Big news out of Newcastle Knights with Jarrod Mullen returning a positive A-sample for an anabolic s...
46 hours ago
Castleford grabbed three tries in the last nine minutes to snatch a sensational 26-26 draw at The Jungle against Hull on Monday.
It was the first time the scores had finished tied in Super League VIII.
Hull looked to have the game sewn up when they led 26-8 after an hour. But they faded badly in the final quarter, and Tigers hooker Wayne Bartrim levelled with the final kick of the match.
Two of Castleford's late tries came in time added on for injury to Hull winger Matt Crowther, who suffered a double fracture of his left leg on his comeback from a six-week lay-off with a calf injury.
Crowther fell awkwardly in a two-man tackle trying to run the ball out of his own in-goal area and, after a six-minute stoppage, was carried from the field on a stretcher.
The point was still enough to lift Hull into third place in the Tetley's Super League - but they will be kicking themselves for failing to make more of a commanding position.
Even without captain Jason Smith and his right-hand man Tony Smith, Hull had far too much craft and guile for a Castleford side who rarely threatened for an hour.
Loose forward Chris Chester made a sparkling return from injury, setting up all three first-half tries - while stand-off Paul Cooke came up with some telling contributions and Australian hooker Dean Treister made a useful debut, just 48 hours after flying into the country.
Centre Richie Barnett, leading the side in the absence of the two Smiths, maintained his prolific scoring rate with two tries to take his tally for the season to 12.
The former New Zealand captain went over twice in eight minutes from smart Chester passes, and full-back Steve Prescott also took his total for the season to 12 when he sliced through after another defence-splitting pass from the influential Chester.
Hull would have been further ahead by half-time but for the swirling wind which hampered the goalkicking of Prescott, who was off target with three of his first four shots at goal - misses that would eventually come back to haunt him.
Castleford, boosted by the return from injury of veteran scrum-half Mitch Healey, were level after 14 minutes when stand-off Danny Orr accelerated through a gap after taking Wayne Bartrim's pass to score a neat try.
Bartrim converted the try and added a penalty just before half-time to keep the Tigers in touch.
But when scrum-half Richard Horne jinked and sidestepped his way through a bemused home defence early in the second half it appeared to end any lingering hopes of a Castleford victory.
Prescott kicked two further goals, and winger Colin Best took a superb pass out of the back of his hand by Cooke to stretch Hull's lead to 26-8.
But Castleford launched their comeback when Orr went through Cooke's tackle to score his second try.
Centre Michael Eagar went 45 metres after intercepting Barnett's pass - and, with time running out, full-back Damian Gibson latched on to Orr's crossfield kick and raced in for a fourth try.
Bartrim then maintained his composure with the angled conversion to make it five goals from as many attempts.
London Broncos maintained their impressive away record with a 30-22 success at Huddersfield to climb away from the foot of the table.
The Broncos, who have yet to win at home but triumphed at Hull and Wigan, never looked back after scoring 20 points without reply in a purple patch midway through the first half.
They stretched their lead to 24-6 early in the second half but Tony Martin missed four of his seven shots at goal and London were forced to withstand a Huddersfield fightback before finally clinching victory.
The Giants made a dream start, with hooker Paul March finishing off a neat handling move for the game's first try after only five minutes.
But, inspired by experienced Australian loose forward Jim Dymock, the Londoners seized control with four tries in a decisive 23-minute spell.
Lanky left winger Andrew King twice leapt above his diminutive opposite number Hefin O'Hare to pounce for two of the touchdowns.
Right winger Austin Buchanan scored his first try for the club after Dymock and Dennis Moran had cleverly worked an overlap and centre Martin dummied his way over for another score.
When Martin made light of a poor attempted tackle from Stanley Gene 90 seconds into the second half to make it 24-6, there seemed no way back for Huddersfield.
But stand-off Brandon Costin sent winger Alex Wilkinson over for the Giants' second try and substitute Darren Turner burrowed his way from dummy half on 56 minutes to cut the deficit to just eight points.
Buchanan then leapt high to collect Dymock's well-placed kick to seal the visitors' win with his second try, although Huddersfield had the final say with the best try of the match.
O'Hare showed his exceptional pace on a 60-metre break out of defence and full-back Marcus St Hilaire was in support to touch down, with McNamara kicking his third goal.
On Saturday, Warrington helped themselves to seven tries as they destroyed local rivals Widnes 34-6.
The Vikings were completely overrun in all departments as the Wolves bounced back from their Easter Monday thrashing by St Helens in fine style.
Close season recruit Brent Grose touched down twice whilst Rob Smyth, Jerome Guisset, Graham Appo, Ian Sibbit and Paul Wood also found their way through the weak Vikings defence.
On Friday, Leon Pryce snatched a dramatic 14-8 victory for Challenge Cup winners Bradford over Wigan to make it 10 wins in a row.
The Bulls were hanging on for a point at 8-8 when the brilliant stand-off pounced onto James Lowes' chip-kick to claim his second try three minutes from the end to dash a brave fight by injury-hit Wigan.
The sides looked set to achieve the first draw of Super League VIII after Wigan half-backs Adrian Lam and Sean O'Loughlin had failed with late drop-goal attempts and an ambitious penalty by Danny Tickle from just inside his own half fell agonisingly short of the target.
The outcome was cruel on patched-up Wigan, who once more defied the odds to pick up from where they left off against St Helens on Good Friday.
Paul Newlove, currently three tries short of a Super League century, sent in Anthony Stewart at the corner flag to open the visitors' account on seven minutes. But Paul Sculthorpe's attempt at goal went wide.
The travelling contingency from Knowsley Road were given a boost on 28 minutes when Keiron Cunningham, who had been out with a serious elbow injury, returned to action.
A couple of minutes later St Helens were over the line. From a loose ball, John Stankevitch kicked through.
Tommy Martyn, who proved recently at Warrington he had been the missing link after being out for several games, chased it all the way to the line. Sculthorpe then tagged on the easy goal.
With a minute to the interval Saints extended their lead to 12-0 with a penalty in front of the sticks for holding down as Sculthorpe duly obliged.
Shortly into the second half St Helens went over the line twice.
Newlove sent in Stewart, although there was a suspicion of a forward pass.
But the Halifax defence were then split open again. Starting deep in his own half, Stewart made a break before sending the ball to Sean Long for a 50-metre dash. Sculthorpe then added the extras.
The magic combination of Newlove and Stewart on the left wing worked again as Stewart claimed his hat-trick on 64 minutes. But Sculthorpe missed his kick from inside touch.
Stankevitch then intercepted to grab their sixth try of the evening and Sculthorpe tagged on the goal.
To the seal the win Cunningham sent in Sculthorpe on 79 minutes at the side of the posts and he converted his own try.
Shaking off any disappointment of their Powergen Challenge Cup defeat, Leeds had opened up in the second half but were constantly thwarted by some brave Wildcats defence.
A shock result looked on the cards but the Wildcats' cause looked to have taken a blow when Colum Halpenny was sinbinned for holding down, but the Wildcats managed to hold out with some powerful tackling.
Leeds maintained their pressure on the visitors' line but stout defence and some indifferent handling saw them thwarted every time.
With time running out, both Sinfield and Davis tried unsuccessfully for a decisive drop goal but Dunemann's effort went straight and true.