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Super League XVIII Round 7 Review
Huddersfield Giants continue their good early season form to move three points clear at top of the ladder.
Leeds Rhinos edged past Wigan Warriors in a tough contest at Headingley with Warrington getting back to winning ways after two losses on the bounce.
And, below we review how all the games panned out.
Leeds Rhinos 18
Tries: Hall, Moon, Jones-Buchanan
Goals: Sinfield 3
Wigan Warriors 14
Tries: Farrell, Thornley
Goals: Smith 3
Leeds Rhinos claimed a hard fought win over old advisories Wigan Warriors at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
The Rhinos were looking to bounce back after last week’s disappointing loss to Huddersfield Giants as they welcomed a Wigan side bang in form after shutting out Catalan Dragons last time out.
But the visitors suffered a major blow as Star full back Sam Tomkins was ruled out of the game with a “dead” leg picked up in training early on in the week and missing his attacking skill, Leeds went in front after 10-minutes.
Danny McGuire clever dummy played in Ryan Hall, who showed some good footwork as he went over line. As ever Kevin Sinfield made no mistake with the extras.
Seven minutes later the Warriors hit back. Half-back’s Matty Smith and Blake Green combined well as they opened up a gap for Liam Farrell to race through and with Smith adding the conversion we will all square at 6-6.
The next score came as Leeds were penalised for a high tackle and Smith was on hand to make it 8-6 in favour of the visitors.
In the closing stages of the half the hosts missed two opportunities as Hall failed to control the ball after some good kicking by Sinfield and also the winger was held up over the line by some good Wigan scrambling defence.
At the start of the second period the Rhinos finally took a chance as England winger Josh Charnley spilled the ball and on hand was Joel Moon to touchdown to make it 12-8. Sinfield added his second conversion, which brought up the 3,500th point of his career.
Now on top the Rhinos fluffed two golden opportunities to wrap the game up. Ian Kirke burst clean through the Warriors defence but made a hash of the final pass to McGuire and Rob Burrow failed to take Moon's pass after another clean break.
The pressure finally told and on 57 minutes Jamie Jones-Buchanan raced in to score next to the posts as Sinfield made no mistake with the extras.
However, from the kick-off it was game on as after Leeds were penalised for not playing the ball correctly shortly after Farrell's long pass enabled winger Iain Thornley to score at the corner .Smith's touchline conversion set up a Grandstand finish.
Wigan almost snatched it in the final move of the match when Charnley chased Smith's speculative kick but knocked on attempting to regather possession as the Rhinos completed a first home win over the Warriors in four years.
Salford City Reds 4
Warrington Wolves 46
Tries: Atkins 2, Riley 2, Myler 2, Monaghan, Hodgson
Goals: Hodgson 5, Ratchford, O’Brien
Warrington Wolves got back on track with a dominating win over Salford City Reds at the Salford City Stadium.
Tony Smith's Wolves came into this match on the back of successive defeats to Hull KR and St Helens. But it did not take long for them to take control of the game. Ryan Atkins forced his way over for the first and shortly after Chris Riley latched on to a clever kick from ex Salford Halfback Richard Myler to make it 10-0.
Andrew Dixon and Wayne Godwin both came close for the hosts but Warrington soaked everything up and added two further tries to lead 22-0 at the break.
Riley made it a double for the night by scoring a fine individual effort before Myler added the other on the half time hooter after he showed great some footwork.
Things got from bad to worse for the City Reds as minutes into the second period Ben Currie charged down a kick from Marc Sneyd and this led to Joel Monaghan scoring a simple try in the right hand corner. Brett Hodgson made it four from five as the visitors led 28-0.
At last there was a bit of joy for Salford as Gareth Owen raced more than half the length of the pitch for a breakaway try that made the scoreboard look a bit more respectable.
However, this was short lived as Warrington upped the ante to add three more tries. Myler found another gap and put Hodgson in under the posts for the first one
Atkins dummied over for his second score before Myler capped up a fine display by scoring the Wolves eight try of the game.
St Helens 52
Tries: Walmsley, Lomax 3, Turner 2, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Makinson, Hohaia
Goals: Lomax 8
Wakefield Wildcats 18
Tries: Mathers, Cockayne, Collis
Goals: Mathers, Sykes 2
St Helens finally claimed their first win at Langtree Park this season as they out powered Wakefield Wildcats.
