yorkshire team was also boosted by being able to name new signing, ex Panther, Travis Burns in his starting line-up after the halfback had completed his 12 match ban.
Winger David Hodgson got the hosts off to a dream start after good work by Burns and Michael Dobson. Rovers continued to play mistake free rugby and made it 6-0 after 17 minutes with a Dobson penalty goal.
But, after Josh Hodgson missed a golden chance, Warrington responded immediately when Stefan Ratchford went over from dummy half. Brett Hodgson made no mistake with the conversion to level things up.
Ratchford then gave the visitors the lead as his kick got Ryan Atkins over to make it 12-6 at the break. Both sides made errors in the early stages of the second half but it was the hosts who would score next.
A Simon Grix mistake was punished by Cory Paterson, who strolled through to score and with the ever reliable Dobson adding the goal it was all square at 12-12.
With 17 minutes remaining then Robins edged into the lead with Dobson's third goal of the game. The Wolves struggled to create any more opportunities and as the home side upped the tempo the match winning try arrived in the 75th minute as David Hodgson made it a double.
Burns capped off a great debut by sending in Alex Brown in the last minute as Rovers claimed the points in a famous win over the much fancied Warrington side.
Castleford Tigers 22
Tries: Webster, Ellis, Carney 2
Goals: Ellis 3
Wigan Warriors 28
Tries: Flower, Richards, Tuson 2, McIlorum
Goals: Richards 4
Wigan Warriors withstood a Castleford Tigers fightback to claim the points at the Wish Communications Stadium.
The visitors were looking to end Castleford unbeaten home record this season and after Sam Tomkins was lifted above the horizontal during the resulting penalty led to Blake Green getting Ben Flower over for the first try of the game.
After withstanding some pressure from the Tigers, Wigan increased their lead as Pat Richards finished off a flowing cross-field move and his conversion made it 12-0.
Then after missing another chance the hosts were immediately punished as Josh Charnley palmed a high kick backwards, for Chris Tuson to score an easy try.
At last before the break Castleford got themselves on the scoreboard as good work by Justin Carney led to Jake Webster going over in the corner to reduce the gap to 16-4.
Michael McIlorum went over from close range at the start of the second half as the Warriors moved into a commanding lead as Richards added the extras.
However, the Tigers suddenly exploded and in sensational fashion they roared back into the game with three unanswered tries to level at 22-22.
Jamie Ellis went in under the posts after good work by Jake Webster who made the initial break from inside his own half. Ellis added the conversion.
The next score came after a surging run by Lee Gilmour led to the ex Sydney Roosters winger Carney powering his way through the tackles of Tomkins and Charnley.
Ellis then produced a superb 40-20 which set up the position for Carney to make it a double and set up a grandstand finish.
With time running out both Rangi Chase and Matty Smith missed drop-goals before in the dying minutes Tuson was the Wigan hero as he took Sean O'Loughlin ' pass to score the match winning try, as the poor Tigers suffered a first home defeat of the campaign.