Richards stars in Wigan victory
A review of the weekend's action in the Stobart Super League.
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Wigan winger Pat Richards grabbed two tries on his comeback from injury in a routine 38-6 win over a depleted Salford that edges them ever closer to the Stobart Super League leaders' shield.
The Warriors, so disappointing in their previous game at Warrington, produced another flat performance but this time it was good enough to see off willing but limited opponents to gain the win that lifts them three points clear of the second-placed Wolves with two matches left of the regular season.
Salford rarely troubled the Wigan defence until 20-year-old debutant forward Adam Walne produced a solo burst a minute from the end to create a consolation try for prop Jordan James.
Richards, the 2010 Man of Steel, was their hero on his return from a four-month absence following knee surgery with an 18-point haul while, on the other flank, Josh Charnley, Super League's leading tryscorer, was subdued on his 50th Super League appearance
Paul Sykes' drop goal with 40 seconds remaining gave Wakefield a narrow 31-30 win over Hull KR and secured their fifth win in a row.
It was the second week running that Sykes pulled off a game-winning drop-goal after his effort last week against St Helens.
Wakefield won with a lot of help from former Rovers players now playing for Richard Agar. Ben Cockayne (two), Peter Fox and Frankie Mariano all had spells at the East Yorkshire side and all scored tries to sink Rovers.
Scrum-half Luke Gale kept cash-strapped Bradford in the hunt for the play-offs by inspiring them to a 34-12 win over Huddersfield at the Galpharm.
Gale, at the heart of Bradford's attacking play, scored a first-half try and added three conversions to leave the Bulls 18-6 up at the break.
Karl Pryce touched down twice after the interval to give the Bulls some breathing room as Huddersfield lost for the first time in three matches.
Leeds' Challenge Cup final build-up ended with a narrow 38-34 defeat to the Catalan Dragons in their clash in Perpignan on Saturday night.
Following on from Warrington's heavy loss to London on Friday night, it looked as though both Wembley-bound sides would be heading to the capital on the back of heavy defeats when Leeds trailed 18-0 and 32-12.
But a stunning turnaround ensured the game was only won in the dying seconds, despite the home side having held a 20-point lead with 20 minutes remaining.
Remi Casty scored two tries for Catalan while Setaimata Sa, Scott Dureau, Vincent Duport and Daryl Millard also crossed.
Shaun Lunt, Ryan Hall, Jimmy Keinhorst, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Ben Jones-Bishop with a brace were Leeds' try scorers.
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Hull's top-four hopes suffered a jolt with a shock 42-16 defeat at bottom side Widnes.
The Vikings, who had lost three games in a row, led 20-10 at half-time with full-back Shaun Briscoe turning in a top show against his old club.
Briscoe, plagued by injury this season, was back after a six match lay-off but was in devastating form.
He scored two of Widnes' eight tries as his side fought back from a 10-8 deficit midway through the first half.
Willie Isa also crossed twice while Paddy Flynn, Frank Winterstein, Danny Craven and Rhys Hanbury scored Widnes' other tries.
Jordan Turner, Joe Westerman and Aaron Heremaia were Hull's try scorers.
On Friday night Luke Dorn grabbed four tries as London Broncos enjoyed a comprehensive 62-18 victory over a weakened Warrington side at the Stoop.
Dorn struck in each half as part of a 10-try Broncos assault as Tony Smith's decision to rest his stars ahead of the Challenge Cup final backfired.
Smith rang the changes ahead of the clash, resting eight first-team regulars including the likes of Lee Briers, Joel Monaghan and Brett Hodgson with one eye on Wembley.
While Warrington had their showpiece clash with Leeds to look forward to, the Broncos were looking for a third straight win after back-to-back victories against Salford and Castleford.
And they did just that with Michael Robertson (2), Kieran Dixon, Will Lovell, Omari Caro and Julien Rinaldi joining Dorn in crossing the whitewash.
Stefan Ratchford, Richie Myler and Rhys Williams scored what proved to be consolation efforts for the Wolves.
In Friday night's other match, St Helens ran in eight tries to maintain their four-year unbeaten record against Castleford with a 44-12 victory.
Saints, who had lost their last two matches, led 20-6 at the break to dash Castleford boss Ian Millward's hopes of making a winning return to his old club.
Tommy Makinson grabbed two of the Saints touchdowns, including a length-of-the-field effort, while Paul Wellens, Anthony Laffranchi, Chris Flannery, Gary Wheeler, Adam Swift and Jonny Lomax also went over.
Paul Jackson and Steve Snitch scored the Tigers' tries.