Super League: Wakefield ensure survival by beating Hull

Jacob Miller in action for Wakefield
Jacob Miller in action for Wakefield

Wakefield secured their Super League status and consigned champions Leeds to the Qualifiers with a remarkable 72-10 victory over Hull.


Thursday July 19

  • Wigan 6-14 St. Helens

Friday July 20

  • Castleford 18-32 Huddersfield
  • Leeds 34-0 Widnes
  • Hull KR 20-34 Warrington

Saturday July 21

  • Catalans 44-10 Salford

Sunday July 22

  • Wakefield 72 Hull FC 10

Sunday

Wakefield secured their Super League status and consigned champions Leeds to the Qualifiers with a remarkable 72-10 victory over Hull.

Trinity needed to win one of their final two regular season games and they confirmed their place in the top eight in some style by running in 12 unanswered tries.

Jacob Miller, Pauli Pauli, Reece Lyne and Ben Jones-Bishop scored doubles, while Tom Johnstone, David Fifita, James Batchelor and Max Jowitt also crossed.

Hull, whose top-four hopes are fading by the week, responded late on through Liam Harris and Bureta Faraimo.

Saturday

Fouad Yaha touched down for four tries and Kenny Edwards scored two as Catalans Dragons crushed Salford Red Devils in Perpignan.

The home side scored their first try in the sixth minute and rarely looked troubled as they ran out 44-10 winners to secure their place in the Super League for 2019.

After having gone through the dreaded Million Pound Game in 2017, the home side were looking to avoid the potential of playing in it for a second successive year and secure a top-eight finish.

They did so despite the late withdrawal of influential back rower, Greg Bird, who missed the game to attend the birth of his second child.

Yaha opened the scoring for the Catalans in the sixth minute, the French winger starting and finishing a move that started 20 metres from his own line. Brayden Williame broke away down the left before passing to the supporting Yaha who touched down in the corner. Josh Drinkwater missed the conversion as the Catalans held a 4-0 lead.

Drinkwater did add a penalty goal in the 15th minute following a ball steal, before touching down unopposed three minutes later following up on Samisoni Langi's break downfield. The former Leigh centre offloaded to the supporting Drinkwater who raced over to score. The Catalans half-back added the conversion to take the score to 12-0.

Salford regained possession from the kick-off and reaped the benefits as Derrell Olpherts touched down in the left corner following a flowing move from right to left that involved Rob Lui, Jake Shorrocks and Josh Wood. Ed Chamberlain missed the conversion as the score remained 12-4.

Catalans scored back-to-back tries before half-time. Jason Baitieri scored from short range before Kenny Edwards touched down under the posts following a superb catch and offload by Yaha. Drinkwater converted both tries to take the score to 24-4.

Yaha's second try of the game a minute before half-time following good work by Drinkwater and Williame took the interval score to 28-4.

Catalans started the second half as they finished the first, Yaha touching down four minutes after the interval from Williame's pass to complete his hat-trick. Drinkwater missed the conversion.

Yaha added a fourth try three minutes later from a scrum set play, the Catalans backs combining to send Yaha over and Drinkwater's conversion taking the score to 38-4.

Salford did register a second try of the game, Josh Wood collecting Josh Jones' offload before dancing past a helpless Mickael Simon to score to the right of the posts. Chamberlain added the conversion to take the score to 38-10.

Edwards scored his second try of the game 11 minutes from time to wrap it up, winning the race to touch down Drinkwater's neat grubber kick. Drinkwater added a final conversion.

Friday

Kevin Sinfield won his first game since returning to Leeds as the ailing champions ended a nine-match winless streak to condemn bottom side Widnes to a 15th straight Super League defeat.

Sinfield, who led the Rhinos to seven Grand Final wins as captain, was appointed director of rugby at Headingley earlier this month following the sacking of long-serving head coach Brian McDermott.

His first match in charge was a heavy defeat at Castleford - a club record-extending eighth Super League loss - before a draw at home to Wakefield last week stopped the rot.

This success was sorely needed and gives the Rhinos a fighting chance of avoiding a bottom-four finish and subsequent relegation fight, an indignity they faced in 2016.

First-half tries from Brad Dwyer, Luke Briscoe, Richie Myler and Matt Parcell laid the platform for a comfortable success over a Widnes side coached by former Leeds winger Francis Cummins.

