Super League review: Wigan continue momentum; Wakefield edge past Huddersfield

Wigan's Morgan Escare
Wigan's Morgan Escare

Defending Super League champions Wigan claimed their third consecutive win with a 18-8 victory over bottom-placed London Broncos.

The opening half saw the Warriors fall behind to a Kieran Dixon penalty before hitting back with a try from Jake Shorrocks.

The Broncos were not behind for long as Jay Pitts put them 8-6 in front and it was a lead they held going into the half-time break.

The Warriors, who were booed off at half-time, lifted considerably after the break with Chris Hankinson and Morgan Escare crossing over to secure the points.

London took an early lead with Dixon slotting over a penalty after the Wigan defence was penalised for lying on at the play the ball.

Wigan started to take control after going behind. Hankinson, Joe Bullock and Joe Greenwood all went close to scoring, before Shorrocks scythed through the London defence to score under the posts as Wigan led 6-2.

That lead did not last long as London forced an error from Bullock and won a penalty, before Jordan Abdull produced a pinpoint kick for Pitts to score as the Wigan defence were caught napping.

Back-to-back penalties put Wigan deep in London's half and a bizarre 30 seconds saw them go back in front.

First, Sean O'Loughlin dropped the ball close to the line before Elliot Kear fumbled for London from the scrum to allow Hankinson to pick up and score one of the easiest tries of his career. Zak Hardaker converted for a 12-8 lead.

Wigan crossed for their third try when Escare was hand to pick up and touch down following a neat kick from George Williams.

Wigan were much the better side in the second period and that was evident in their defensive effort as they trapped the Broncos deep inside their own half on several occasions.

London refused to go away and they continued to test the Warriors defence with Tommy Leuluai putting in the hit of the night on Abdull.

The visitors had chances to get back into the game in the final 15 minutes with Dixon, Rhys Williams and James Cunningham all dropping the ball close to the line.

Huddersfield 25-26 Wakefield

Ryan Hampshire's 75th-minute penalty proved decisive as injury-hit Wakefield edged a thrilling victory at West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield.

The Giants were leading 25-24 after stand-off Oliver Russell landed a drop-goal but Trinity were not to be denied as Hampshire's two-pointer earned his side the win and gave him a 10-point haul.

Wakefield went close in the fifth minute through winger Ben Jones-Bishop, who was denied in the right corner as Huddersfield were forced to drop out under their posts.

From the repeat set, Trinity led when Mason Caton-Brown collected a smart pass from Ben Reynolds and burst through a gap to score inside the left channel.

Hampshire converted Caton-Brown's seventh-minute opener to give Wakefield a 6-0 lead and they doubled their advantage in the 11th minute.

This time a sweeping move saw the ball pass through several pairs of hands and culminate in Reynolds being stopped just short of the line.

However, Caton-Brown was on hand to collect possession and dive over the line from acting half-back on the next tackle inside the left channel again.

Hampshire added the extras again to make it 12-0 before Huddersfield forced a drop-out of their own and a subsequent repeat set on their visitors' line.

That led to Australian scrum-half Matt Frawley working his way over from close range in the 15th minute and Russell converted to make it 12-6.

A third Wakefield try arrived in the 24th minute when prop David Fifita kicked the ball left-footed behind the Huddersfield defence before showing impressive pace and strength to touch down his own grubber kick for a try which Hampshire converted.

Shortly after, Wakefield were dealt a blow when prop Tinirau Arona went down injured and was helped off the field, with George King stepping off the bench to replace him.

Huddersfield pushed hard for a second try as the interval approached but they could find no way through a Wakefield side who led 18-6 at the break.

Yet the hosts' response was to be applauded as Jermaine McGillvary struck twice to get them right back in the game.

In the 47th minute, he finished off a flowing move with a fine finish in the right corner and then dived over in the same spot for his second four minutes later.

Russell's superb conversions levelled matters at 18-18 before replacement hooker Adam O'Brien dived over the line from close range in the 55th minute and Russell again converted to make it 24-18.

