C Cup R4: Leeds blast past Leigh

LEEDS opened their Challenge Cup campaign by outclassing Leigh to romp to a routine victory at the Coliseum by 36-12.Last year?s runners-up were kept at bay by their National League One opponents but took control with first-half tries from Kevin Sinfield, Lee Smith, Keith Senior and Gareth Ellis.Further tries from Smith, youngster Ashley Gibson - the Rhinos? only change to their starting line-up - and Richard Mathers wrapped up a safe passage into Tuesday?s fifth round draw.Aaron Heremaia and Misili Manu restored some pride for the hosts with each touching down in the final 18 minutes.Two hours of rain before kick-off left a lot of surface water on the Coliseum pitch and both sides struggled to get to grips with the conditions in the early stages.Leigh had an opportunity in the seventh minute when Chris Feather?s attempted offload gifted them possession outside the Leeds 20 but captain Julian O?Neill was unable to find a gap on the right.And around the quarter-hour mark Leeds began to peg the home side back.Leigh defended doggedly but eventually hooker Matt Diskin managed to prise an opening for Sinfield to stroll into and touch down under the posts before adding the extras.The boisterous home crowd were doing their best to unsettle Leeds? star-studded line-up and were given more cause to voice their opinion when referee Steve Ganson refused to give a knock-on against Leeds 30 metres from their own line.And from the same set of six, Leeds advanced on the right before Diskin fed Mathers and the full-back?s cut-out pass to the left wing allowed Smith to stroll in for a 27th-minute score.Sinfield converted and Leeds reinforced their dominance in the 35th minute when Ali Lauitiiti laid the ball off to Senior, who bundled his way over from close range.The pair then combined again in the 39th minute, with Lauitiiti?s offload giving Senior the chance to charge down the left.The Great Britain centre was stopped 20 metres out, but after play switched to the right, Ellis touched down from Rob Burrow?s grubber kick.Sinfield?s third goal made it 22-0 but not even the interval could revive the Centurions as within four minutes of the restart, Danny McGuire created the space for Smith to saunter through for his second try.McGuire was again the provider six minutes later after Ellis? break and offload, and 19-year-old Gibson, playing right centre, capped his first senior start by pouncing on McGuire?s kick wide to score.Leigh finally got themselves on the scoresheet in the 62nd minute after Paul Rowley?s break set up the field position.O?Neill kicked into the in-goal area for scrum-half Heremaia to touch down before adding the extras.Mathers was then found in acres of space in the 71st minute to stroll over on the left, while Manu touched down after a 90-metre sprint in the final minute.Leigh (0) 12 Tries: Heremaia, Manu Goals: O'Neill 2 Leeds (22) 36Tires: Smith 2, Senior, Gibson, Ellis, Mathers, SinfieldGoals: Burrow, Sinfield 3Leigh: Grix, Manu, Grundy, Hughes, Greenwood, O?Neill, Heremaia, R. Bibey, Rowley, C. Hill, Taylor, Glassie, Roberts.Replacements: Halliwell, Sykes, Wilson, Stevens.Leeds: Mathers, Donald, Gibson, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Burrow, Peacock, Diskin, Feather, Kirke, Ellis, Sinfield.Replacements: Lauitiiti, Scruton, Bailey, McAvoy.Referee: S Ganson (St Helens)Att: 3,917

