Last-gasp Wildcats stun Tigers
A review of the weekend's action in Super League XVIII, with Wakefield grabbing a last-second win over Castleford.
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Liam Kay completed his hat-trick with the last play of the game as Wakefield ended their turbulent season with a thrilling 36-32 derby win over Castleford.
Despite James Clare's first-half treble and a try from Rangi Chase on his Tigers farewell, Castleford were four points down at the break as Tigers-bound Frankie Mariano (twice), Kay and Kyle Trout went in for the home side.
Wakefield extended their lead after the break when Kay raced away for his second, but Weller Hauraki crashed over to reduce the gap to two before Clare scored his fourth of the game.
Ali Lauitiiti then levelled it at 32-32 before charging down Chase's kick for glory and sending Kay away for a brilliant finish.
London Broncos avoided finishing bottom of the Super League table by clinching a 34-22 win at play-offs bound Hull KR.
Craig Hall, Josh Gudzek and Omari Caro all went over for the Robins in the first 23 minutes, meaning London would have to do things the hard way to overturn a 16-point deficit and claim victory.
They did rise to the challenge, however, with youngster Mason Caton-Brown scoring a hat-trick before Jamie Soward (two) and Mark Bryant scored to turn the game on its head.
Bradford put a reserve Huddersfield side to the sword 58-6 to complete the Super League double over the table-toppers in a one-sided final game of the season at Odsal.
The Bulls took full advantage of Giants coach Paul Anderson's decision to rest all but four members of the team that clinched the league leaders' shield to run in five tries in each half for a welcome win that secures them a ninth-place finish.
Stand-off Jarrod Sammut led the way with four tries and centre Keith Lulia marked his farewell appearance with a hat-trick as Bradford bounced back well from a shock home defeat by London Broncos which was labelled an embarrassment by captain Matt Diskin.
Danny Addy, Jamie Foster and Elliot Kear also crossed for the Bulls, with Huddersfield's lone reply being a second-half Jake Connor try which was converted by Jack Miller.
Scott Dureau missed a late penalty attempt which would have earned Catalan Dragons a home Super League play-off against Hull next weekend.
The Dragons trailed by two points late in the game against Warrington when Dureau missed his penalty attempt and the home side lost 14-12.
Brett Hodgson had sent in Chris Riley for what proved to be a match-winning try 10 minutes from time that means the French side will now travel to the KC Stadium to face the Challenge Cup finalists as they look to give veteran Steve Menzies a fairytale send-off before he retires.
Rhys Evans and Stefan Ratchford had put Warrington into an early lead, but the hosts had hit back through tries from Dureau and Menzies.
Two tries from Adam Swift helped St Helens cruise to their sixth league win in seven after as they dismantled Hull FC 38-12 at the KC Stadium to secure a fifth-placed finish.
Barring any unthinkable scores in the remaining games this weekend, Nathan Brown's men appear set for a play-off meeting with Hull KR, while Hull must wait on other results to see whether their likely clash with Catalan Dragons will be played in England or France.
Things were only ever going to go one way by the Humber as the in-form Saints shone, building up a four-try lead which they took to the break thanks to scores from Jon Wilkin, Josh Jones, Adam Swift and Willie Manu.
Hull would respond through Richard Whiting, but Francis Meli gave Saints an unassailable lead which was added to by Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Danny Tickle added a further Hull consolation.
Patrick Ah Van scored two tries as Widnes ran in 24 unanswered points in the second half to leave Salford still in danger of picking up the wooden spoon before the Reds revolution starts next season.
Salford wound up a rollercoaster campaign with their fifth defeat in a row despite leading 4-0 at the break thanks to a Mark Sneyd try.
Widnes took charge after the interval to run in converted touchdowns from Ah Van (two) Rhys Hanbury and Joe Mellor, which means Brian Noble's men can still finish bottom if London Broncos pull off a shock win at Hull KR on Sunday.
Reigning champions Leeds warmed up for a tilt at a third consecutive Super League title by rounding off the regular season in scintillating fashion with a 20-6 victory at Wigan.
The Rhinos looked a class act as they triumphed in a full-blooded, high-class encounter at the DW Stadium to secure a third-place finish and a trip to Warrington in the opening round of the play-offs.
Wigan led 6-4 at half-time but finished a well-beaten side and, after leading the table for long periods of the season, must settle for a fourth-place finish.
Ben Jones-Bishop, Carl Ablett, Joel Moon and Kallum Watkins scored Leeds' tries with Pat Richards the only man to cross for Wigan.
Super League play-off schedule - week one:
Thursday, September 12: Qualifying play-off - Huddersfield v Wigan (8pm) (winners through to week three, losers at home in preliminary semi-finals).
Friday, September 13: Elimination play-off - Hull v Catalan Dragons(8pm) (winners through to week two, losers go out).
Saturday, September 14: Qualifying play-off - Warrington v Leeds (3pm) (winners through to week three, losers at home in preliminary semi-finals); elimination play-off - St Helens v Hull KR (5pm) (winners through to week two, losers go out).
Thursday, September 19: Preliminary semi-final (8pm) (winners through to week three, losers go out).
Friday, September 20: Preliminary semi-final (8pm) (winners through to week three, losers go out).
Thursday, September 26: Qualifying semi-final (8pm) (winners through to Grand Final, losers go out).
Friday, September 27: Qualifying semi-final (8pm) (winners through to Grand Final, losers go out).
Saturday, October 5: Grand Final (6pm).
::The highest-ranked winning club from week one will choose their semi-final opponents through ClubCall on Sunday, September 22.