After a moral boosting win at Warrington last week, Saints were now looking to continue their form and finally break there duck at home this year, but the Wildcats who claimed a comeback draw last Sunday made the dream start as after just two minutes Dean Collis broke down the right and set up Richie Mathers to score.
Saints led by star playmaker Jonny Lomax, who since his switch to Full-back has been in sublime form, responded quickly and got on terms as the full-back set up Alex Walmsley to score his first try for the hosts, since moving from Batley.
Lomax now showed his quality and with some great footwork he got a four pointer for himself to make it 12-0.
Showing their spirit again, the West Yorkshire side hit back and the game was all square as Kyle Wood’s perfectly weighted kick was pounced on by Ben Cockayne, who continued his good try scoring run.
Jordan Turner then added gave the hosts some breathing space by adding a brace. James Roby was the creator for both of the touchdowns as St Helens led 22-12 at the break.
In the early stages of the second half it looked like Saints would run away with the game as Jon Wilkin sent Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook over to make it 28-12.
But the Wildcats again would not go away and after a long spell of possession Collis got over the line to set up an exciting last quarter.
However, Lomax had other ideas and he now started to dominate the game. Firstly he linked well with Wilkin to score next to the posts and moments later he got on the end of a Willie Manu pass to complete his hat-trick and effectively put the Wildcats out of the contest.
Late tries, in the last ten minutes of the game, from Tommy Makinson and Lance Hohaia made the final score a blow out as Saints finally got their first win at home this season.
Catalans Dragons 46
Tries: Bosc, Menzies, Anderson, Elima, Blanch, Barthau, Pala, Taia
Goals: Bosc 7
Widnes Vikings 14
Tries: Ah Van 2, Allen
Goals: Ah Van
Catalan Dragons turned in a strong second half performance to brush Widnes Vikings aside at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium.
The visitors started the game well and dominated the first ten minutes. Patrick Ah Van and Dave Allen both got over the whitewash with. Ah Van converting once to open up a 10-0.
Five minutes later the Dragons got back in the contest as they hit back with two quick-fire scores to lead 12-10. Leon Pryce was the architect as he set up Thomas Bosc and the evergreen Steve Menzies for the tries. Bosc was on target twice with the goal kicks.
Widnes, gained their second wind with Rhys Hanbury and Willie Isa combining to send in Ah Van for his second of the night to lead 14-12 at the break.
However, the second half was one-way traffic as the French outfit moved through the gears to run in six unanswered tries.
The onslaught began in the opening nine minutes of the second period as Catalan scored three tries. Once again Pryce was the creator as he first set up Louis Anderson and then carved Widnes open twice more to get Olivier Elima and Damien Blanch over the line.
Bosc made no mistake with the boot as the hosts opened up a match winning 30-14 advantage. William Barthau heaped more misery on the visitors with a superb solo effort in the 58th minute.
Mathias Pala and Zeb Taia completed the rout as the Vikings had no answer to pace and power of the Dragons who made up for last week’s hammering at Wigan to get back to winning ways.
Huddersfield Giants 24
Tries: Lunt, Murphy, Wardle, Grix
Goals: Brough 4
Hull FC 10
Tries: Galea, Crooks
League Leaders Huddersfield Giants grinded out a tough win over Hull FC at the John Smiths Stadium.
Both these teams came into this game high on confidence. Hull had hammered Castleford 52-0 last week and for the Giants they had beaten the Champions Leeds Rhinos convincingly at Headingley Last week.
Huddersfield dominated the opening quarter of the game but with Hull’s defence strong the only try came courtesy of hooker Shaun Lunt who dummied his way over for the opening try after 18 minutes. Danny Brough added the conversion to make it 6-0.
Lunt and Leroy Cudjoe were both held up over the line as the Black and Whites held water tight. Hull weathered the storm and got a foothold in the game when Ben Galea, took Danny Houghton's short pass on the burst to crash through the Huddersfield defence to score.
Holdsworth's conversion attempt rebounded off an upright as the visitors trailed 6-4 at the interval.
Five minutes into the second period, the East Yorkshire team took the lead when a grubber kick by full-back Shannon McDonnell was touchdown by youngster Ben Crooks after the bounce of the ball deceived Huddersfield cover. Holdsworth's goal made it 10-6.
However, this seemed to awake the sleeping Giants as some good work by Brough and centre Joe Wardle led to Aaron Murphy putting the hosts back in front.