The Vikings have already been condemned to a place in the Qualifiers and they were no match for a Leeds side who handed a debut to on-loan Warrington prop Dom Crosby.

Leeds dominated early field position and Dwyer - handed a starting role for the second week running - went close when he narrowly failed to ground his own grubber kick.

Widnes survived at the expense of a goal-line drop-out and the Rhinos continued to probe, with Dwyer emerging as an influential figure.

Leeds' teenage full-back Jack Walker then showed outstanding speed to break from deep and find team-mate Ash Handley, who was taken out by Danny Walker in a challenge which saw the Widnes hooker sin-binned.

Crosby then came on for his debut before Leeds took the lead in the 17th minute when Dwyer collected possession from acting-half and beat three Widnes defenders comfortably as he raced clear to score.

Three minutes later, Briscoe scored when he capitalised on a Widnes handling error to race down the left flank from halfway to score in the corner.

Those two quick tries settled any lingering home nerves and their dominance led to a third try in the 35th minute when Myler went over from Parcell's neat pass.

Two minutes before the break, Parcell touched down himself after breaking Widnes' line from 15 metres out and Myler's second conversion made it 20-0 at half-time.

England winger Ryan Hall, who this week secured an end-of-season move to NRL outfit Sydney Roosters on a two-year deal, picked up a knock and did not re-emerge for the second half.

But shortly after the restart, Joel Moon dived under the posts to score before Tom Briscoe finished off a fine flowing move to get in on the act.

With 11 minutes remaining, Jack Walker touched down in the right corner for Leeds' seventh try before Widnes had Weller Hauraki sin-binned late on.

Huddersfield booked their place in the Super 8s with a storming 32-18 triumph to stun hosts Castleford on Friday night.

England winger Jermaine McGillvary led the visitors' charge with a well-taken hat trick to deny the Tigers the chance to move up to second in the Super League table with one week of the regular season remaining.

The victory made it five from the last six games for head coach Simon Woolford's resurgent Giants, whose form in the second half of the campaign could make them a genuine threat in the play-off scrap to make it to the Old Trafford Grand Final in October.

Castleford set off like a house on fire to tear straight into a Huddersfield side that initially looked way off the pace, racing into a 12-0 lead within 10 minutes.

They opened their account after seven minutes when two soft Giants penalties gave Jamie Ellis the chance to step through against his former club for a try he also converted.

And the lead was doubled just three minutes later when Paul McShane's blindside burst bamboozled the visiting defence and gave him the space to feed Michael Shenton, who in turn sent Jake Trueman strolling over for a second converted score.

But as the half wore on, the Giants began to wake up to the challenge.

Midway through the period they halved the deficit when Danny Brough's long pass enabled Leroy Cudjoe to put McGillvary over in the corner, with Brough landing the touchline conversion.

Then seven minutes later Jordan Rankin and Adam O'Brien combined superbly for Cudjoe to send McGillvary over for his second.

Although Brough failed to add the extras, he was on target with a 32nd-minute penalty to level the scores.

McShane's neat pass put Junior Moors over from close range four minutes later for converted try number three to restore Castleford's lead.

But, on the stroke of half-time, Brough worked his magic to release Lee Gaskell to dummy his way over and Brough again goaled to make it 18-18 at the break.

And within four minutes of the restart, the visitors were ahead for the first time when the Castleford defence failed to react to a Brough grubber and Cudjoe made them pay by touching down in the corner, too far out for the scrum-half to add the extras.

Brough was also off target two minutes later when half-back partner Gaskell showed real class to send Darnell McIntosh over to make it 26-18.

With the Giants in the ascendancy, it was no surprise when they further extended their advantage with a cracking try. Great approach play paved the way for Rankin's long, looping pass which put McGillvary over to complete his treble.

McIntosh 'bombed' a golden chance to extend the lead on the hour mark by taking the wrong option on the halfway line, while Greg Eden was denied a try by the video referee two minutes later.

Huddersfield found the perfect response as Brough banged over a penalty moments later to take them three scores ahead.

The impressive Gaskell just lost possession of the ball as he attempted to score with 11 minutes remaining, before Eden was denied for a second time by the television match officials.

Warrington's homeward-bound Australian star Tyrone Roberts scored a try and kicked five goals in a 34-20 win at KCOM Craven Park on Friday night to condemn Hull KR to an end-of-season relegation battle.

