A review of the latest round of matches in the Betfred Super League, including narrow wins for Wigan and Hull KR.
Thursday July 26
- St. Helens 14-12 Warrington
Friday July 27
- Huddersfield 40-28 Wakefield
- Hull FC 16-20 Hull KR
- Salford 38-22 Leeds
- Wigan 25-20 Catalans
Sunday July 29
- Widnes v Castleford
Wigan bounced back from two successive Betfred Super League defeats to see off 12-man Catalans Dragons 25-20 in a thrilling and bruising encounter.
Wigan led at half-time despite falling behind early on as Jodie Broughton capitalised on a Liam Marshall mistake.
Wigan did not take long to get back on level terms as Sam Tomkins - who was controlling matters for the Warriors - sent a towering bomb to the corner which was collected by Chris Hankinson to grab his first try for the club.
Tomkins converted and later added a penalty to put Wigan 8-6 in front at half-time.
A forgetful first half ended with a bit of excitement as the Dragons were reduced to 12 men after Kenny Edwards was dismissed for a late and high tackle on John Bateman that sparked a mass brawl.
Wigan looked in full control after the break as two tries from Morgan Escare and Tomkins put them 20-12 in front, but the Dragons refused to give up and hit back with tries of their own thanks to Alrix Da Costa and Fouad Yaha.
Lucas Albert levelled things up with 13 minutes remaining, but Wigan were not interested in a draw as Tomkins dropped a goal before Joe Greenwood grabbed his first try for the Warriors to secure a hard-fought victory.
Craig Hall scored twice as Hull FC suffered a rare derby defeat to Hull KR, losing 20-16 at the KCOM Stadium.
After seven successive wins over their city rivals, it went wrong early on for the Black and Whites in this Super League clash as Rovers surged 16-0 ahead by half-time thanks to on-loan Leigh man Hall's double and a further try from Danny Tickle.
Hull hauled themselves level, powered by tries from Jordan Abdull, Josh Griffin and Mark Minichiello, but a penalty from Tickle on the hour nudged the visitors ahead once more.
Hull's Marc Sneyd hit the post from a penalty as he looked to bring the sides level again, before at the other end Tickle proved more accurate, adding another two points with four minutes remaining.
Jermaine McGillvary scored his second successive hat-trick as Huddersfield warmed up for their Super 8s assault with a 40-28 triumph over Wakefield to make it nine wins in 10 Super League fixtures.
A week after crossing three times in the victory at Castleford, the England winger repeated the act to help his side leapfrog their opponents in the table.
The Giants were the dominant force for much of the opening period and thoroughly deserved their 30-10 interval advantage.
Within five minutes the hosts took the lead for the first time as the in-form Lee Gaskell sent Jordan Turner clear to feed Jordan Rankin to finish off.
Danny Brough made no mistake, adding the first of his five first-half conversions, two of which were from the touchline.
Trinity waited just three minutes to find their response, with Ryan Hampshire's kick to the corner finding Ben Jones-Bishop to finish off. Hampshire then landed the touchline goal.
The visitors did not help their cause when Matty Ashurst was sin-binned for dissent two minutes later, and just before he returned to the fray the Giants took a tap penalty close to their opponents' tryline and Brough fed Alex Mellor to crash over from close range.
Then minutes later Leroy Cudjoe teased the Wakefield defence before finding McGillvary to show great strength to squeeze in at the corner.
A strong Bill Tupou try in the 24th minute suggested Trinity were far from finished.
But two Huddersfield tries in the 34th and 37th minutes made their task even tougher.
Darnell McIntosh was the first to strike as he collected Gaskell's long pass and finished superbly from 10 metres out before Brough and Gaskell combined to find Cudjoe, who showed lightning hands to put McGillvary over for his 150th Huddersfield try.
And he had to wait just four minutes after the break to score try number 151 and complete his second hat-trick in a week by reaching out to touch down, despite the best attentions of Tupou.
The Giants' seventh try of the night came in the 52nd minute when Ryan Hinchcliffe's trickery was capitalised on by Ukuma Ta'ai to storm over by the posts, with Brough's goal bringing up the 40-point mark for his side for the first time this season.
Wakefield refused to wave the white flag as Jacob Miller's kick to the corner paved the way for Pauli Pauli to score with the minimum of fuss. Hampshire's conversion made it 40-16.
That lead was slashed even further three minutes later when strong approach play resulted in Justin Horo crashing over for another converted score.
But they had to wait until the 78th minute to get any closer to their hosts with a try in the corner from Tom Johnstone, which Hampshire converted from out wide to complete the scoring.
