Super 8s Round Five Review
WAKEFIELD TRINITY 16-18 ST HELENS
Saints staged a late comeback to keep their semi-final hopes visible after they narrowly grabbed a victory on Thursday night.
Wakefield scored two converted first half tries through Bill Tupou, alongside a McCarthy-Scarsbrook effort for St Helens, putting Trinity 12-6 to the good at half-time. Theo Fages got St Helens level after some good work after the break. Liam Finn added two penalty goals for the hosts though, as it looked to be going Wakefield’s way. However, a mistake from Scott Grix three minutes from time allowed Lomax to pounce on the stray ball to seal a dramatic late victory for St Helens.
St Helens head coach Justin Holbrook said: “I thought it was a really good game of rugby league. Wakefield were outstanding but we fought all the way to the end. It just shows you never write off the Saints.
“It was pretty obvious we needed it and we got it, so I’m rapped. I’m just happy we’re still alive. It’s exciting.”
Wakefield boss Chris Chester said: “I’m devastated for the boys but it’s still in our hands. We’re disappointed but we’re not too downbeat. We’ve had a fantastic season and we want to finish it strong.”
HULL FC 22-30 WIGAN WARRIORS
Wigan registered their first win of the season over Hull FC, but it wasn’t an easy ride for the Warriors who jump up to third in the table, with a semi-final game looking all the more likely.
Marc Sneyd registered the first points of the game after successfully kicking a penalty goal. Before Oliver Gildart put Wigan ahead with some good passing from the Warriors, George Williams added the conversion before adding a further two points shortly afterwards after winning a penalty. Wigan went into the sheds 8-6 up at the break.
Anthony Gelling got the blood pumping two minutes into the second half, intercepting a Sneyd pass and racing away to score under the sticks. Tom Davies then grabbed one a few minutes later, with both efforts converted Wigan sat 20-6 up with half an hour remaining. It wasn’t until the 60th minute until Hull got themselves over for their second, Sika Manu with the try. Marc Sneyd then found his way over, making the scores 18-20 in Wigan’s favour.
Some great work from Hull allowed Fonua to collect an Albert Kelly high bomb to score and put Hull into the lead for the first time in the match as Wigan struggled to cope with the rejuvenated FC attack. Anthony Gelling bagged his brace in the 76th minute, as he edged the Warriors back in front once more, but a John Bateman try on the 79th minute sealed the win for Wigan.
CASTLEFORD TIGERS 38-24 LEEDS RHINOS
Castleford extended their exceptional lead at the top of the table as they comfortably overcame neighbours Leeds on Friday night.
Kallum Watkins put Leeds ahead early on, with a converted effort putting them 6-0 up, but it was one way traffic from there on in for the Tigers. Unanswered tries from Greg Eden, a Ben Roberts brace, Jake Webster and Alex Foster gave the hosts a deserved 30-6 lead going in at the half time hooter.
Leeds made a convincing second half comeback as Jones-Buchanan, Parcell and Garbutt all went over the whitewash for the Rhinos, but a try from Minikin was enough to keep Castleford at arms-length to grab the win – making it seven consecutive defeats against the Tigers for Leeds.
Leeds head coach Brian McDermott said: “Clearly Castleford were just too good for us in the first half, and looking at them, with a couple of games to go, it’s going to take an incredible team to stop them, and getting to the Grand Final and winning it.”
SALFORD RED DEVILS 52-14 HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS
Salford Red Devils ended their eight-match losing run in fine fettle on Saturday afternoon.
Kris Welham’s 100th career try added to an early O’Brien’s penalty before Tyrone McCarthy spotted a gap near the tryline to dive over. Vatuvei then powered over, Welham added his second and Niall Evalds touched down to give Salford a great 30-0 lead just before half-time. Jermaine McGillvary grabbed one in the corner to get the Giants on the board before the hooter. The half-time score 30-4.
Manu Vatuvei got his brace early in the second period before Jake Bibby got in on the act with a try. Oliver Roberts went over for the Giants but Ben Murdoch-Masila and Josh Jones hit back again for Salford. Ryan Hinchcliffe with the last of the game, but it was a good day at the office for Salford.