Huddersfield's surprise success at Castleford plus Warrington's rollercoaster win lifted Steve Price's side above the Tigers into third place in Super League, behind St Helens and Wigan.

Rovers battled from 6-0 and 12-8 down to lead 14-12 early in the second half, but Wolves made the game safe with four tries in the final half-hour.

Robins winger Elliot Wallis scored two tries in nine minutes, but the first half nevertheless belonged to the visitors.

England international Mike Cooper powered onto Daryl Clark's flat pass to crash over after five minutes, and Roberts kicked the first of his five goals to make it 6-0.

Wallis, 18, endured a tough start to the contest, bundled into touch in one half and then trapped behind his own line as Warrington forced a drop-out. But he recovered superbly with two tries in quick succession to put Rovers in front.

His first came after a flowing cross-field move from corner post to corner post, and his second arrived via Tom Lineham's fumbling of Danny McGuire's bomb - an error by the former Hull FC winger which delighted the east Hull crowd. Danny Tickle missed both conversions but the hosts led 8-6.

Warrington's bright start had suddenly been eclipsed but Roberts' quick thinking and astute grubber kick edged them back in front.

Adam Quinlan was caught out of position and Roberts' kick was followed up unopposed by Stefan Ratchford, who marked his 200th appearance for the club with a try.

Rovers lost talisman Shaun Lunt to a game-ending concussion after Roberts' goal made it 12-8 in Warrington's favour.

There was still plenty of fire left in Rovers and they were rewarded within two minutes of the resumption following a late shot on half-back Chris Atkin. Running the penalty, Hull KR prop Robbie Mulhern bulldozed over and Tickle added his first extras of the night.

Back came Wolves with 10 points in four minutes, however, to take a two-score lead for the first time.

Clark's second assist of the night, this time a trademark midfield scoot, allowed Roberts to race 20 metres for the touchdown.

Roberts added the goal before Toby King scythed through a gap close to the home line to make it 22-14.

Atkin's try and Tickle's second goal cut Warrington's lead to two points, but there was no comeback as Kevin Brown and Dec Patton added further tries with Roberts booting two more goals.

Thursday

St Helens put one hand on the League Leaders' Shield with an impressive 14-6 derby win over Wigan that takes them 10 points clear at the top with one round left of the regular Super League season.

Even without Ben Barba and Mark Percival, Super League's leading tryscorers with 39 touchdowns between them, Saints had too much flair for an injury-hit Wigan side who will lose second spot in the table if Castleford beat Huddersfield on Friday night.

Second row pair Dominique Peyroux and Morgan Knowles scored Saints' tries but more significantly were at the heart of a magnificent defensive effort that carried their side to a 13th successive win.

It was also St Helens' 100th league win over Wigan which was lapped up by the 3,000 travelling fans who can surely start booking their tickets for Old Trafford.

Front row duo James Roby and Luke Thompson were immense for Justin Holbrook's men while substitute Jack Ashworth caught the eye on only his eighth Super League appearance and his first since the 2016 season.

Without half a dozen senior players through injury, Wigan gave a debut to centre Chris Hankinson, who did not look out of place after putting his career as an apprentice electrician on hold to go full-time, but former Saints forward Joe Greenwood made a low-key comeback against his old club.

Both sides showed signs of nerves in a cagey opening, with several handling errors even before the big hits started going in.

The first half was fast and furious but yielded only one try, which was something of a gift to Peyroux after defenders Liam Marshall and Dan Sarginson got in a muddle attempting to collect a grubber kick from Theo Fages.

Danny Richardson converted the try and extended his side's lead with a 19th-minute penalty, which followed a superb break through the heart of the Wigan defence from the in-form Thompson.

Saints defended superbly and were good value for their 8-0 interval lead, which would have been greater but for a last-ditch tackle by second rower John Bateman on Saints threequarter Tom Makinson.

The visitors continued to boss the show in the second half, when Makinson and Richardson terrorised the Wigan defence with some electric running.

Saints laid siege to their opponents' line and the pressure told when Knowles took a short pass from Fages to force his way over for their second try, to which Richardson added a third goal.

Determined not to be whitewashed, Wigan stepped up their efforts in the final quarter without ever looking like threatening to take the spoils.

Prop Romain Navarrete had a try disallowed for a double movement and Sarginson was held up over the line before full-back Sam Tomkins jinked his way over for a solo try 10 minutes from the end and added the conversion.


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