Super Eights Round One Review
The Super Eights are back, and the first round of this year's phase gave us plenty to get excited about in the coming weeks...
St Helen's secured victory in the first game of this year's Super Eights, as they defeated Warrington 20-18 in another classic contest between the two.
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Jonny Lomax scored for the Saints in the first half, but Keiron Cunnignham's men were pegged back either side of the Saints scores by Daryl Clark, who replied for Warrington. Mark Percival made use of the kicking tee to put St Helens 14-6 ahead at the break.
Despite Jack Hughes' try for Warrington on 63 minutes, the Wolves were still behind, and Jordan Turner's magnificent solo effort for St Helens made it 20-12, with his try rendering Ryan Atkins' equally brilliant score for Warrington merely a consolation. The Wire thought they had won it when Rhys Evans inched over in the corner, but a video referee referral exposed Evans' boot gracing the touchline.
Hull FC suffered an immediate set-back in round one as the league leaders lost to Castleford at the KCOM Stadium.
Cas dominated proceedings, and it took 63 minutes for the Black and Whites to register a single point, as Steve Michaels put down, but with just 17 minutes to go, the game was sealed. Despite clawing back three tries, Hull FC conceded again, as Adam Milner went over from dummy half with 40 seconds to go. In Friday's other Super Eights game, Wigan thrashed Wakefield 60-12, with both George Williams and Sam Tomkins both bagging braces for the Warriors. And with Hull FC losing, Shaun Wane's men went level with the league leaders, but points difference still separates the two at the top.
Saturday's feature game saw Leeds make the perfect start to life in the Qualifiers with a resounding 62-6 away victory at Featherstone.
Rhinos centre Kallum Watkins tallied four tries, including a brilliant full-length try, while Liam Sutcliffe slotted nine goals as Leeds ran away with the victory. Featherstone kept the Leeds players on their toes for most of the contest, and they can be delighted with their only try, a fast breakaway that saw a swift step from Luke Cooper eventually result in Anthony Thackeray planting down with a tricky finish.
More Qualifiers action followed on Sunday, as Salford beat Huddersfield 34-12 in the third meeting between the sides this year.
Salford winger Mason Caton-Brown continued his recent good form, helping to secure the Red Devils victory with a hat-trick, including an impressive flying finish in the corner. Huddersfield's only tries came from Nathan Mason and Ollie Roberts, as the Giants moved to sixth in the table.
Hull KR climbed to second in the Qualifiers table with 58-18 victory over Batley. Thomas Minns secured a hat-trick while James Greenwood also tallied a brace. Josh Mantellato also kicked nine goals as the Robins sit behind Leeds on points difference.
WORDS BY @JonnyWhit_LU