Super League Round 16 Review
The First Utility Super League returned from the Magic Weekend after a blockbuster weekend at St. James' Park with more entertaining action in round 16. In the latest set of games, Leeds suffered another damaging defeat, Hull FC maintained their table-topping form, and Widnes ended their torrid league run.
Castleford 26-33 Wigan (Thursday)
Wigan maintained the pressure on the top four with an impressive away win at Castleford, who suffered their third loss in five. Wigan winger Josh Charnley and full-back Sam Tomkins scored either side of Paul McShane and Denny Solomona's efforts, but the Warriors led 14-12 at half-time thanks to a penalty kick.
The away side went further in front in the second half through Dom Manfredi and Charnley's second, but were pegged back by Jake Webster's impressive finish. Sam Powell ensured Wigan kept the lead despite a second Solomona score, and Matty Smith sealed the two points for Wigan with a late drop goal.
Warrington 52-18 Leeds (Friday)
Warrington inflicted another damaging defeat on bottom club Leeds as the home side kept up the pace with leaders Hull FC. It was the Rhinos who took the lead through Jimmy Keinhorst, but three tries from wingers Gene Ormsby and Tom Lineham, as well as youngster Brad Dwyer meant Warrington led 18-12 at half-time after Brett Ferres' first try of the night.
Rhinos blitzed by Wolves
The second half was completely one-way traffic, as Warrington bossed the tie for the second forty minutes. Three more tries were added, as Ormsby grabbed his second while Ratchford and Gidley both went over, before Daryl Clarke added his own simple double either side of Ferres' second.
Salford 38-8 Wakefield (Friday)
Wakefield were unable to capitalise on their impressive Magic Weekend victory over Catalan as they went down to a 30-point defeat away to Salford. Both sides were in the arm-wrestle during the opening exchanges, as Niall Evalds and Anthony Tupou scored for either side.
Red Devils are rising
But Salford then took control, with Ryan Lannon adding a quick-fire brace either side of a Mark Flanagan score. Robert Lui and George Griffin put Salford further in front, before Junior Sa'u scored after the hooter after a Ben Jones-Bishop effort for Wakefield.
Hull FC 32-24 St. Helens (Saturday)
Hull FC went two points clear at the top of the league after a hard-fought win over St Helens. Gareth Ellis and Mahe Fonua sent Hull two tries in front, but the Saints hit back to lead through scores from Adam Swift, Jonny Lomax and Atelea Vea.
Hull return to the top
Carlos Tuimavave and Scott Taylor responded for the home side, only for the tie to hang in the balance once more after Saints youngster Jack Ashworth went over. But the home side sealed the win as Danny Washbrook touched down after a poor goal-line drop out from St Helens.
Catalan 34-16 Hull KR (Saturday)
Hull KR missed the chance to move closer to the top eight after losing to Catalan at the Stade Gilbert Brutus. The Dragons took the early advantage, going three tries in front through Jodie Broughton, Todd Carney and young Lucas Albert.
Catalans return to winning ways
Kevin Larroyer responded for Hull KR, but Louis Anderson and Tony Gigot's first try made sure Catalan led comfortably at half-time. Joe Wardill gave the visitors hope just after sixty minutes, but Gigot's second meant that Ken Sio's late effort for KR was only a consolation.
Widnes 24-20 Huddersfield (Sunday)
In the final game of the weekend, Widnes ended a torrid league run of eight successive defeats with victory over Huddersfield. The visitors had control of the game at half-time after Nathan Mason, Danny Brough and Joe Wardle recorded tries, before Corey Thompson galvanised the Vikings with a late effort.
Widnes dominated the second half, determined to get their first league win since mid-March. Joe Mellor and Stefan Marsh added further tries, before Thompson and Mellor both completed their doubles. Jermaine McGillvary hit back for Huddersfield ten minutes from time, but Widnes hung on to move four points clear of the bottom four.
Words by Jonny Whitfield
(Pictures via: Super League)