A review of the latest action in the Betfred Super League.
Thursday, March 9
- Leeds 20-16 Hull FC
Friday, March 10
- Warrington 12-30 St Helens
- Widnes 16-28 Huddersfield
Saturday, March 11
- Catalans Dragons 18-16 Hull KR
Sunday, March 12
- Wigan 30-18 Wakefield
- Castleford 22-8 Salford
Wigan winger Joe Burgess scored a hat-trick of tries to condemn Wakefield to their first defeat of the Betfred Super League season.
Trinity had made their best start to a season in the top flight since the Second World War and they threatened to make it five wins in a row when winger Ben Jones-Bishop scored two tries for the second successive match to give them a 12-10 half-time lead.
But the Warriors overcame an interval deficit for the second successive week to run out 30-18 winners and climb above the Yorkshire club to reach second place in the table behind arch-rivals St Helens.
Wakefield, at full strength with hooker Tyler Randell returning from injury to make his first appearance of the season, struck as early as the fourth minute.
They took advantage of a handling error from Wigan winger Tom Davies deep inside his own half and worked the ball out wide for Jones-Bishop to score his first try.
Liam Finn was wide with the conversion attempt but kicked a penalty to make it 6-0 before Wigan steadied the ship.
Second rower Liam Farrell got Burgess charging over wide out for the home side's first try and, after makeshift centre John Bateman had gone close, substitute Taulima Tautai marked his 100th appearance for the club with the try that put them in front on 31 minutes.
Morgan Escare, who again started on the bench, converted Tautai's try but Wakefield demonstrated neat handling to get Jones-Bishop over for his second try in identical fashion five minutes before half-time and Finn's touchline goal nudged his side back in front.
The lead changed hands for a third time four minutes into the second half when Tomkins produced a superb pass to get Burgess over for his second try and on 57 minutes he repeated the feat on the other side for right winger Davies to produce a spectacular finish.
Tomkins kicked both difficult conversions to open up a 10-point lead and there was no way back for Trinity when Tomkins tipped the ball onto Burgess and he came inside to crash over for his third try on 62 minutes.
Wakefield full-back Scott Grix's 350th match of his career was cut short when he went off for a concussion assessment and Finn had a try disallowed for obstruction, but they pulled a try back seven minutes from the end when Craig Huby popped a ball out of a tackle for Tinirau Arona to score.
Escare had a late try ruled out for offside but Wigan had the final say when Tomkins kicked a penalty, his fourth goal from five attempts.
Castleford made it three straight wins as they took advantage of a woeful first-half performance by Salford to record a 22-8 victory.
The postponement of last week's game at Hull KR rounded off a frustrating month for the 2017 Grand Finalists but they continue to chalk off the wins following a nightmare opening night at St Helens.
Michael Shenton and James Clare - on his second debut - touched down in a fast start by the Tigers before Luke Gale added a fourth goal to his own try to make it 20-0 at half-time.
Mistake-ridden Salford barely completed a set in the opening 40 minutes but did improve after the break and crossed through Junior Sa'u and Jake Bibby.
The Tigers could only add a Gale penalty in the second half as they eased off with the points in the bag.
Castleford were frustrated by the snow last week but sunshine greeted both sets of players as they entered the field at the Jungle and the Tigers looked in the mood from the off.
A solid start was essential if Salford, with only one win so far, were to pull off a shock result but a forward pass by hooker Josh Wood on his own 20 set the tone for a sloppy first-half display.
Castleford forced another error and in the next set Shenton finished powerfully in the corner after taking Gale's long pass.
Gale nailed the touchline conversion and repeated the trick after Clare took advantage of Bibby's error from Paul McShane's kick in behind to mark his first game back for the Tigers with a try.
Salford had a lifeline when Oliver Holmes was sin-binned for an ugly spear tackle on Tyrone McCarthy but they did not look like exploiting the extra space in Castleford's defensive line.
The Tigers extended their lead through a Gale penalty after George Griffin was penalised for interference and then the scrum-half helped himself to a try when Josh Jones failed to deal with his kick into the in-goal area.
Salford finally threatened in the final minutes of the half but Sa'u summed up their performance when he lost the ball reaching out for the line.
A flat start to the second half played into the Red Devils' hands and they got on the board on 51 minutes when Sa'u ran a good line to take Jack Littlejohn's pass and go over unopposed.
That was the centre's last meaningful act as he left the field with a head wound and team-mate Logan Tomkins and Castleford prop Grant Millington soon joined him after they saw yellow following an altercation.
Gale knocked over the resultant penalty to make it 22-4 but was wide with a late drop-goal attempt as the game meandered to a conclusion.
Salford, to their credit, kept going and scored a deserved second try in the final minute as Bibby strolled over in the corner from Niall Evalds' pass.