C Cup R4: Salford ease past Dewsbury

SALFORD overcame some fierce resistance from National League Two part-timers Dewsbury to march into the last 16 of the Powergen Challenge Cup by 32-4.The Reds, who are flying high in the engage Super League after winning five out of their opening seven matches, led 16-0 at the interval.Salford opened the scoring when ex-Wigan star David Hodgson crossed out wide to notch his fifth try of the season following a knock-on from Reds old boy Darren Rogers.Salford extended their lead on 29 minutes after clever handling from half-backs Luke Robinson and John Wilshere ? deputising for the absent Andrew Dunemann ? to send Andy Coley charging over to open up a 10-0 lead.Moments later Hodgson scored a fine solo try after picking up a loose ball inside his own half before weaving in and out of the Dewsbury defence to complete his brace.But National League Two promotion favourites Dewsbury ? without the injured Kevin Crowthers, who dislocated his shoulder at Doncaster last week ? fought back in the second half.Ex-Salford player Bryn Powell crossed in the corner to narrow the gap but any hopes of a Rams upset though were dashed as Mitch Stringer, on his first appearance this season, stepped out of some weak tackling to score.In the final 10 minutes Salford ran riot and bagged further tries through Simon Finnigan and Kevin McGuinness, on his return after a serious knee injury, as Dewsbury?s resistance crumbled.Salford (16) 32 Tries: Finnigan, Hodgson 2, Coley, McGuinness, Stringer Goals: Wilshere 4 Dewsbury (0) 4Goals 2 PowellSalford: Fitzpatrick, Hodgson, Moule, Littler, Langi, Wilshere, Robinson, Baldwin, Alker, Highton, Coley, Brocklehurst, Finnigan.Replacements: Myler, Clayton, Stringer, McGuinness.Dewsbury: Tillotson, Rogers, Mack, Maun, Powell, F. Maloney, Finn, Watene, Greenwood, D. Maloney, Kelly, W. Jowitt, M. Walker.Replacements: Chapman, Bretherton, Harvey, Southwell.Referee: G Hewer (Wakefield)Att: 1,899

C Cup R4: Wolves hit Scolars for ten

WARRINGTON Wolves comfortably progressed through to the next round of the Powergen Challenge Cup with a 10-try rout of National League side London Skolars at the Halliwell Jones Stadium by 52-10.

C Cup R4: Giants too good for Halifax

HUDDERSFIELD made comfortable progress into the fifth round of this season?s Powergen Challenge Cup with a routine win over National League One outfit Halifax by 40-8.

C Cup R4: Windes shock Castleford

NATIONAL League Widnes stunned Super League Castleford by 14-4 to claim a place in the last 16 of the Powergen Challenge Cup at the windswept Halton Stadium.

C Cup R4: Bulls Overcome Hull at Odsal

POWERGEN Challenge Cup holders Hull fell at the first hurdle after being overpowered by Super League champions Bradford 23-12 in a scrappy fourth-round tie in an Odsal mudbath.

C Cup R4: Dragons crush Thornhill

CATALANS Dragons cruised through to the fifth round of the Powergen Challenge Cup with a crushing 12-try, 66-0 win over amateurs Thornhill Trojans in Perpignan.The National Conference League side were no match for the French professionals and wilted early in the second half at the Stade Jean Laffon.After a spirited first-half display by the Trojans, the Dewsbury side were put to the sword as the Super League outfit ran in six tries in the first 18 minutes of the second period.Catalans had claimed the lead when Mark Hughes crossed after just two minutes, but Thornhill limited them to further scores from Jamal Fakir and Lionel Teixido to trail just 14-0 at the break.The second half was a different story as Freddie Zitter, Gregory Mounis, Sean Rudder, Remi Casty, Bruno Verges and Chris Beattie went over in quick succession.Hughes, Zitter and Casty each claimed a second try as Catalans wrapped up a comfortable win.Michael Dobson weighed in with five goals and Laurent Frayssinous kicked four.Thornhill found chances few and far between, although strong centre Andrew Bostock caused some problems and created one opportunity for Johnny Campbell, only for the winger to drop the ball.Catalans Dragons: Guigue, Zitter, Hughes, Wilson, Verges, Rudder, Dobson, Beattie, Rinaldi, Fellous, Fakir, Guisset, Mounis.Replacements: Frayssinous, Casty, Touxagas, Teixido.Thornhill: Holmes, Copley, Davies, Bostock, Campbell, Morley, L. Haigh, Folan, Pachniuk, Carruthers, Roberts, Woodcock, Broadhead.Replacements: Redgwick, Naylor, Lee, S. Haigh.Catalans Dragons: (14) 66.Tries: Hughes 2, Fakir, Teixido, Zitter 2, Mounis, Rudder, Casty 2, Verges, Beattie.Goals: Dobson 5, Frayssinous 4.Thornhill: (0) 0.Referee: Robert HicksAtt: 850

C Cup R4: Saints Blast Past Doncaster

PAUL Wellens ended a difficult week on a high with two tries as St Helens booked their place in the Powergen Challenge Cup fifth round with a 56-6 win over Doncaster.

