Super Salford; Leeds extend record
A review of the weekend's action in the First Utility Super League.
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Salford Red Devils began their new era with an 18-14 win in front of a stadium record crowd of 7,102 but Wakefield almost spoiled the party with a tremendous second-half rally.
The Salford tries were scored by Gareth Hock, Harrison Hansen and Andrew Dixon, while Matt Ryan, Pita Godinet and Ali Lauitiiti crossed for Wakefield.
Leeds extended their incredible opening-day record in Super League to 14 straight wins with a 34-6 victory over Hull KR at the newly-named KC Lightstream Stadium.
Rovers, cheered on by a crowd of 11,526, were unable to give coach Craig Sandercock his first opening-day win in the three attempts.
Tom Briscoe scored a hat-trick of tries for Leeds on his debut with Joel Moon, Danny McGuire, Zak Hardaker and Kallum Watkins also bagging scores.
Kris Keating scored Hull KR's only try of the afternoon.
Kirk Dixon passed the 1000-point mark for Castleford as the Tigers came from behind to open their season with a hard-fought 36-18 victory at Odsal which capped a miserable week for crisis club Bradford.
The Castleford tries came from Dixon, Weller Hauraki, Daryl Clark, Justin Carney, Luke Dorn and Grant Millington, while Danny Addy, Jamie Foster and Adrian Purtell went over for Bradford.
Danny Tickle piled up 24 points on his debut as Widnes romped to a 64-10 victory over relegation favourites London Broncos.
Tickle, snapped up from Hull, scored a try and booted 10 goals after the Broncos had swept into an early lead.
Widnes led 30-6 at half-time with skipper Kevin Brown and half back partner Joe Mellor also in top form.
Man of the match Brown grabbed a hat-trick of tries with Mellor also crossing as Widnes stormed to the top of the Super League with Stefan Marsh and Chris Dean notching a brace apiece.
Jack Owens, Paddy Flynn and Joe Mellor were the other plays to score tries for Widnes.
Carl Forster and Jamie O'Callaghan went over for London.
On Friday night, Hull FC ran in six second-half tries to overturn a 16-12 half-time deficit and get their campaign off to a winning start as they edged past the Catalan Dragons 36-34 in a thrilling finale at the KC Stadium.
The French side had a chance to pinch a point from a dramatic match after scoring a last-minute try.
The Black and Whites appeared to have the game won when they led 36-22 after 75 minutes but the Catalans struck back with three tries in a remarkable finale.
Thomas Bosc would have earned a share of the spoils had he managed to convert Zeb Taia's last-minute try but he was off target for the fourth time in seven attempts to leave Hull nervous winners.
Hull's goalkickers fared even worse, with Joe Westerman and Ben Crooks managing just two successes from eight attempts between them.
Australian stand-off Jordan Rankin was the hero for the Black and Whites on his debut, scoring a long-range try and creating two others in a crucial seven-minute spell in the second half, while centre Kirk Yeaman scored twice, taking his try total for the club to 157 and climbing to fifth in the all-time list.
Richard Whiting, Tom Lineham, Jordan Thompson, Richard Horne and Ben Crooks also crossed for the home side.
The Catalans were on course for their first win at the KC Stadium since 2008 after dominating the first half but coach Laurent Frayssinous will be alarmed at the way his side collapsed after the break.
Damien Cardace claimed a hat-trick of tries for the Dragons, Zub Taia a brace while Elliott Whitehead also crossed.