Super League Magic Weekend - Catalans Dragons beat Salford

Action from the Magic Weekend
Action from the Magic Weekend

A review of the latest round of matches in the Betfred Super League, with Magic Weekend taking place at St James' Park.

Salford Red Devils 12-26 Catalans Dragons

Jodie Broughton scored a second-half hat-trick as Catalans Dragons climbed off the bottom of Super League with a commanding 26-12 win over Salford at St James' Park.

It was a crucial match in the Dragons' battle to avoid the bottom four and they rose to the challenge to move to within two points of the eight-placed Red Devils.

Weller Hauraki opened the scoring after a positive start by Salford but Catalans went into half-time with a slender lead thanks to efforts from Ben Garcia and Julian Bousquet.

Broughton went over for his 100th Super League try and made it three in 13 minutes to end Salford's challenge.

George Griffin had the last word but the Red Devils were well beaten.

It was the first meeting between the sides at the Magic Weekend and it is not one that will live long in the memory.

Salford went into the game in Newcastle occupying the final top-eight place and they were quickly out of the blocks.

Derrell Olpherts had already had a try ruled out for offside when Hauraki opened the scoring by powering his way over under the posts after a well-worked one-two with Mark Flanagan.

The Dragons got their first look at the Salford line on 14 minutes and they left with points as Garcia stretched out to touch down on his 100th Catalans appearance from Greg Bird's flat pass.

Josh Drinkwater missed the conversion from out wide and Tony Gigot was also off target from a penalty after Griffin interfered at the play of the ball.

But the Dragons continued to turn the screw and got their reward as Bousquet took advantage of Logan Tomkins' mistake from Michael McIlorum's kick into the in-goal area.

Gigot added the extras to make it 10-6 and it would have got worse for Salford had Garcia not failed to get downward pressure on Drinkwater's dab through.

The Red Devils would have been relieved to go into the break only four points down but they were unable to shift the momentum after the restart as Catalans took control thanks to Broughton's clinical finishing.

The winger crossed for his milestone try after taking Brayden Williame's looping pass and shrugging off Niall Evalds' attempted tackle.

He outpaced Robert Lui to cross for his second after taking Drinkwater's sublime pass inside his own half before collecting Gigot's pinpoint kick to the corner to complete his treble.

Salford suffered another blow when centre Kris Welham hobbled off with a leg injury and Gigot slotted over his third goal from a penalty to end their remote hopes of a miraculous comeback.

Griffin strolled over for a consolation score five minutes from time but Jack Littlejohn summed up a miserable afternoon for the Red Devils when he dropped the restart.

Wakefield Trinity 22-25 Huddersfield Giants

Huddersfield held off a second-half fightback to pile more misery on neighbours Wakefield after interim boss Chris Thorman guided them to back-to-back Super League wins for the first time since last July.

A week on from knocking Trinity out of the Challenge Cup, the Giants condemned them to an eighth defeat in their last 10 league games and kept alive their own top-eight hopes with a nail-biting 25-22 victory at St James' Park.

Only Wigan have a better Magic Weekend record than Huddersfield, who have now won eight of their 12 matches, but this was a close-run contest.

Thorman's men got off to a terrific start, with man-of-the-match Aaron Murphy scoring one try and setting up another as they opened up an 18-0 lead.

Wakefield gradually clawed their way back into the game and were the better team in the second half but they had simply left themselves too much to do.

Former St Helens prop Paul Clough led the Giants out on the 300th appearance of his career and with fellow front rower Ukuma Ta'ai helped lay a solid platform for an impressive first-half display.

Huddersfield dominated the opening quarter and ought to have opened the scoring through England winger Jermaine McGillvary but Jordan Rankin's pass went straight into touch.

They were more clinical when veteran half-back Danny Brough got Ta'ai through a gap in the Trinity defence and Murphy was in support to touch down for the first try.

McGillvary then denied his opposite number Mason Caton-Brown at the other end before hooker Adam O'Brien increased the Giants' lead by forcing his way over from dummy half for a soft try that will have angered Wakefield coach Chris Chester.

Chester's mood worsened when Murphy was put through another gaping hole in his side's defence by Brough and this time centre Jake Mamo finished off the move.

