Tigers beat Leeds; St Helens win
A review of the weekend's action in the Super League.
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Castleford snatched a dramatic 14-12 win over Leeds with two late penalty goals by Jamie Ellis settling a gripping derby clash on Sunday.
The Tigers were 12-10 behind until Ellis levelled matters with a 40-yard kick in the 74th minute.
He was on target again five minutes later with a kick from in front of the posts as the Tigers grabbed their first win since last July.
It was a deserved victory for the battling Tigers who were inspired by England stand-off Rangi Chase against an off-colour Leeds side.
Jordan Tansey and Jake Webster scored Castleford tries, while Danny McGuire and Ryan Hall bagged scores for the Rhinos.
St Helens maintained their 100 per cent Super League record against Widnes with a 16-4 victory.
The result gives coach Nathan Brown his first win but it took the 60th-minute dismissal of Vikings prop Ben Cross to swing the match their way.
The game was finely balanced with the scores locked at 4-4 when a mass brawl erupted on the hour following a high tackle on St Helens captain Paul Wellens.
Referee James Child's response was to hand Cross a red card and send Widnes captain Jon Clarke to the sin bin and Saints took full advantage to seal victory with the aid of tries by Lee Gaskell and Francis Meli.
Meli had bagged his first try in the first half after Stefan Marsh went over for Widnes.
Hull muscled up in defence to beat Bradford 28-12 at the KC Stadium and put their opening-night misery behind them.
Peter Gentle's were comprehensively beaten, 36-6, by Leeds in the first game of the 2013 season last week, producing a meek performance that belied their status as title dark-horses, a tag earned after a winter of heavy investment.
But they showed their mettle on Sunday, particularly in their own half, as they repelled a Bradford side on a high from their 40-point win over Wakefield last Sunday.
Jason Crookes, Shannon McDonnell, Tom Briscoe, Daniel Holdsworth and Jay Pitts scored Hull's tries.
Matty Blythe and Brett Kearney were the men to over for the Bulls.
Hooker Shaun Lunt scored twice as Huddersfield powered to their second win of the new season with a 34-6 victory over London Broncos.
Eorl Crabtree, Craig Kopczak, Brett Ferres and Joe Wardle also scored tries for the Giants. Shane Rodney crossed for London.
On Saturday, former Hull KR winger Ben Cockayne condemned his old team-mates to their second defeat in two matches and helped Wakefield bounce back from last weekend's opening defeat against Bradford.
The Robins, who had looked down and out after trailing 18-0 and 24-10, had clawed their way back to within four points but Cockayne ended their fightback with a hat-trick of match-clinching tries in the last 20 minutes as the hosts ran out 36-20 winners.
Wildcats coach Richard Agar had labelled the performance against the Bulls as the worst since he took charge but the return of 2012 player of the year Tim Smith and ever-reliable prop Andy Raleigh helped transform them.
However, until Cockayne's late burst, it seemed the sin-binning of Graeme Horne (Hull KR) and Danny Kirmond (Wakefield) were going to provide the pivotal moments.
Wakefield scored 18 points with a man advantage while the visitors responded with 10 when their opponents were down to 12 men.
Catalan Dragons brushed aside the challenge of Super League opponents Salford, winning 40-6 despite losing up and coming prop Julien Bousquet in the third minute to a red card.
The visitors trailed 16-6 at the break - but had no reply to their hosts' power after the turnaround despite the numerical advantage.
Vincent Duport (2), Remi Casty, Steve Menzies, Ian Henderson, Olivier Elima and Daryl Millard crossed for the Dragons, with Niall Evalds managing the visitors' only try.
Warrington's veteran stand-off Lee Briers landed the 68th drop goal of his Super League career to earn his side a 17-17 draw from a bruising and fiery clash with Wigan at the DW Stadium on Friday night.
Wigan scrum-half Matty Smith thought he had won it for the home side when he calmly slotted a drop goal to break the deadlock nine minutes from the end but the wily Briers had the final say to ensure a draw from a match neither side deserved to lose.
Warrington made their trademark blazing start, with winger Joel Monaghan claiming the first of his two tries after only nine minutes, courtesy of Briers' pinpoint pass.
Brett Hodgson's touchline conversion made it 6-0 but the slow-starting Warriors gradually worked their way into the game and stunned the visitors with two tries from Josh Charnley and Ben Flower in eight minutes to go in front.
Monaghan's second try followed before the break before scrum-half Richie Myler crossed for the Wolves early in the second half.
Wigan were back level after 50 minutes when half-backs Matty Smith and Blake Green combined to get second rower Liam Farrell over for a third try.
Both sides pushed for the decisive score, but it finished a draw after Smith and Briers exchanged late drop-goals.