Top two suffer first defeats
A review of the weekend's action in Super League XVIII, including defeats for the top two in the table.
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Stand-off Jarrod Sammut scored a hat-trick of tries as Bradford produced their best performance under new coach Francis Cummins to beat Huddersfield 43-18 and end the Giants'100% Super League record.
The Giants stay top of the table after second-placed Warrington lost at Hull KR but there was little else for the home fans to cheer after witnessing a woeful display by their team.
Huddersfield sorely lacked leadership and creativity in the absence of their skipper Danny Brough, who pulled out through illness, and never recovered from a shocking start in which they conceded two tries in the first nine minutes.
Hull KR produced their best 80-minute performance of the season to beat second-placed Warrington 26-12 in Sunday's clash at MS3 Craven Park.
Winger Dave Hodgson scored two of his side's three tries as the Wolves tasted their first defeat of the season.
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Wigan survived an almighty scare before maintaining their excellent recent record against Castleford Tigers with a tense 28-22 victory at the Wish Communications Stadium.
The Warriors came into this match having won seven of their last eight meetings with Castleford, the exception a 22-22 draw in June 2011.
On that occasion Wigan relinquished a 22-4 lead and they did likewise this time around as a wonderful score from Jamie Ellis and two from Justin Carney revived the hosts.
After Rangi Chase had struck the post for Castleford with a late drop-goal attempt, it was Chris Tuson who had the final say when taking Sean O'Loughlin's excellent offload to cross for his second try.
The boot of Thomas Bosc got Catalan Dragons out of trouble in Perpignan on Saturday to deny Wakefield what would have been an impressive victory.
The France international slotted a 75th-minute match-winning drop goal to break the Wildcats' resistance, just seconds after converting Damien Blanch's try from the touchline to level the scores at 22-22.
Jason Batieri's last-minute try sealed a 29-22 victory which slightly flattered the hosts although Wakefield will rue their failure to protect the 16-0 lead they opened early on.
Even after Catalan levelled at 16-16 the visitors still went back ahead through Lee Smith, but ultimately the precision of Bosc was the difference, leaving Wakefield to suck up a second tough defeat in a row having lost 18-16 to 100 per cent Huddersfield last Sunday.
Mathias Pala, Greg Mounis and Damien Blanch also crossed for the Dragons while the Wildcats tries came from Richard Mathers, Peter Fox, Dean Collis and Lee Smith.
Widnes recorded their first home win of the season with a 36-16 triumph over Hull FC - but their victory at Halton Stadium may have come at a costly price.
Paddy Flynn bagged a brace of first-half tries before ex-Hull man Cameron Phelps crossed twice himself against his former employers after the break.
New boy Kevin Brown played his part in helping the hosts rally from a 12-10 half-time deficit, setting up a try on his long-awaited debut when his superb up-and-under was caught and finished by Chris Dean.
However, the stand-off's night came to a premature end when he hobbled off with an ankle injury. Widnes also saw Stefan Marsh suffer a suspected broken arm, meaning the result was somewhat soured by the loss of two key players.
Gareth Hock and Frank Winterstein scored Widnes' other tries while Joe Westerman, Ben Galea and Tom Lineham crossed for the visitors.
On Friday night, Leeds put their World Club Challenge disappointment behind them by claiming their first away win over St Helens for five years.
England winger Ryan Hall scored two tries at Langtree Park as the Super League champions atoned for last year's hammering by prevailing 20-12 to leave Saints still looking for a first home win under coach Nathan Brown.
The bright spot for St Helens was an impressive debut by 18-year-old England academy international centre Mark Percival, who carved out two consolation tries for his winger Francis Meli.
Leeds' victory, which ended a run of five consecutive away defeats by their arch rivals, was all the sweeter after overcoming the motorway closure that forced hundreds of their fans to turn back.
London climbed off the bottom of the table with a seven-try 38-4 romp at fellow strugglers Salford.
The Broncos had conceded 138 points in four opening defeats but were in front 22-0 at half-time, with Kieran Dixon and Chris Bailey each crossing twice in a dominant victory.