But Wakefield were not finished and Jones-Bishop collected possession when the Giants spilled the ball, racing 80 metres to score a 66th-minute try which Hampshire converted.

Huddersfield then lost prop Ukuma Ta'ai to a high shot on Jordan Crowther and, although Russell's drop-goal put the hosts ahead in the 72nd minute, Hampshire's penalty proved decisive.

The result sees Wakefield go third in the table, while Huddersfield are ninth after back-to-back defeats.

Castleford 14-26 Warrington

Man of Steel front runner Blake Austin maintained his impressive form to guide Warrington to a routine 26-14 win over injury-hit Castleford.

The Australian stand-off created two of his side's four tries and was a constant thorn in the side of the Tigers, who trailed 26-6 before producing a late rally.

A third successive win keeps the Wolves on the heels of Betfred Super League leaders St Helens while the Tigers drop to seventh after suffering three successive defeats for the first time since 2016 in front of a crowd of 5,323 - their lowest of the season.

Castleford coach Daryl Powell was forced by his club's injury situation to give a debut to former Melbourne Storm centre Cheyse Blair, just three days after flying into the country and the new man endured a difficult time with his opposite number Toby King scoring two tries.

The Tigers also lost influential hooker Paul McShane with a shoulder problem after only seven minutes yet they made a dream start.

They failed to make the most of a 40-20 kick from stand-off Jake Trueman but struck in opportunist fashion when second rower Mike McMeeken intercepted Mike Cooper's careless offload and raced into space before getting the supporting Cory Aston over for the game's first try.

Peter Mata'utia added the conversion to make it 6-0 but Cooper made amends for his error in spectacular fashion six minutes later to level the scores with a barnstorming run in which he took four defenders over the line with him.

Warrington missed a glorious chance to add a second try when prop Chris Hill got full-back Stefan Ratchford racing into a gap only to ruin the final pass, although he did put his side in front with a penalty.

The turning point came 10 minutes before half-time when Tigers winger Tuoyo Egodo gathered Aston's high ball and got over the line only to be prevented from touching the ball down by the frantic efforts of Ryan Atkins and Ben Currie.

The Wolves immediately went upfield and King seized on Greg Eden's inability to collect Blake Austin's kick to the corner by touching down for his side's second try.

Ratchford was off target with the conversion attempt but slotted a second penalty goal on the stroke of half-time to increase the lead to 14-6 and the game quickly went away from the home side early in the second half.

A sniping run from former Castleford hooker Daryl Clark got King over for his second try and, after Mata'utia had put the re-start dead to gift the visitors a perfect attacking platform, Austin got England second rower Currie stretching over for a fourth try.

Ratchford took his goal tally to five from six attempts to stretch his side's lead to 26-6 and it could have been more.

Austin was held up over the line and both Atkins and Jack Hughes had tries disallowed by video referee Robert Hicks as Warrington piled on the pressure without being able to add to their total.

The Tigers then produced a late rally that brought them two tries in four minutes from Egodo and his centre partner Greg Minikin but it did little to threaten the Wolves' supremacy.

Hull 6-37 Catalans

Catalans outscored Hull by six tries to one as the French side won 37-6 in Betfred Super League at the KCOM Stadium.

The visitors scored tries through Fouad Yaha, Tony Gigot, Brayden Wiliame, Arthur Romano, Matt Whitley and Samisoni Langi and there were 12 points from the boot of Sam Tomkins. Gigot also kicked a late drop goal.

Injury-hit Hull, without the influential Marc Sneyd and Albert Kelly and missing 17 players in all, had little to show for their efforts as their points came from a Mickey Paea try and a Jake Connor conversion early in the first half as they briefly took the lead.

Connor missed the chance to show what he could do in the absence of Sneyd as his display was typical of an error-strewn performance by the home side which also saw the stand-in scrum-half shown a yellow card towards the end of the first half.

Hull were punished for too many mistakes and more than a little indiscipline as they were well beaten by the French side.

