Super League review: Wigan remain in pole position in Super 8s

Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins

A review of Friday's action in the Betfred Super League where Wigan and Warrington were among the winners.

Wigan remain in pole position to claim a home semi-final as they recorded a hard-fought 24-22 win over Castleford in their Super 8s opener.

The Warriors totally outplayed Castleford in the opening 40 minutes and ran in four unopposed tries in front of next season's head coach Adrian Lam and Shaun Edwards, who will then be in charge from 2020.

It took just five minutes for Wigan to open the scoring with Liam Marshall going over before Gabe Hamlin extended their lead 10 minutes later. Two more tries in the final 12 minutes from Dan Sarginson and Ryan Sutton put their lead out to 20 points.

It was the Tigers who dominated the second period with Jamie Ellis causing all kinds of problems with his kicking game.

The visitors crossed for four tries thanks to Jake Trueman, James Clare, Paul McShane and Mitch Clark but it was not enough as Sam Tomkins' late penalty proved to be the difference.

Warrington thrashed Catalans Dragons 56-6 in the opening round of the Super 8s in a game that was billed as a dress rehearsal for the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final.

While this game will have little bearing on the clash at Wembley later this month, it did showcase the attacking talent of Warrington for whom half-backs Kevin Brown and Tyrone Roberts ran the show.

Winger Tom Lineham scored a hat-trick as the home side stormed to their biggest league win of the season against an inexperienced Catalans side.

Wakefield won for the first time in six visits to the KCOM Stadium to launch their Super 8s campaign with a 31-13 victory at Hull thanks to a final-quarter points spree.

Chris Chester's visitors trailed 13-7 with full-back Max Jowitt in the sin bin midway through the second half.

But tries from Bill Tupou, Pauli Pauli and Tom Johnstone plus six Ryan Hampshire goals ensured Trinity followed up their recent record-breaking 72-10 home win over the Black and Whites with another success.

Despite that recent bout of travel sickness, Hull had held mastery over Trinity at the KCOM Stadium with Trinity's last victory a 23-16 success in May 2014.

But they had no answer to Wakefield's late power surge which lifts them above Lee Radford's side in the table.

Robert Lui pulled the strings as Salford earned a crucial 28-10 win over Hull KR in their Super 8s Qualifiers opener.

In a repeat of the 2016 Million Pound Game which Salford snatched in a dramatic finale, the tension was palpable as the Super League rivals dared not lose.

The Red Devils held a slender 6-4 half-time lead after Niall Evalds' opener was cancelled out by Craig Hall, his third try in only his second game since returning to Rovers.

Jackson Hastings extended Salford's advantage from a penalty and Lui's length-of-the-field effort left the visitors in full control.

Debutant Joey Lussick and Josh Wood scored to make sure of the result and despite Shaun Lunt's late try, Hull KR - the Qualifiers' only ever-present side since its inception in 2015 - are already in deep trouble.

St Helens' season is in danger of petering out after suffering a second shock defeat in six days.

Still reeling from their 35-16 Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Catalans Dragons, the Super League table-toppers went down 16-12 at home to form team Huddersfield, who kept alive their top-four hopes.

The visitors led 16-0 after 20 minutes thanks to two tries from the Giants' in-form winger Darnell McIntosh and one from second-rower Alex Mellor before Saints staged a spirited fightback which set up a nerve-jangling finale.

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