Jackson Hastings enjoyed a debut to remember as he inspired Salford to a 38-22 victory over Leeds Rhinos at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The former Manly half-back was involved in everything during a devastating opening stint which saw the Red Devils race into a 22-6 lead before having forward Lee Mossop sent off for a headbutt in the 20th minute.
Hastings scored a try and had a hand in two others as Salford recovered from going behind in the second minute to a Brad Dwyer try which was converted by Liam Sutcliffe.
What followed was as good a spell as struggling Salford have produced all season. With Hastings running the show, Ian Watson's men scored four tries in 11 minutes.
Robert Lui set up Ryan Lannon for a barge over the line before Hastings broke superbly and sent Niall Evalds racing clear.
Hastings was quickest to react to a kick-through which caused havoc in the Leeds defence then Chamberlain crossed on the right flank.
With Chamberlain kicking three goals from four attempts, Salford led 22-6 with only 19 minutes played.
However Salford were reduced to 12 men when Mossop was red-carded for a headbutt and Leeds took immediate advantage of the extra man, with Sutcliffe scoring a try he also converted.
On the stroke of half-time, Lui spied his chance and got through a gap for a try which Chamberlain could not convert but Salford deserved their 26-12 half-time lead.
These teams will do battle again in the Super 8 Qualifiers and both came into the game with just one win in their last six.
Leeds had new signing Jordan Thompson on debut following his move from Championship side Leigh Centurions but they looked short on ideas, even when facing 12 men.
Joel Moon's mazy run gave Tom Briscoe room to score on the right edge in the 55th minute though Sutcliffe was unable to add the conversion.
Further tries from Evalds and Josh Jones sealed victory for Ian Watson's men with Matt Parcell adding a late consolation for Leeds.
St Helens ended the regular Super League season on a dramatic high when scrum-half Danny Richardson kicked a penalty from inside his own half to snatch a 14-12 victory over Warrington.
After coming from 8-0 down at half-time to lock the scores at 12-12, the table-toppers looked certain to suffer a first defeat in 14 matches as the Wolves camped inside their 20-metre area for the last 10 minutes.
But Tyrone Roberts and Stefan Ratchford missed three drop-goal attempts between them in a frenzied finale and Richardson showed his composure when his side were awarded a penalty after the final hooter had sounded.
It means St Helens are guaranteed to finish the regular season at least 10 points clear, emulating the feat of Castleford 12 months ago, while Warrington suffered a blow to their hopes of claiming a home semi-final.
There was little sign of the drama to come as Warrington made a whirlwind start with scrum-half Roberts and hooker Daryl Clark causing all sorts of problems for the home side.
Roberts and Ben Westwood were both brought down short of the line before prop Mike Cooper, showing the form that earned him an England recall, squeezed a pass out of a three-man tackle to get Clark over for the only try of the first half.
Clark almost had a second when he was held up on his back over the line by full-back Ben Barba, who had spurned a glorious chance at the other end when he was tackled by winger Tom Lineham with two men on his outside.
Lineham's scrambling effort typified his side's determination to keep their line intact throughout an absorbing first half, particularly during a frenzied period in which Saints were awarded three successive penalties on their line.
From one of them, Saints captain James Roby was held up on his back and the only other points before half-time came from the boot of Roberts, who kicked a 40-metre penalty for a high tackle by Jon Wilkin to add to his earlier conversion.
Impregnable on their own line, it took a brilliant long-range effort to breach the Wolves defence a minute into the second half, as stand-off Jonny Lomax produced a half-break on halfway to release Mark Percival and Barba was in support to claim his 23rd try of the season.
Richardson's conversion cut the deficit to two points but it became six courtesy of the boot of Roberts, who kicked two more penalties early in the second half, one of them again from 40 metres out.
Warrington had a chance to pull clear when winger Josh Charnley regathered the ball from Roberts' high kick to the corner but had it stolen from his grasp by Barba and it proved pivotal.
Saints worked their way upfield and, after opting to run another penalty from in front of the posts, their enterprise paid off when Lomax took an inside pass from Zeb Ta'ai to shoot over for their second try.
Richardson levelled the scores with his second goal and powerful prop Luke Thompson went close to putting Saints in front for the first time when he lost the ball over the line.
In a tense and feisty finale, Roby came to his side's rescue by charging down Roberts' drop-goal attempt and Richardson made a poor attempt from inside his own half.
Roberts and Richardson were then both off target with their second attempts and Warrington full-back Ratchford also missed a one-pointer as the game appeared destined to end in a draw until Richardson's late winner.