Super League Round 19 Review
Castleford Tigers 25-24 St Helens
Ben Roberts kicked a last gasp drop-goal to secure Castleford Tigers a 25-24 win over St Helens in one of the games of the season at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Every minute really does matter as St Helens found out on a dramatic night which saw both sides welcoming back players from long standing injuries. The two points moved the Tigers up to fourth in the table whilst St Helens missed the chance to extend their lead at the summit of Super League.
Justin Carney, returning after ten weeks from a dislocated elbow, picked up where he left off prior to his set back when he scored his 10th try of the season powering his way over after five minutes.
Luke Gale failed to add the conversion and Saints hit back through another player returning from injury. After sustained pressure a perfectly weighted Travis Burns grubber kick saw Luke Walsh ground the ball, with Mark Percival adding the extras to give Saints a two-point lead.
Alex Walmsley extended the away sides advantage going over under the sticks – giving Percival an easy conversion. Not to be outdone by Carney in the try scoring stakes, Denny Solomona notched his customary try when he ran all of 90 metres.
With Gale converting, the scores were locked at 12-10 but Saints restored their lead when Joe Greenwood, making his first appearance following a broken leg on Good Friday, crossed the whitewash. Percival added the two points seeing the scores 18-10 at half-time.
The home side, looking for their fourth consecutive win clawed their way back when Jake Webster dived over before Matt Cook, also making a comeback, pounced on a loose ball with Gale converting both efforts. The Tigers’ lead lasted six minutes as Shannon McDonnell raced after Jordan Turner’s kick to cross for Saints’ fourth try of the night.
Percival’s easy conversion gave Saints the lead but play was held up for some time after Adam Swift took a nasty head injury before being stretchered off. Things got worse for Saints when Mark Percival was sin-binned for holding down Solomona after a clean break.
Gale, on his 200th career appearance, kicked a 40-metre penalty to level the game with minutes to spare.
Ben Roberts then went from zero to hero in a matter of seconds. A loose carry from the full-back gave Saints good field position in front of the posts but James Roby knocked on in the scrum allowing Cas to have possession. The Tigers, spurred on by their support charged down the field before Robert calmly slotted over the one-pointer.
Wigan Warriors 19-12 Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors managed to overcome Salford Red Devils 19-12 despite putting in a stuttering performance on their return to the DW Stadium.
The home side, making their return to home soil, found themselves 12-0 down in the second-half but fought their way back for the two points putting them within touching distance of the top.
Salford, who welcomed back the trio of Michael Dobson, Weller Hauraki and Lama Tasi, went ahead 6-0 after ten minutes. Wigan loanee Logan Tomkins and Theo Fages combined to set up Cory Paterson to crash over the line with Josh Griffin converting.
Dom Manfredi would have touched down if it wasn’t for the defence of Mason Caton-Brown and a Matty Bowen kick was just too strong for Joe Burgess to score.
The home side left the field to a chorus of boos from the home support and found themselves further behind when Fages allowed George Griffin to cross the whitewash with his brother adding the extras.
Wigan got a foothold in the game when Burgess gathered Matty Smith’s kick to score for the ninth consecutive game. Burgess then turned provider when he managed to kick the ball before being forced into touch allowing Liam Farrell to ground the ball.
With Smith adding both conversions restoring parity Wigan sensed Salford’s nerves and duly took advantage when Dan Sarginson was adjudged to have got the vital touch on the ball after Michael Mcllorum’s kick through.
Shaun Wane’s men had a six point lead and made sure of the win late on when Smith kicked over a drop-goal.
Hull KR 36-10 Warrington Wolves
Hull KR kept up their hopes of a top-eight finish by beating Warrington Wolves 36-10 at the KC Lightstream Stadium.
The Robins, now level on points with neighbours Hull FC on 16 points, ran in six tries in an impressive victory.
Chris Hill ran in an early try to get proceedings underway after hooker Daryl Clark had charged down Albert Kelly’s kick but this did little to dent KR’s enthusiasm.
Both sides had to contend with injuries with the home side still reeling about the news that Terry Campese will miss the remainder of the season. Meanwhile Warrington looked a side bereft of confidence as the side slumped to their third defeat in their last four games.
Ken Sio broke free on the right-hand edge after an Albert Kelly cut-out pass and backed himself to beat full-back Stefan Ratchford to record his 15th try of the season. Rovers then went ahead just before half-time when Kris Welham put in a fierce shot on Joel Monaghan seeing the ball squirm free which Josh Mantellato grounded. The Italian winger converted his own try to give Rovers a 10-6 advantage going into the second-half.
Chris Chester set his side a target of winning four out of their remaining games and will be pleased with their second-half showing blew the Wolves away.
Kieron Dixon, returning to the side after missing last week’s win over Widnes, sliced through the Warrington defence and his neat footwork wrong-footed Ratchford to see him score underneath the posts.
Rovers had found their rhythm and went further ahead in the 53rd minute when Sio managed to palm the ball infield to Liam Salter who touched down. The away side only momentarily halted the Robins’ charge as Gene Ormsby scored in the corner but back came Rovers through former Warrington man Tyrone McCarthy powered his way over.