Scott Taylor's break down the middle and pass set up Connor to kick but debutant winger Kieran Buchanan was held up short after claiming the ball and spinning out of two tackles as the home side started well.

The visitors went ahead after 10 minutes when Tomkins kicked a penalty given for a high tackle on Remi Casty.

Connor's flat pass gave Hull the chance to get back into the game and Paea took it, bursting through the Catalans defence to touch down with 14 minutes gone. Connor kicked the conversion to put the home side 6-2 ahead.

Winger Yaha slid in at the corner to level the scores and Tomkins put his side in front with a successful conversion with 22 minutes on the clock.

Catalans added their second try just minutes later when Gigot won a foot race to a grubber kick by Wiliame.

Provider then became try-scorer as Wiliame raced around the outside of the home defence and slid in at the corner for his side's third try in under 10 minutes, with Tomkins' kick putting the visitors 18-6 in front.

Connor was sent to the sin bin with five minutes of the half to go after he questioned the referee's decision to penalise him for a high tackle.

With Connor off the field Josh Griffin was wide with a long-range penalty as the hooter sounded to leave his side 18-6 behind at the break.

Romano gave Catalans the perfect start to the second half as he dived in at the right corner after Connor Wynne's knock-on at a high kick gave possession back to the visitors, with Tomkins adding the extras to stretch his side 24-6 ahead.

Whitley went over in the opposite corner for Catalans' fifth try as Hull's defence looked stretched once more and another successful kick from Tomkins took the lead out to 30-6 with half an hour remaining.

Romano failed to hold Connor's high ball but Hull were unable to make use of regaining possession as another pass went to ground for the faltering home side.

Gigot kicked a drop goal with six minutes to go and, as the clock ran down, Hull looked even more bereft of ideas on a bad night for the home side.

To add insult to injury Catalans grabbed a sixth try just before the hooter when Romano flicked the ball up off the floor and Langi outran the cover to touch down.

A sixth successful kick from Tomkins completed the scoring to give the visitors a 37-6 victory.

Salford 28-16 Leeds

Australian half-backs Robert Lui and Jackson Hastings inspired Salford to a deserved 28-16 victory over struggling Leeds at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Lui scored a try and had a hand in several others while Hastings also helped run the show as the Red Devils recorded only their fourth win over Leeds in the Super League era.

Lui's effort rounded off a five-try display from the hosts, with Lee Mossop, Adam Walker (two) and Joey Lussick also touching down and Krisnan Inu adding four goals.

Mikolaj Oledzki's first-half try was added to by late efforts from Harry Newman and Ashley Handley for a lacklustre Leeds side who suffered their 10th defeat of the campaign.

Salford started the game with the confidence of a team that had won three of their last four games and took an early lead when Lui's kick was collected and grounded by Mossop under the posts.

The kicks of Lui and his fellow half-back Hastings were crucial in helping the home side stay on top but they had to wait until the 22nd minute for their second try.

Tyrone McCarthy had been held up inches short of the Leeds tryline before Walker forced his way over from close range.

An impressive break from winger Jake Bibby looked like creating a third try for the Red Devils but Leeds just managed to prevent George Griffin from getting over.

Leeds, having been disappointing in attack for much of the first half, gave themselves an unlikely foothold in the game moments before half-time.

A high Richie Myler bomb was spilled by Salford winger Derrell Olpherts and from the resultant scrum, Leeds crafted an opening for Oledzki to barge over by the posts. Liam Sutcliffe's conversion made it 12-6.

Ian Watson's men extended their lead just three minutes into the second half when Lussick squeezed over from dummy half, but Inu was unable to add the goal.

Salford continued to dominate and they scored their fourth try of the night in the 55th minute when Lui and Niall Evalds combined to put Walker over for his second. Inu's conversion gave Salford a 16-point lead.

Lui showed tremendous footwork to avoid some desperate Leeds defence and score 16 minutes from the end and Inu landed his final goal of the game.

Leeds won on this ground 46-14 back in February and they staged a late rally with tries from Newman and Handley - the latter converted by Sutcliffe - but Salford held out for only their second home league win of the season.

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