Sea Eagles curse continues

BROOKVALE Oval has been an unforgiving venue for the Newtown Jets in recent years, and that tradition was certainly maintained in the VB Premier League match played there on Saturday evening. The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles dominated the first half, leading by 28-0 at the break, and then increased this lead to 38-0 as they added two more tries early in the second half. The Jets belatedly decided to clock on and narrowed the margin to 38-28, and in the process scored some of the best tries of the match. A runaway try to the Sea Eagles in the last thirty seconds of the game typified Newtown?s misfortunes on the night and extended Manly?s final winning margin to 44-28.This was a match that defied some of the perceived wisdoms of modern Rugby League. Newtown?s completion rate for both halves was around the 80% mark, normally a positive indicator, but which counted for very little in the first fifty minutes when Manly dominated possession and field position. Newtown was down to one man on the bench for the entire second half, ironically during the very period of play that the Jets stacked on 28 unanswered points. What the first half clearly showed was that Newtown?s defensive lapses and conceded penalties were unerringly punished by Manly?s well-drilled, physically powerful forward pack and their super quick backline.Newtown was well served in the forwards by the hard-working Glenn Hall, Steve Meredith and Mark Edmondson. Substitute hooker Luke Gordon played well in the second half after replacing the injured Heath L?Estrange. Winger Troy Malcolm collected three tries in the second half, and showed great strength and determination on one occasion as he broke through a cordon of three Manly defenders. Fullback Aidan Kirk had a very busy night and turned in his best performance for the season. Winger Michael Lett suffered a serious ankle injury twenty minutes into the first half which compounded the Jets? misadventures on a forgettable evening for the club.The Jets made short work of the Belrose Eagles in their final Jim Beam Cup trial match played at Belrose on Saturday afternoon. Newtown led by 26-4 at half-time and maintained this dominance in the second half to run up an impressive final winning margin of 58-10. Newtown coach Greg Matterson was pleased with such a comprehensive ?kill? in the team?s final trial outing prior to the commencement of the competition on the Easter weekend. Several Sydney Roosters Jersey Flegg squad members were given a hit-out in this trial and impressed with the quality and enthusiasm of their contributions.Newtown plays away again next Saturday (April 8th) when the Jets meet up with their 2005 partnership club Cronulla-Sutherland at Toyota Park. The VB Premier League match starts at 5.15pm, with the Sharks-Roosters NRL fixture kicking off at 7.30pm. There is no Jim Beam Cup match scheduled for this weekend.The popular 2SM Talkin? Sport afternoon show will be broadcast live from the Jets Sports Club in Holbeach Avenue, Tempe next Wednesday (April 5th) from 4.00pm to 7.00pm. There will be several Newtown Jets club identities interviewed as well as plenty of prizes and giveaways on the program. Photo caption:Former English international Mark Edmondson, pictured here in action for Newtown against Manly-Warringah at Brookvale Oval on Saturday evening, has impressed with his good form this season.Photo courtesy of Gary Sutherland Photography.

Storm to decide whether to contest charges

MELBOURNE will today decide whether to send star duo Scott Hill and Billy Slater before the NRL judiciary to defend charges relating to last weekend's loss to Wests Tigers.

The Raging Crocker

QUEENSLAND selectors are hoping firebrand Roosters utility Michael Crocker (pictured) can maintain the rage against New South Wales in the upcoming State of Origin series.

Dolphins News

IT wasn't the best weekend for the Dolphins losing both the Colts and Queensland Cup games and slipping back to third on the Club Championship table. But it's not all doom and gloom down at Dolphin Oval. Bertie Campbell's A Grade side have strung together a few good games in a row and there are quite a few players pressing for first grade selection.

VB Premier League Report - Round 7

DEFENDING premiers Canberra have made a slow start to the year and, after the first 20 minutes of their clash with Newcastle last week coach Wayne Collins could be forgiven for thinking they were still finding their way. Any doubts, concerns or fears the Raiders coach held, though, were allayed as his team regained their winning ways in emphatic style with a 46-24 win over Newcastle.

Vainikolo to the Rescue

WARRINGTON 22 Bradford 22 Super winger Lesley Vainikolo was the hero for Super League champions Bradford as they came from 18-6 down to steal a point and leave Warrington skipper Lee Briers rueing an off day with the boot.

Round 8 Teams and Fixtures

FRIDAY 30th April 2004 PENRITH V WESTS at Penrith Football Stadium at 7.30pm

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