The Black and Whites came close but it was the Giants superb scrambling defence which kept them out as both Richard Horne and Houghton went close to scoring.
But, it was Huddersfield who would score next thanks to Wardle breaking out of his own half and taking a return pass from Brett Ferres to go over for his side's third try. Brough then added a penalty to effectively out Hull out of the game.
England winger Tom Briscoe had a try disallowed for a forward pass near the end before Cudjoe broke away to send full-back Scott Grix over with the last play of the game as the Giants moved three points clear at the summit of Super League.
Bradford Bulls 34
Tries: Foster, Kearney, Kear, Bateman, Sammut 2
Goals: Foster 5
Hull KR 12
Tries: D. Hodgson, J. Hodgson
Goals: Dobson 2
Bradford Bulls made it three wins on the bounce as they got past Hull KR at the Provident Stadium Odsal.
The Bulls were missing four key players but in good news they welcomed back ex Panther Adrian Purtell who had not played since suffering a heart attack on the way home from the Magic Weekend defeat to Leeds last May.
Bradford made the better start and took the lead when Jarrod Sammut and Keith Lulia created an overlap for Jamie Foster to cross near the corner flag after five minutes. Shortly later, Danny Addy's high kick was patted back by Elliot Kear for Brett Kearney to continue his try scoring form this season.
Rovers finally got into the game and hit back when David Hodgson took a long pass from Greg Eden pass to score. Michael Dobson added the goal to make it a two point ball game.
Purtell was welcomed back to the action with a standing ovation and this rejuvenated the Bulls as Kearney stabbed a grubber into the corner which Elliott Kear been on hand to score the home side’s third try.
Now it was all Bradford and two more tries followed in as many minutes. First another Addy kick bounced kindly for John Bateman to score and the Bateman set up Sammut to give the hosts a26-6 lead at the break.
Hull KR showed more spirit in the second half and responded with hooker Josh Hodgson dummying his way over the line.
Sammut then cut through to make it a double for the game as Jamie Foster kicked five from six in a comprehensive win for the Bulls.
Castleford Tigers 12
Tries: Dixon, Huby
Goals: Ellis 2
London Broncos 26
Tries: Bailey 2, Robertson, Gower
Goals: Witt 5
London Broncos moved off the bottom of the Super League by seeing of Castleford Tigers at the Wish Communications Stadium, with a good second half showing.
The Tigers were without suspended Justin Carney and Weller Hauraki but welcomed back Lee Gilmour and Jake Webster from injury.
Ex-Manly full-back Michael Robertson was recalled by London as both teams struggled early on with the wet and muddy conditions.
Castleford took the lead on 13 minutes as Jordan Tansey ‘ inch-perfect kick to the corner was seized on by Kirk Dixon .Jamie Ellis converted from the touchline.
After building up some pressure, the Londoners got on terms, when Craig Gower put in a neat kick and Chris Bailey pounced for the four pointer.
Craig Huby showed his strength by shrugging aside two would-be tacklers to force his way over and Ellis converted to put the home side 12-6 up at the break.
However, the Broncos upped the tempo in the second half and hit back in style with an 18-point burst. Shane Rodney put in Robertson before Gower went over from close range. Gower's then set up Bailey's second try with another good attacking kick.
Michael Witt added all the conversions to make it 24-12 to the Londoners.
Castleford tried to get back into the contest but they were let down by handling errors and the game was up for them 10 minutes from time when Witt kicked his fifth goal in a good win by the men from the capital they leapfrog their opponents and sent Salford to the bottom of the Super League table.
Super League Ladder after Round 7
Team Pl W D L F A Pts
1 Huddersfield Giants 7 6 0 1 188 97 12
2 Wigan Warriors 7 4 1 2 197 97 9
3 Bradford Bulls 7 4 1 2 199 134 9
4 Warrington Wolves 7 4 1 2 173 119 9
5 St Helens 7 4 1 2 164 124 9
6 Catalan Dragons 7 4 1 2 180 145 9
7 Leeds Rhinos 6 4 0 2 136 92 8
8 Hull KR 7 3 0 4 202 192 6
9 Hull FC 7 2 1 4 144 154 5
10 Wakefield Wildcats 7 2 1 4 149 182 5
11 Widnes Vikings 6 2 1 3 122 158 5
12 London Broncos 7 2 0 5 124 196 4
13 Castleford Tigers 7 1 1 5 101 213 3
14 Salford City Reds 7 1 1 5 89 265 3