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Hull FC 12-48 Wigan Warriors

Wigan Warriors ran in eight tries to enter the Super 8s full of confidence after a comfortable 48-12 victory over Hull FC at the KC Stadium.

The win for the Warriors moved them up to second in the table momentarily and see the club now on the back of three straight wins over Leeds, Widnes and now Hull FC respectively.

The Black and Whites sorely missed the leadership of Gareth Ellis and Leon Pryce who they have lost for the remainder of the season through injuries.

Shaun Wane’s troops broke the deadlock early when a superb pass from Anthony Gelling allowed Joe Burgess to touch down for his 21 st try of the campaign.

Wigan doubled their advantage when Josh Charnley tapped back Matty Smith’s kick on the right to an unmarked John Bateman, who was filling in at centre for the injured Dan Sarginson.

Smith added both conversions to give the visitors a 12-0 lead before Hull pegged them back through Richard Whiting. Standing in for Ellis, the utility man took a pass from Jordan Abdull to cut through the Wigan defence with Marc Sneyd adding the extras.

With Hull gaining a foothold in the game through a succession of penalties the side were dealt a blow when Josh Bowden went off with a seriously looking injury.It got worse for the Airlie Birds when Sam Powell gathered a kindly bouncing ball following a Matty Bowen grubber kick.

Wigan furthered their authority on the fixture after George Williams scooped up a stray ball racing 40 metres to score. Smith made it 24-6 to Wigan but on the stroke of half-time missed a penalty from long distance.

The game was pretty much over as a contest when Bowen and Sean O’Loughlin scored early in the second-half as Wigan looked to continue their good form into the split.

Despite Joe Westerman grabbing Hull’s second score of the game Wigan again got on the score sheet through Bowen and Dom Crosby for a resounding victory.

St Helens 52-12 Hull Kingston Rovers

St Helens were in typically clinical fashion after a 52-12 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers at Langtree Park.

The defeat for Rovers ended their already slim hopes of reaching the Super 8s whilst ensuring the reigning champions Saints enter the league split full of confidence.

The gulf in class between the two sides was evident from the off with both Andre Savelio and Joe Greenwood being held up over the line after good defensive work from the Robins.

The Rovers defence were breached in the 15 th minute when Kieran Dixon fumbled a high ball allowing Travis Burns to pick out Greenwood for the easiest of tries. Burns then was involved in the next try when full-back Adam Quinlan broke the defensive line before offloading to Burns who crossed against his former club.

Luke Walsh, now finding some form after his injury troubles, fired a pass out wide to Matty Dawson who ran in unchallenged for another Saints’ try. Hull KR slipped further behind when St Helens capitalised on a Burns’ 40-20 seeing the returning Atelea Vea crash his way through after a four-month lay-off.

The signs for Chris Chester’s side looked ominous and with Walsh converting all four tries to make it 24-0 the side was averaging a point a minute.

Rovers hit back when Kieran Dixon jinked his way through the home defence and the away side scored again with a fine long-range move. Dane Chisholm, making his debut for the club in place of Albert Kelly, played a long ball out to Ben Cockayne who raced clear before passing back inside to Chisholm who attracted two defenders before his looping pas found John Boudebza who scored.

Josh Mantellato kicked both conversions making the scoreline 24-12 in favour of Wigan going into the half-time break.

Rovers, revitalised by their two scores, pressed for a crucial third but were hit with a killer blow. Chisholm had taken on the Saints line before grubbering a kick which bounced straight into the hands of Quinlan who ran 80 metres unchallenged to score.

Mark Flanagan added a try on the 56 th minute when he gathered Josh Jones’ offload and further tries from Greenwood and Adam Swift rounded off the win for Saints with Walsh kicking eight from ten attempts.

Widnes Vikings 21-20 Salford Red Devils

Danny Craven kicked a last-gasp drop-goal as Widnes Vikings beat Salford Red Devils 21-20 in the final round of the regular Super League season.

The two points for the Vikings moves them into 9 th above Hull Kingston Rovers and earns them four home matches in the Super League Qualifiers.

Salford welcomed back Rangi Chase and Greg Johnson but lost Mason Caton-Brown and rested Theo Fages as the club finished the season in 11 th place.

Both teams had chances in the early stages, Widnes through Rhys Hanbury but he was ruled offside whilst George Griffin lost the ball under the challenge from the Vikings’ full-back close to the line.

The scoreline was broken after 16 minutes when Niall Evalds crossed under the posts following a Chase kick with Josh Griffin converting the extras. Chris Clarkson gathered Joe Mellor’s pass to level the scores but shortly after Salford re-established their advantage with Cory Paterson making the most of a penalty for obstruction.

The Red Devils held their six-point advantage to half-time and kicked a penalty when Macgraff Leuluai was penalised for a high shot after the restart.

Salford were their own worst enemies when they conceded back-to-back penalties which saw Widnes capitalise through Paddy Flynn after Aaron Heremaia’s inside ball.

Having lost Clarkson through injury, Salford scored again when Scott Taylor barged his way over the line to make it 20-10.

To Widnes’ credit they never gave up and closed the gap to four points when Stefan Marsh found a gap following Tom Gilmore’s pass. The scores were level 11 minutes from time when Heremaia scooted through a tiring defence to leave the games locked at 20-20. The Vikings weren’t content with just one point and Craven held his nerve to slot over a drop goal in the final minute of the clash.

