Warrington Wolves 22 – 8 Halifax RLFC
Warrington added another win to their record to stay top of the qualifiers campaign in an uncharacteristically tight fixture against Halifax. Peta Hiku opened the scoring 22 minutes in after a tight first 20 minutes between the two sides. The two traded blows throughout the rest of the second half, and despite conceding the majority of penalties in the first half, Halifax levelled the scores through Chest Butler just two minutes before half time.
Warrington made a marked improvement in intensity in the second half and crossed early on through Chris Hill. Declan Patton converted to put Warrington six points up. Their lead was cut just ten minutes later though, with Chester Butler crossing for his second of the afternoon to put the visitors within two points. Warrington, however, were to strong for Halifax in the last twenty and Matty Russell and Andre Savelio crossed in the final fifteen minutes to put the win out of reach for Halifax. A valiant loss for the visitors from the Championship but they’ll need to do better to get a win in the qualifiers campaign.
Catalans Dragons 6 – 30 Leigh Centurions
Catalans Dragons produced another low quality performance at the Stade Gilbert Brutus to go down 30-6 against Leigh Centurions. The visitors started as they meant to go on and opened the scoring through Adam Higson after a calamitous piece of play from Catalans full back Lewis Tierney after a 5th tackle kick. Ben Reynolds added the extras and extended their lead to 6-0. It was a while before they added to their lead, and Adam Higson did so 24 minutes with his second of the evening to make it 10-0.
The Centurions didn’t stop there and after the half time break Cory Patterson crossed with a muscular effort. Reynolds converted once more and backed up it up with another two points from a penalty just 10 minutes later. Leigh led 18-0 with fewer than 15 minutes to play, before Josh Drinkwater all but sealed the game for the Centurions with a fourth unanswered try. Catalans, however, wouldn’t finish the game scoreless and Brayden Williame crossed with three minutes to spare. Luke Walsh added the conversion and the score stood at 24-6. The scoring didn’t stop there though and Leigh snuck a late effort of their own with one of the most exciting tries of the game. Cory Patterson picked the ball up around 35 metres away from his own try line and galloped the remaining 65 metres with Julien Bousquet in hot pursuit to score in the corner and top off a sensational away win for the Centurions. For Catalans, the loss left them in the million pound game slots with another super league team to play. I think it’s fair to say the Stade Gilbert Brutus no longer seems to be the fortress it once was…
Hull Kingston Rovers 35 – 30 London Broncos
Hull KR continued their crusade for Super League promotion with their third win over London Broncos this season. The Broncos made a promising start with Andy Ackers crossing after 4 minutes. Danny Addy soon equalised with a try for the home side before Sammut put the Broncos ahead with a penalty. Hull KR soon wrestled back momentum and scored three unanswered tries through Kieren Moss, Robbie Mulhern, and Ryan Shaw. Jamie Ellis remained impeccable with the boot and Hull KR led 24-8 before Chris Atkin added a drop goal late on to extend their lead going into half time.
The Robins added another two after the half time break and the game looked all but won. However, London managed to muster a second half comeback with four tries to Hull’s one; a Ryan Shaw finish off the back of sublime Shaun Lunt ruck play. Despite James Cunningham, Alex Walker, Mark Ioane, and Elliot Kear all providing, London came up short with Jamie Ellis’ two second half penalties making the difference at full time with the score standing at 35-30.
Widnes Vikings 58 – 10 Featherstone Rovers
Widnes obliterated Featherstone at the Select Security Stadium to get their second win of the qualifiers. Hanbury got the Vikings off to a great start with a quickfire double in the first ten minutes and Runciman soon followed with a brace of his own to put Widnes up 22-0 up after twenty minutes played. Misi Taulapapa soon got sone back for the visitors, before Chris Bridge cracked in with a four minute double at the back end of the half to put Widnes 34-4 up going into the break.
Featherstone made a more positive start to the second half than the first with Lockwood crossing and Hardman adding the extras to chip away at the Vikings’ mammoth lead. Widnes, however, stretched their lead once more with Stefan Marsh crossing just two minutes later. Widnes continued to put Featherstone to the sword for the rest of the second half, scoring tries through Chris Bridge, Stefan March, Rhys Hanbury, and Joe Mellor, running away 58-10 winners.