Welham got a deserved try late on and Mantellato added two penalties to add more gloss to the scoreline in a dominant performance.
Catalans Dragons 32-12 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
Krisnan Inu scored on his Super League debut as Catalans Dragons battled to a 32-12 victory over bottom of the table Wakefield.
The signs looked ominous for Wakefield when they found themselves 12-0 down inside ten minutes with the French outfit looking for back-to-back wins since May.
Ben Pomeroy first crossed after Fouad Yaha’s break before debutant Krisnan Inu, signed from rugby union side Stade Francais, showed neat footwork to force his way over.
The first-half was littered with errors and neither side managed to add to the scores as the Dragons took their 12-0 advantage into the interval.
Pita Godinet thought he had Wakefield initial try when he raced clear following a kick to the corner but the video referee harshly saw an infringement from Reece Lyne.
Wakefield fought their way back and got on the scoresheet when Paul McShane made a break which allowed Chris Riley to touch down in the right corner, with Jacob Miller adding a difficult conversion.
Godinet got Wakefield’s second try showing a great turn of pace to get past Remi Casty leaving the home side rocked as Miller levelled the game.
Morgan Escare attempted a drop-goal towards the latter stages of the game but his effort went wide but the Dragons did pull ahead when Scott Dureau kicked a penalty 14 minutes from full-time.
Eloi Pelissier, Escare and Louis Anderson all scored late tries to flatter the home side but this was anything but a straightforward victory for Laurent Frayssinous’ men.
Leeds Rhinos 32-20 Hull FC
Joel Moon grabbed two tries on his return from injury as Leeds Rhinos held off Hull FC to record a 32-20 victory and climb to the top of Super League.
The two sides face off again at the KC Stadium next week in a Challenge Cup quarter-final but on this occasion it was the Rhinos who got the upper hand on the side from Yorkshire, who remain in the top eight thanks to results elsewhere.
The home side were rewarded for their dominant start when Danny McGuire crossed for his 270thcareer try after linking with Ryan Hall. That lead didn’t last long and the scores were soon level when Jordan Thompson, recalled to the side in favour of Joe Westerman, evaded two tackles after good build-up play from Mark Minichiello.
Zak Hardaker played a role on his return to the starting team when his high kick saw Hall knock the back to Jimmy Keinhorst who fed Moon to get his first of the night. Three minutes from the break and Keinhorst got the simplest of tries when Curtis Naughton spilled the ball allowing the Rhino to touch down. Substitute Kevin Sinfield added the extras seeing the half-time score 16-6 in favour of Leeds.
There will be injury worries for both sides ahead of their Challenge Cup date with Leeds losing Liam Sutcliffe and Hull seeing Minichiello limp off with a calf injury.
Naughton made amends for his earlier error by scoring Hull’s second try but Leeds once again opened up a 12 point cushion when Moon went over for his brace.
Liam Watts set up Danny Houghton to set the Leeds nerves jangling and Gareth Ellis and Fetuli Talanoa were both were denied just short of the line.
The ever reliable Danny McGuire then broke free relieving Hull pressure and was brought down by Marc Sneyd with the half-back twisting his ankle in the tackle earning himself a sin-binning. Leeds were also down to 12-men when the referee deemed McGuire to have kicked out at Sneyd in retaliation.
There was still time left for more drama as Talanoa finished off a break by Jordan Abdull to set-up a nervy last five minutes. But Leeds had the last laugh when a Sinfield penalty was slotted over and Carl Ablett scored with almost the last play of the game to ensure the win.
Widnes Vikings 22-30 Huddersfield
Huddersfield Giants saw off Widnes Vikings 30-22 despite having Brett Ferres sent off early in the game.
The win for Paul Anderson’s men saw them climb up to fourth in the table and put a dent in Widnes’ top-eight hopes.
It was the home side that drew first blood as early as the sixth-minute when Patrick Ah Van collected Kevin Brown’s long pass to open the scoring.
Brett Ferres then saw red when he flattened Rhys Hanbury off the ball when he broke free but referee Richard Silverwood had already blown up for a knock on.
Both sides traded tries when the towering presence of Ukuma Ta’ai scored before Jack Owens replied for the Vikings to make it 10-6 at half-time.
The twelve-men of Huddersfield fought back as Craig Kopczak barged his way over from close range four minutes after the interval, with Danny Brough adding the conversion.
In a game which exchanged the lead on a number of occasions Brown scored his first try of the night against his former employers when Ah Van had done well to collect Joe Mellor’s bomb.
The mercurial Brough sent Jack Hughes over from a tapped penalty to once again give the visitors a slender lead. Luke Robinson scampered his way over the try line for his first and Huddersfield’s fourth with Brough kicking the extras giving them a 24-16 advantage.
With time ticking away Mellor threw a wild pass which was gathered by Joe Wardle who sent Jodie Broughton racing clear to finish- off a full length move with the Giants sitting on a 14 point cushion.
Brown notched his brace late on but it was too little too late as Widnes Vikings were defeated 22-30 by Huddersfield.
Published on June 22 2015 for Rugby AM.