Our look at the latest round of Super League, with the competition actually getting through a full weekend of fixtures. Scenes.
Here’s Up the Cream’s review of all the action.
Thursday – Widnes 24 Salford 16
Not sure why Sky kept showing clips of Dennis Betts behind a fishing net every five minutes, but never the less, for the five clubs fighting for eighth spot, this was a vital win for Widnes. Their young squad, including the impressive back rower Matt Whitley, showed some resilience and scored two late tries to win the game. Why Salford continued to take the two every time though is anyone’s guess, but it was definitely a hindrance to them. The iPitch meanwhile is a disgrace and needs to go. It just doesn’t seem right playing a game of rugby league on it.
Friday – Warrington 34 Wakefield 24
It’s always their year, well maybe not, but this was a great win for Warrington against a very good Wakefield team. They’ll be disappointed to lose a second game in a row, but the Wolves are improving. They’re a work in progress under new coach Steve Price and with Ben Murdoch-Masila running like that they’ll be a force for anyone to contend with. Trinity meanwhile have a tough Easter ahead of them, hosting Castleford before travelling to Hull FC. They won their opening four games, but could quite easily be 4-4 after eight rounds.
Friday – Hull 42 Catalans 16
The Black and Whites are back to winning ways with a seven try win over the worst Catalans side in Super League history. The French outfit are absolutely woeful. That squad should be nowhere near the foot of the table. Something is seriously sour in the South of France and it doesn’t seem like fixing anytime soon, but for Hull at least, to get a 40-point win was a decent enough return. With Albert Kelly back amongst the ranks, they’ll only improve too. The half back is still right up with the very best in the competition. A class act. Worth pointing out that club captain Danny Houghton will be back next week too A massive boost as Hull face the old enemy on Good Friday.
Friday – Wigan 48 Huddersfield 10
Wigan have quietly gone about their business so far. All the talk is on their rivals, but win their game in hand by a decent enough margin and they’ll top the table. Hull fans tend to hate Wigan, and although we love taking the piss out of one Shaun Wane in particular, it’s hard not to have respect for them. They’re shape is brilliant and they’ve got Sam Tomkins playing back to something of his old self. He’s much more matured now and a better all-round player, but he’s still a twat. This was another good win, a ruthless one over a Huddersfield side that are more inconsistent than Phil Clarke’s Margin Metre. The Giants have looked okay in stages this season, but the past two weeks have been woeful for them – 86 points conceded with a return of 16. Ouch. Brownie point to whoever smashes that cow bell into a million pieces too.
Friday – Rovers 6 Saints 30
St Helens continued their promising start to the season with another win over a plucky Rovers outfit that probably didn’t deserve to lose by that margin. The biggest concern for them though is a compound fracture of the leg/ankle to Hull-born youngster George Lawler, who we wish a speedy and healthy recovery to. That’s a sickener. The Saints meanwhile continue to impress. Ben Barba, who has really set the competition alight, got on the scoresheet, but it’s not his try scoring ability that stands out, but the general quality he brings to his sides attacking structures and shape. He’s a class act. We’re only at the end of March, and the Grand Final is still way off, but it’s hard not to imagine Saints being there come October.
Friday – Leeds 24 Castleford 25
Finally. A Super League game that had you on the edge of your seat. That was brilliant. Well played both teams. Castleford were back to their old selves in getting into a 24-0 lead, they played some great stuff, before a heroic Leeds comeback almost, if not for a missed Kallum Watkins goal two minutes from full-time, earned a famous victory. The crowd at Elland Road was 23,246, a new home game record for the Whinos. There’s nothing to dislike here. That was a reminder of how good our comp can be. Sadly though, those high quality games are few and far between.
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