A review of Sunday's double header in the Betfred Super League...
- London Broncos 10-36 Leeds Rhinos
- Wakefield Trinity 16-24 Wigan Warriors
Leeds almost safe after beating Broncos
Leeds Rhinos all but secured their Betfred Super League status and plunged London Broncos further into trouble with a 36-10 victory in the capital.
With Hull KR's victory away to Catalans on Saturday, the pressure was always going to be on the Broncos as they began the day two points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table.
The first try of the game came as a result of a mistake, Elliot Kear losing the ball forward in the tackle, leaving Luke Briscoe with the simple task of scooping up and racing untouched to the try line to finish under the posts. Rhyse Martin added the conversion to give the visitors an early 6-0 lead.
The home side though were not to be deterred and spent the next five minutes or so camped deep in Rhinos territory.
Their best chance came through Kieran Dixon jinking his way inside from his wing, however a knock-on brought the attack to a halt.
But the Rhinos went straight down the other end and were much more clinical than the hosts as Ava Seumanufagai burst over from a metre out, with Martin again adding the extras to stretch the lead to 12-0.
Just before half-time the visitors took complete control as they stretched the lead yet further. Brett Ferres fought off his tackler superbly before offloading to Jack Walker who danced his way through the remainder of the Broncos defence to give them an 18-0 lead with Martin's conversion.
Less than five minutes after the restart and the hosts were finally on the board. Dixon, as has become his speciality this season, intercepted the ball from Walker on the fourth tackle and sprinted the best part of 90 metres to score under the posts. He converted his own effort.
Two minutes later and they were back in the game, Brock Lamb's long pass was dangerously close to being intercepted by Konrad Hurrell but it instead landed in the hands of Ryan Morgan who ran through untouched to cross the whitewash.
Any hopes of a comeback were put to bed with 10 minutes to go however when Ash Handley finished off a nice flowing move to touch down in the corner, Martin adding the extras to make it 24-10.
The game was wrapped up with five minutes to go as Harry Newman was presented with a two-on-one and unselfishly offloaded to the onrushing Walker to run through untouched to finish under the posts before Brad Dwyer sealed the win from a metre out.
Wigan continue surge
Wigan continued their climb up the Betfred Super League table and moved into second place with a hard-fought 24-16 win over Wakefield.
Liam Marshall finished with a hat-trick and Zak Hardaker kicked four goals as the in-form Warriors notched their fifth victory in a row, and their 10th from their past 11 matches, at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.
Trinity remain in a relegation battle with just two rounds left as they sit on 20 points, only two above the bottom-placed London Broncos.
Wigan started well and Liam Farrell got over the line in the sixth minute, but the try was chalked off because of a forward pass.
The match turned heated in the 11th minute and a melee erupted after a high tackle by Morgan Smithies.
Four minutes later Joe Burgess was held up as he tried to score in the corner.
But the visitors would not be stopped and Marshall bagged the first try of the afternoon.
Trinity spilled the ball near the Wigan try-line and Marshall scooped the ball up, racing away 85 metres to score.
Hardaker added the extras to make it 6-0.
It got worse for Wakefield in the 24th minute when Bill Tupou limped from the field.
Then Marshall struck again for his second four-pointer of the day.
Adam Tangata knocked the ball on and in the next set George Williams floated a lovely cut-out pass to the winger to dive over.
Hardker missed from the sideline so Wigan remained 10-0 in front
But the home team hit back through James Batchelor.
Jacob Miller grubbered in behind and Batchelor won the race to the ball.
Danny Brough converted the try to cut the score back to 10-6.
With eight minutes left in the first half Trinity forward Chris Annakin was stretchered off with a serious injury.
Then Hardaker added a penalty goal from right in front to extend the lead back to six points.
But right on half-time Miller struck to close the gap once more.
Morgan Escare, on loan from Wigan to Wakefield, broke down the left wing from Kelepi Tanginao's pass, finding Miller in support who twisted and turned his way over.
Brough's cool conversion tied it up at the interval.
In the second half it remained a tight and scrappy contest dominated by defence.
The Warriors were unable to crack Trinity's defensive line despite repeated attempts.
Six minutes later Joe Greenwood was held up in Wakefield's in-goal.
Still the home team would not buckle, until Marshall took a quick tap in the 57th minute.
The winger busted through the line and flew 80 metres downfield to sensationally bring up his hat-trick.
Hardaker added the conversion to gift the visitors an 18-12 lead.
But Trinity were not done yet and Ben Jones-Bishop gave them hope when he crossed off Escare's smart kick.
Brough was unable to convert from the sideline, leaving Wigan two points in front with 10 minutes left.
Sam Powell barged over in the final seconds and Hardaker converted it to seal the Warriors' victory.