Leeds Rhinos 36-22 Catalans Dragons

Leeds Rhinos ensured they entered the Super 8s at the top of the table after a Tom Briscoe hat-trick saw the club beat Catalans Dragons 36-22 at Headingley.

Briscoe, who had been out since March after shoulder surgery, continued his early-season promise by taking his try tally to seven for the campaign.

It didn’t take long for the winger to open his account on his return, four minutes to be precise, following good work from Kallum Watkins.

Catalans threated to address their poor away form when they took the lead after two tries in the space of four minutes from Tony Gigot and Morgan Escare gave the away side an unlikely advantage.

With the weather playing apart in the contest meaning handling errors were aplenty Leeds pegged the French side back with two tries of their own in quick succession. A flowing move saw the ball shipped out to the right with Briscoe adding the finishing touches before Kevin Sinfield sent Mitch Garbutt over for his first ever career try at senior level.

The home side led 16-10 at the break and that was extended when Sinfield benefitted from a penalty decision.

Laurent Frayssinous’ side didn’t crumble under the pressure and brought the game to within two points when Scott Dureau scored a marvellous solo effort.

Sinfield again opted for the two points from a penalty with conditions evidently playing a part in the decision. The game was over as a contest when Leeds showed their scintillating finishing with three tries in five second-half minutes.

Watkins handed control back to the Rhinos with a great individual effort before Brett Delaney scored his third try of the season. Briscoe completed his hat-trick shortly after to cap a fine return to first-team action.

The Dragons got a mere consolation try late on through Gigot after good work from Elliott Whitehead and Krisnan Inu but the damage was already done and conceded the French club to an eighth placed finish.

Huddersfield Giants 34-24 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats

Huddersfield ensured their fourth placed finish in Super League with a 34-24 victory over bottom of the table Wakefield Wildcats.

The top-four finish for the Giants means they will now have four home fixtures and three away games heading into the Super 8s, whilst Wakefield face the task of trying to secure their top flight status in the qualifiers.

It was the away side that drew first blood when Jacob Miller continued his hot streak of tries by rounding Jared Simpson, who recently signed a new two-year deal, to put Wakefield ahead.

The home side enjoyed their first spell of pressure after two fouls had given them the position to get Luke Robinson over in the 13 th minute. Danny Brough’s outside of the boot kick put Jodie Broughton in for a try as Huddersfield took the lead.

Seven minutes later and Brough was the architect again when his grubber kick was gathered by Michael Lawrence with the scores now at 16-6.

The Wildcats pegged the scores to 16-12 when Scott Anderson barged his way over but this only momentarily stemmed the Giants’ dominance.

Dan Smith, who recently joined Huddersfield from Wakefield, scored against his former employers from close range before Leroy Cudjoe got on the end of Jamie Ellis’ grubber kick to score his 100 career try.

Brough was as accurate as ever with the boot and kicked his fourth conversion to give the home side a commanding 16-point lead going into the break.

But it was Wakefield who came out of the sheds the quicker of the two with two quick tries of their own. First on 47 minutes Matty Ashurst scored when he collected Miller’s pass before Lee Smith found space to score after good work from Danny Washbrook and new signing Bill Tupou.

Brough got on the scoresheet himself when he broke free racing 30 metres just after the hour mark – converting his own try to give the Giants a 34-20 lead going into the latter stages of the game.

Reece Lyne grabbed a try eight minutes from time but it proved only a consolation with wayward kicking duties not doing Wakefield any favours as they were beaten 34-24.

Castleford Tigers 6-44 Warrington Wolves

Warrington Wolves warmed up for their Challenge Cup semi-final by demolishing Castleford Tigers 44-6 in a nine try victory.

The two points for Tony Smith’s side sees them finish the regular standings in sixth whilst Cas a place above in fifth.

It took Joel Monaghan only seven minutes to mark his return from injury touching down in the corner from Richie Myler’s kick. Warrington looked in fine form and went close again through former Castleford player Daryl Clark and Ben Currie following a 40-20 kick. Their pressure eventually told when Ben Westwood scored to give his side a 10-0 lead.

Things went from bad to worse for Castleford when half-back Luke Gale was forced off with an injury which he initially sustained in the fourth minute of the game but he never recovered.

Gareth O’Brien capitalised on a mistake by Mike McMeeken to extend his side’s lead and even when full-back Matty Russell limped off just before the half hour mark it didn’t disrupt their rhythm.

Gene Ormsby raced all of 70-metres when he gathered a loose ball and Monaghan grabbed his brace after Westwood and Currie had combined well. The Wolves weren’t done yet and scored again when Currie sliced through a dejected Tigers’ defence for their sixth try of the half with O’Brien making it 30-0 at half-time.

Stefan Ratchford, who had switched to full-back in the absence of Russell, added a try of his own when he got to a bouncing ball first and Sam Wilde grabbed his first Super League try shortly after.

Whilst Cas did improve things in the second stanza head coach Daryl Powell will not be happy with the way his side were cut apart at times.

Junior Moors spared the embarrassment of a nilling when he went through a gap in the Warrington defence but the away side had the final say when Meyler profited from a mistake to score his side’s ninth try for a resounding win.

Published on July 28 2015 for Rugby AM.

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