Super 8s Round Up – The Final Round
With Castleford confirmed for a semi-final spot, it was down to the other fixtures to confirm their league finish and decipher who will be playing who in the lead up to the Super League Grand Final.
Salford Red Devils 4-30 St Helens
The final week of the 8s kicked off with Salford v Saints on Thursday night. A win for Saints would almost guarantee them a top four finish and a semi-final tie. Salford were unable to make the top four after a dip in form saw them fall behind, but that wouldn’t stop them trying to finish the season on a high at the A J Bell Stadium.
Niall Evalds was the first to cross as the home side took the lead after just five minutes, but it was one way traffic from there for St Helens as they put in a positive effort to get the victory. Marc Percival scored on his 100th appearance for the Saints before Alex Walmsley bagged one. Saints wrapped it up in the last twenty though, as Zeb Taia, Alex Walmsley again and Ben Barba all went over for the visitors.
Castleford Tigers 16-48 Hull FC
Friday night saw a battle between the League Leaders Shield Winners and the Challenge Cup winners. Castleford had a staggering lead at the top of the table, which had seen them confirm a semi-final spot earlier in the Super 8s – this gave them the opportunity to rest some players ahead of the knock-out stages. Hull needed to win or draw to have a chance, or risked being bumped out of the top four at the last moment.
Hull made easy work of the tie against a weakened Castleford side as Albert Kelly, Jake Connor (3), Danny Houghton, Jamie Shaul (2), Carlos Tuimavave all got in on the act at the Mend-a-hose. Not to discredit young debutant Tuoyo Egodo who managed to grab himself a hat-trick on his first outing for the Tigers, a lad who is certain to earn a call up in the near future after a blistering performance.
Huddersfield Giants 12-36 Leeds Rhinos
Leeds made sure they had a shot at reaching Old Trafford after a confident finish to the season away from home. The Rhinos were comfortably in second, but a win would be best for the Rhinos in a very tight end to the season.
A fine performance from Leeds so Kallum Watkins convert all six of the tries for the Rhinos. Watkins led the way with his sides’ first of the evening, before McGuire got himself a brace, with Keinhorst, Mullally and Burrow all getting in on the rout. Michael Lawrence and Ryan Hinchcliffe were the scorers for the hosts, with Brough converting both, but it wasn’t enough for the Giants to see off Leeds.
Wakefield Trinity 32-0 Wigan Warriors
Wigan had a tough pill to swallow after some inconsistency throughout the season, a loss at home to Castleford in the previous round meant that they were fighting for a place in the top four. Wakefield were unable to make the play offs following the other results, but the impossible was swinging in the Warriors favour. They were still able to get themselves a semi-final, but they had to win by a seemingly impossible 91 points or more to do so, if they did it would see them leapfrog St Helens.
It wasn’t to be for Shaun Wane’s men though, as a bitter end to the season saw them fail to register a single point on the day as they were left feeling a bit embarrassed by Trinity. Joel Tomkins was sent to the sin-bin for an incident in the first half, which Wakefield to advantage of with the extra man as Ben Jones-Bishop powered over, before Jacob Miller crossed to give Trinity a 12-0 lead at the half-time hooter. It didn’t get much better for the Warriors in the second half as a resilient Wakefield went on to score further tries through Sam Williams, Scott Grix and Keegan Hirst – who left it until the last game of the season to score his first of the campaign.
Who? Castleford Tigers v St Helens Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC
When? Thursday 28th September 7:45PM Friday 29th September 7:45PM
Where? Mend-a-hose Jungle, Castleford Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Leeds
The aim? Super League Grand Final 2017. Old Trafford, Manchester. Saturday, October 7th