Lucas Albert kicked five goals and created a crucial try as Catalans Dragons secured their first Super League win of the season with a 18-16 victory over Hull KR.
Lewis Tierney and Fouad Yaha scored Catalans' tries, with George Lawler and Justin Carney crossing the whitewash for KR and Ryan Shaw kicking four goals.
Both sides came into the game in poor form, Catalans losing all four of their opening games of the season while Rovers' solitary victory came in the form of a 23-4 success against the Dragons three weeks ago.
Catalans thought they had opened the scoring in the seventh minute when David Mead touched down following a lost ball by Benjamin Jullien, but it was ruled out for a forward pass.
KR opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Shaw kicked a penalty from 20 metres out after Chris Atkin was taken out off the ball by Sam Moa.
Catalans levelled the game in the 28th minute. Julian Bousquet took the ball close to the Rovers line before losing possession, with the referee ruling that was because of a Hull KR hand and awarding the penalty. Albert added the simple conversion as the score moved to 2-2.
Shortly after the half hour mark, McGuire raced through a hole in the Catalans defence to score down the right edge but the try was ruled out by the TMO for an earlier obstruction on Benjamin Garcia by Chris Clarkson.
The Dragons' best moved came with seven minutes remaining to half-time when a smart kick to the right edge was taken by Yaha, who collected the ball but was pushed in the air which resulted in a penalty.
Catalans attacked the Rovers' line from the penalty and Greg Bird kicked the ball on the last tackle where it bounced into the hands of Tierney, who scored the opening try, with Albert converting.
Rovers levelled the game on the stroke of half time after Lawler gathered Atkins' kick to dot down, with Shaw adding the extras as the sides were locked at 8-8 at half-time.
Both teams traded penalties in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, Shaw converting from 30 metres out before Albert levelled the game at 10-10.
A neat kick from Atkin behind the Catalans' defence almost put Adam Quinlan in for a try but Mead's covering tackle snuffed out the chance.
Catalans were awarded a penalty for holding down just after the hour mark, with Albert not missing the goal to put the hosts ahead in the final quarter.
Yaha then scored from Albert's kick to the right corner in the 64th minute to give the Catalans a six-point advantage, with the stand-off missing the conversion attempt from out wide.
With fourteen minutes remaining, Carney levelled the game following a huge error by Tony Gigot after he knocked forward McGuire's kick to the in-goal area. The ball bounced kindly for Carney, who touched down in the corner. Shaw added the conversion to level the scores at 16-16.
Albert was the eventual hero for Catalans after he slotted another penalty to clinch a hard-earned victory.
England centre Mark Percival scored a hat-trick of tries to help St Helens maintain their perfect start to the Betfred Super League season with a 30-12 derby win over Warrington.
The Wolves managed to keep a tight rein on dangerous Australian full-back Ben Barba but could not cope with the attacking threat of Percival, who took his try tally for the year to seven and guided his side to a fifth win from as many games.
Saints' other tries came from captain James Roby - the 99th of his career - and lively half-back Danny Richardson as Warrington were condemned to a fourth defeat in six games under new coach Steve Price.
The Wolves were without in-form centre Bryson Goodwin but had their regular half-backs in harness with Kevin Brown returning from a head knock to partner Tyrone Roberts.
Saints gave a second Super League outing to young forward Matty Lees, recalled from dual-registration club Sheffield Eagles, in the absence of Jon Wilkin and Morgan Knowles and he showed up well in another impressive team display.
Percival made his mark as early as the sixth minute, stepping through the Wolves defence after Richardson had cleverly switched the point of attack.
Both sides struggled to put their sets together in the wet conditions but Warrington gradually worked their way into the game.
Winger Tom Lineham was held up over the Saints line and Warrington forced three goal-line drop-outs to keep the pressure on until centre Toby King scored an equalising try on 23 minutes, picking up a loose ball from Roberts' high kick.
Stefan Ratchford's touchline goal made it 6-6 but Richardson nudged the visitors ahead by half-time with a penalty, adding to his earlier conversion.
It took Saints less than a minute of the second half to increase their advantage.
Roberts failed to gather the ball from Richardson's kick-off to give the visitors a glorious attacking position and Roby punished them with a trademark try from dummy half.
Richardson kicked his third goal but the gap was back to just two points on 52 minutes when King gathered the ball from Roberts' high kick and got substitute Harvey Livett over at the corner.
St Helens lost England prop Alex Walmsley with a hand injury but struck the decisive blow on 57 minutes when Percival took Barba's delayed pass to cross for his second try.
Richardson, who is keeping former England scrum-half Matty Smith out of the side, then showed his class with a darting run and inch-perfect kick for Percival to chase and score his third try.
