Bulls rout Wildcats, Dragons win
A review of the weekend's action so far in Super League XVIII as Bradford thrash West Yorkshire rivals Wakefield.
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Francis Cummins enjoyed a dream start to his role of head coach as new-look Bradford overwhelmed a disappointing Wakefield 40-6 at the Provident Stadium.
Jamie Foster, Matty Blythe and Adam Sidlow all scored tries on debut as the Bulls, embarking on a re-building phase after almost going under last year, dominated the West Yorkshire derby from start to finish.
Foster, a specialist winger filling in at full-back, also kicked six goals from seven attempts to finish with a 16-point haul, while man of the match Jarrod Sammut helped offset the absence of the injured Luke Gale at scrum-half with a brace of opportunist tries.
A stunning first-half display by favourites Warrington Wolves saw them kick off their 2013 campaign with a 40-24 victory over Castleford Tigers at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Wolves exploded out of the blocks and scored four tries in the opening 13 minutes through Chris Riley, Ryan Atkins, Rhys Evans and Richie Myler with Brett Hodgson landing three conversions to open up a 22-0 lead.
Further first-half tries from Ben Westwood and Garreth Carvell, both goaled by Hodgson, saw the Wolves extend their lead to 34-12 at half-time.
The Tigers produced a much-improved second-half display and restricted the home side to just a further score from Westwood but the damage had been done in the opening exchanges.
Castleford scored second half tries through Richard Owen and Jake Webster to add to first half scores from Justin Carney and Michael Shenton with Jamie Ellis landing four goals.
Laurent Frayssinous also made a fine start as his Catalan Dragons beat Hull KR 32-24 at MS3 Craven Park.
Frayssinous had the unenviable task of replacing Trent Robinson as the Dragons coach, but Robinson left the team in great shape after finishing fourth last season.
And tries from Zeb Taia, Jason Baitieri, Jamal Fakir, Brent Webb and a Steve Menzies double saw the French side to victory in East Yorkshire.
Stefan Marsh guided Widnes to an impressive 28-14 victory over the London Broncos as the Vikings got their campaign off to the perfect start.
Marsh scored two of the visitors' five tries and was an impressive presence throughout as Denis Betts' men triumphed in the capital.
Huddersfield made it a miserable start at Langtree Park for former coach Nathan Brown with their first away win over St Helens for 35 years following a 40-4 victory in the opening round of Super League XVIII.
The Giants, who won at Wigan 12 months ago, pulled off another stunning opening-round victory to give Brown's successor Paul Anderson a dream start to his first full season in charge.
Huddersfield's seven-try rout also marked a tremendous start for new captain Danny Brough, whose superb tactical kicking kept Saints pinned inside their own half for most of the first half to create the position for his side to outplay their hosts.
New forward signings Stuart Fielden and Craig Kopczak helped lay a solid platform for the visitors while hooker Shaun Lunt made a tryscoring return from his loan spell at champions Leeds.
The Giants magnificent defence kept Saints tryless until five minutes from the end.
On Friday, Hull failed to overcome the shock absence of newly-appointed captain Gareth Ellis as Leeds made a confident start to the defence of their Super League crown in a 36-6 victory.
All the pre-match focus had been on the England forward's eagerly-awaited return to Super League after a four-year stint in Australia but he was sensationally ruled out after damaging an ankle in the warm-up.
Hull coach Peter Gentle was forced to re-shuffle his line-up, with Richard Whiting coming off the bench to take Ellis' second row spot and Chris Green promoted from 18th man to the bench.
For nearly an hour the Black and Whites made light of the absence of the former Leeds favourite and actually looked capable of condemning the Rhinos to a first opening-day defeat for 12 years.
But, inspired by long-serving half-backs Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow, the champions wore down the visitors' resistance to score five tries in the last 25 minutes and run out comfortable winners.
Sam Tomkins underlined his status as the game's poster boy by launching the new season with a hat-trick in an emphatic Wigan 42-0 win at Salford.
The Warriors' star full-back ran in three of his side's eight tries to puncture a party atmosphere at the Salford City Stadium sparked by the Reds' recent takeover.
Yet after coming perilously close to folding in the close season, the hosts will take heart from a spirited display, even if they looked some way short of the required standard.
Five-goal Pat Richards, Matty Smith, Josh Charnley, Iain Thornley and Liam Farrell also touched down for Wigan.