Super League: Leigh stun St Helens | Castleford beaten | Wolves edge out Hull KR | Wakefield continue to fire blanks | Rugby League News
Leigh stunned reigning Super League and world champions St Helens by coming from 12-0 down to win 20-12 at Leigh Sports Village.
Saints had looked to be on course for a routine win as they scored early tries through Jonny Lomax and Jon Bennison but the Leopards produced a brilliant second-half comeback, scoring tries through Josh Charnley, Tom Briscoe, Zak Hardaker, who also kicked two goals, and Joe Shorrocks.
It was Leigh’s second win of the season after beating Hull KR a week ago and it means they have now won the same number of games as when they were last in Super League in 2020.
Saints forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was named on the bench for his 450th career appearance but they were missing the injured Will Hopoate. They were also without the suspended trio of Sione Mata’utia, Curtis Sironen and Konrad Hurrell.
The Saints took the lead three minutes in courtesy of a Tommy Makinson penalty and scored their first try after 10 minutes, when Lomax touched down.
Bennison added a second to take the scores to 12-0 but Leigh fought back into the game and struck next with a well-worked try in the 56th minute, through Charnley.
Leigh had their tails up and their cause was helped when Lees was sent to the sin bin for a late challenge on Gareth O’Brien.
The hosts took full advantage within a minute, and scored a second try 14 minutes from time
Castleford interim head coach Andy Last admits his side need to improve after they were thrashed by Huddersfield in the Super League
Leigh continued to push and their cause was helped in the 65th minute when Lees was sin-binned after a late challenge on Gareth O’Brien.
Lees had been off the pitch only a minute when Leigh were able to take full advantage of their extra man by scoring their second try 14 minutes from time.
Leigh drew level and once again it was Mellor at the heart of things with his break causing panic in the Saints defence before he found Hardaker in support who strode under the posts. Hardaker’s conversion gave Leigh the lead for the first time in the game at 14-12.
Leigh wrapped up only their second win over Saints in Super League with two minutes remaining when a kick through by John Asiata was spilled and Shorrocks picked up the loose ball to score.
Huddersfield Giants 36-6 Castleford Tigers
Huddersfield Giants heaped more pressure on struggling Castleford Tigers with Chris McQueen’s double helping them to an impressive 36-6 victory at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Interim coach Andy Last’s first game in charge, following Lee Radford’s shock decision to depart, was dominated by the ex-England international and half-back Will Pryce, who grabbed one try and set up another.
The Tigers have yet to win after four rounds and were behind 20-6 at half-time, before Huddersfield added three more tries to confirm the one-sided result.
Huddersfield head coach Ian Watson was satisfied with how clinical his side were in their 36-6 triumph over Castleford
The Tigers started brightly when George Lawler barged over for the opening try after just eight minutes, with Gareth Widdop adding the extras.
It got worse for the Giants on 12 minutes, when an injured Theo Fages was taken off the field and replaced by Pryce.
But two minutes later they hit back when McQueen crashed through some weak defence to score and Russell’s conversion tied it up.
The half-back added another two points in the 23rd minute and gave Huddersfield the lead with a long-range penalty goal. Pryce extended the Giants’ lead, before Jake Bibby and McQueen scored a try each just before half-time to but the Giants in a commanding position.
In the second half the Giants continued their dominance, taking just three minutes for McQueen to strike out wide. Five minutes later, Pryce managed to get over the line, but the utility was unable to get the ball down.
The Tigers were creaking and soon it was Tui Lolohea’s turn to get on the scoresheet, set up by Leroy Cudjoe’s kick, with Russell’s conversion taking it to 30-6.
Cudjoe crossed for the final try, but Russell was unable to convert, and then the half-back added a late goal as Huddersfield romped to a one-sided victory.
Will Pryce was thrilled after being named player of the match in Huddersfield’s comprehensive win over Castleford
Warrington Wolves 18-10 Hull KR
Warrington edged to an 18-10 win at Hull KR to continue their unbeaten start to the Super League season.
The Wolves struggled last season but the performance of Daryl Powell’s side on a bitterly cold night at Craven Park showed why they are serious contenders this term.
Successive defeats for Willie Peters’ Rovers means there is still work to be done as he looks for a consistent line-up following a second home loss in a row.
Warrington enjoyed some early pressure but the Rovers defence held firm and it was the hosts who opened the scoring nine minutes into the game as Frankie Halton slipped out of a tackle and forced his way over following a Rowan Milnes pass.
England captain Sam Tomkins announced his retirement from Rugby League
Warrington again forced their way deep into Rovers territory, aided by more mistakes by the home side, but the defence held firm.
The pressure finally told, with the Wolves drawing level midway through the first half when Thomas Mikaele crossed.
The visitors went ahead nine minutes before the break as Matty Nicholson was first to touch down a George Williams grubber kick.
Rovers started the second half well, pinning Warrington in their half, and Lachlan Coote’s clever pass set up Frankie Halton for his second try – although the full-back’s missed conversion left his side two points in arrears.
As the battle for dominance continued both sides were guilty of mistakes which cost them good field position.
A pivotal moment came in the 70th minute as Sam Kasiano was penalised for a high tackle, but Coote missed the penalty and the chance to level the scores.
Warrington made Rovers pay as Paul Vaughan finished off a late move for his side’s third try.
Leeds Rhinos 26-0 Wakefield Trinity
Harry Newman warmed Leeds’ hearts amid plunging temperatures at Headingley as the 23-year-old made a try-scoring return in his side’s 26-0 win over Wakefield.
Newman, who has been plagued by hamstring injuries and was left in tears after missing last year’s Grand Final, took just two minutes after his second-half introduction to surge jubilantly over the line and belatedly spark a game that had proved as frigid as the conditions into life.
After a pointless first period, Newman’s effort built on David Fusitu’a’s opening score two minutes after the restart, before the floodgates opened with Tom Holroyd and Fusitu’a again both crossing, before Nene Macdonald finished off a length-of-field interception to ensure his side would build on last week’s epic win at world champions St Helens.
Two conversions from Rhyse Martin and one for Aidan Sezer capped a third straight blank for Wakefield, who have now gone over four hours without scoring a point, stretching back to their defeat on the opening day of the season to Catalans Dragons.
Hull FC face Salford Red Devils on Saturday, in the final match of the weekend. Next week, the Castleford Tigers host the Leeds Rhinos, live on Sky Sports Arena, on Thursday.
Huddersfield Giants face Wigan Warriors on Friday, with Warrington Wolves and Leigh also in action. Hull FC visit St Helens on Friday, live on Sky Sports Arena. Catalan Dragons then host Hull KR on March 18.