Percival repaid the favour three minutes from the end with a grubber kick that set up a try for Richardson, who kicked his fifth goal from six attempts to round off a wonderful performance.
Huddersfield picked up their first away win of the season with a 28-16 victory at Widnes.
The Giants were looking to fire up their season after only picking up two points from their four previous Super League outings and the Vikings proved to be easy fodder, ending with 12 men as Wellington Albert saw red.
The loss rounded off a dismal day for Widnes boss Denis Betts, who lost his England Rugby League assistant coaching berth after Wayne Bennett confirmed his new-look backroom team on Friday, with Betts the only casualty.
Betts would have been furious about what he seen in the first period as his side were well off the pace.
A steady flow of penalties and errors cost the Vikings dearly as the Giants raced to a 14-0 after Jake Mamo and Ryan Hinchliffe crossed.
Things did not get much better for the Vikings in the second half either as the Giants finished them off with further scores from Oliver Roberts and Jermaine McGilvary.
Betts' men rallied slightly and plundered three late scores from Joe Mellor, Matt Whitley and Stef Marsh, but it was never going to be enough.
Huddersfield talisman Danny Brough was the man causing the Vikings all the problems and his boot was involved in all the points in a dour first 40 minutes.
Rhys Hanbury gave Hinchcliffe a gift of a try after only four minutes as Brough's towering bomb was misjudged by the Aussie full-back and Hinchcliffe dived over.
Brough slotted the extras from in front of the posts and then was in the thick of it eight minutes later as his neat kick proved to be perfect for Giants pace man Mamo who defied the odds to touchdown.
Another Brough conversion and penalty ensured the Giants were in command at half-time.
Widnes improved in the second half and they nearly struck first after Tom Gilmore's kick nearly put Marsh over.
Order soon resumed, however, as the Giants marched up the other end of the field to score through a simple barge over from Roberts.
Another successful conversion from Brough brought up the 20-point marker.
Things got worse for Widnes as substitute Wellington Albert saw red after only three minutes of action as he was carded for a cannonball tackle on McGilvary.
McGilvary dusted himself down to get on the end of a sweeping Huddersfield move on the right edge to extend their lead even further.
Two tries in three minutes from Vikings pair Mellor and Whitley gave the home side a shot of a comeback.
Another Brough goal stunted their momentum but it was not for long as Marsh touchdown with seven minutes to go.
It was all in vain, though, with Brough having the final say with his sixth goal of the night.
Kallum Watkins and Tom Briscoe scored their first tries of the season to ensure a happy homecoming for Super League champions Leeds in a thrilling encounter with Hull.
Both sides had two tries disallowed as the Rhinos edged to a 20-16 victory on their first appearance at a partially-reconstructed Headingley since September.
Leeds led 20-6 after an hour but were forced to withstand a tremendous fightback before securing a 14th successive home win over Hull stretching back to September 2007.
Lacking five first-choice players through injury or suspension, Hull had threequarter Jack Logan making his first appearance for almost two years, gave a debut to 20-year-old back rower Jordan Lane and a first start to Zimbabwe-born prop Masi Matongo.
And all showed up well, even though the visitors were all at sea in the first quarter and were fortunate to be only 10-0 behind.
Rhinos captain Watkins gave his side a fifth-minute lead when he leapt into the night sky to retrieve the ball from Richie Myler's high kick and force his way over for his first try of the campaign.
The England centre added the conversion and Leeds extended their lead 10 minutes later when Myler's long, looping pass gave winger Briscoe an unopposed run to the corner for his first try of the season.
Briscoe had another try disallowed as the home side put the Hull defence under enormous pressure but Lee Radford's men gradually worked their way into the contest and might have been in front at half-time after dominating the second quarter.
Loose forward Dean Hadley won the race to Marc Sneyd's grubber kick to touch down on 28 minutes and Logan and centre Josh Griffin both had tries contentiously disallowed by video referee Phil Bentham.
The busy Bentham, still unfit to officiate in the middle as a result of his collision with Widnes forward Chris Houston, disallowed a fourth try early in the second half, ruling Myler offside before Jamie Jones-Buchanan touched down his kick.
But there was no denying Watkins on 54 minutes when he cut a superb line to take Myler's short pass and burst through for his second try.
And there appeared to be no way back for Hull when Watkins worked Briscoe over for his second try five minutes later as Leeds opened up a three-score lead.
However, substitute Jordan Abdull forced his way over for a second Hull try on 61 minutes and, after acting captain Scott Taylor had been held up over the line, winger Fetuli Talanoa stormed over at the corner to cut the gap to just four points.
Hull were all over their opponents in the last 10 minutes, with Taylor again held up, but Leeds demonstrated resilience to preserve their lead.