Brough added all three conversions, including one from the touchline, to make it 18-0 and put his side on course for victory.

Wakefield's hard-working second rower Matty Ashurst pulled a try back after 32 minutes, regathering his own kick that rebounded off McGillvary, and Liam Finn kicked the conversion.

The evergreen Brough then put over a drop goal on the stroke of half-time after creating the position with a 40-20 kick to make it 19-6 at the break.

The Giants were reduced to 12 men early in the second half when hooker Kruise Leeming was sin-binned for holding down in the tackle while they were on a team warning and Wakefield immediately took advantage as winger Ben Jones-Bishop touched down Miller's kick to the corner for the first of his two tries.

Finn's touchline goal cut the deficit to seven points but Huddersfield, still a man short, struck back when Mamo tipped the ball on to left winger Darnell McIntosh, who produced an acrobatic finish to score his side's fourth try.

The game was back in the balance in the 56th minute when towering substitute Pauli Pauli, who was earlier lectured for a late tackle on Brough, produced a deft pass to get Jones-Bishop over for his second try and Finn kicked his third conversion.

Huddersfield thought they had wrapped up the victory when full-back Rankin jinked his way over but his try was disallowed by video referee Chris Kendall for an obstruction and it resulted in a tense finish.

Another Pauli offload gave centre Reece Lyne a sight of the line and he evaded Mamo's tackle to score Wakefield's fourth try but Finn was off target for the first time to leave the Giants with a three-point cushion.

Hull K R 22-34 Hull FC

Hull moved back into Super League's top four with a 34-22 victory over Hull KR as the depleted rivals brought down the curtain on Magic Weekend.

With both sides shorn of a host of key men, Jake Connor delivered a sublime performance at St James' Park to inspire his team to a seventh straight derby win.

Scott Taylor claimed Hull's opener and Jamie Shaul crossed twice before the break, while young scrum-half Liam Harris marked his debut against his former club with a try.

Kieran Moss scored Hull KR's two first-half tries and completed his hat-trick to breathe life into the contest.

But Jack Logan and Connor went over to seal Hull's victory, although it was Tommy Lee who scored the final try of Magic Weekend, which was attended by 64,319 fans across the two days.

Hull's injury crisis forced Kirk Yeaman out of retirement and the 34-year-old centre made an inauspicious start as he lost the ball on his first carry.

Rovers had already lost on-loan St Helens hooker Aaron Smith to a head injury but they went on to dominate the opening stages.

After Connor came up with a try-saving tackle to deny Danny Tickle, the Robins targeted Hull's right edge again and broke the deadlock when quick hands from Junior Vaivai gave Moss an easy finish in the corner.

The opening try came on the back of a penalty conceded by Yeaman but he and his team-mates settled into the game as it approached the 20-minute mark.

Luck was on Hull's side as Taylor levelled the scores, with the England prop racing through to claim Connor's kick that had rebounded off the crossbar and touch down under the posts.

Connor added the extras and was on target again to make it 12-4 after Shaul weaved his way over from dummy-half following a charging run by Mark Minichiello.

There was a sense Rovers needed to score next and they did just that courtesy of more quality centre play by Vaivai.

The United States international received the ball on the short side from a scrum and sucked in two defenders to give Moss a walk-in try.

Rovers were causing Hull problems in attack but soft defence allowed the Black and Whites to take a firm grip on the match before half-time.

First Harris shrugged off would-be tacklers to score before Shaul crossed for his second try from Joe Westerman's silky offload.

Connor slotted over his fourth goal to make it 24-10 at half-time but Hull had another injury concern when Josh Griffin was carried off with a knee issue.

Rovers' comeback hopes suffered a blow as Scruton was sin-binned for a late shoulder charge on Danny Houghton.

Yet they were next to score when Moss took Adam Quinlan's cut-out pass before showing impressive strength to touch down in the corner for his third try.

But Rovers had left themselves with too much to do, with Connor putting Logan over before strolling over himself to cap a fine individual display.

The Robins, who lost Vaivai to injury following Logan's try, had the last word through Lee's powerful effort but they end the weekend bottom of Super League.

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