Defending Champions Hull FC will return to Wembley to defend the Challenge Cup after thrashing Leeds Rhino’s in the Semi Final in Doncaster. Leeds had the lead early on but a key try from Callum Green just before half time sent Hull in 18-12 up at the break.
They never looked back running in four more tries including a double for Carlos Tuivavame and 15 points for Marc Sneyd who kicked a perfect 7/7 and a drop goal. The pick of the tries was Jamie Shaul’s 75 yard effort as Hull took full control and eventually took the contest 43-24
Wigan Warriors v Salford Red Devils
Hull’s final opponents will be Wigan after coming back from a 14-12 half time deficit to defeat Salford in Warrington. Wigan ran out to a 12-0 lead but Salford put in a superb 20 minutes before the break with tries from Greg Johnson and Tyrone McCarthy with two conversions and a penalty from Michael Dobson giving Salford a deserved half-time lead.
Wigan took control in the second half however A Michael McIlorum try gave Wigan the lead and Sam Tomkins drop goal meant Salford had to score twice. Anthony Gelling’s sin binning with eight minutes left gave Salford hope but they made too many errors and in the end, with a man short, it was Wigan who would score again with Oliver Gildart getting his second try to wrap up a 27-14 win.
Wigan Warriors are the Champions of the Rugby League World after defeating NRL Champions Cronulla in the World Club Championship match. Joe Burgess got the first try within three minutes and added a second half way through the first half. Some excellent defense helped the shut out Cronulla in the first half to take a 10-0 lead into half time. It was fitting the Oliver Gildart, whose father was in the Wigan team that won this trophy against Manly in 1987, was to score the first try of the second half. Jesse Ramien’s try finally got Cronulla on the board but they could not build on it as Burgess completed his hat trick at the end to secure a deserved 22-6 win for Wigan, who claim their fourth World title.
Ball Control the key for Warrington in historic win
A superb first half with no handling errors was the key to Warrington getting their first ever win against top NRL opposition with a 27-18 victory over Brisbane. Kevin Brown, Ryan Atkins, Matty Russell and Tom Lineham all scored tries in a blistering first half showing leaving them 24-6 ahead at the break. Tries from James Roberts and David Mead hinted at a comeback from the Broncos in a much better second half showing. The boot of Declan Patton with a penalty and drop goals kept Warrington’s lead sufficiently strong to ensure the victory. This with Wigan’s victory mean Super League have won the World Club Challenge series for the first time since it was expanded beyond just a meeting of the Champions, a great weekend for British Rugby League.
Super League kicked off with the Thursday game in which ST Helens came from behind to win a tight game against Leeds 6-4. The difference being that Mark Percival converted Theo Fages try while Leeds missed their first half conversion. On Friday Castleford thrashed newcomers Leigh 44-16 with Greg Minkin and Luke Gale getting two tries each as they scored seven in all. Gale totaled 24 points including eight goals from the boot. Huddersfield claimed an impressive first up victory at Widnes as Jermaine McGillvary scored two of sic tries in a 28-16 win
Champions Wigan scored five tries in their 26-16 win at Salford including two for Oliver Gildart. Catalan got off to an impressive start with a 20-12 win over last years Grand Finalists Warrington. It was 6-6 at half time but second half tries from Greg Bird and Braydon Williame allowed The Dragons to pull away on the second half. The round ended on Sunday with Hull getting a narrow 12-8 win over Wakefield in a game that will be forgotten fairly quickly. Jake Connor may be the one exception as he got the key try on his debut and Mark Sneyd kicked four penalties to give the Humberside outfit the edge.
Wigan’s eratic form continued as they failed to follow up their impressive win over ST Helens losing a low scoring 8-6 game against Widnes. Two first half tries from Corey Thompson gave Widnes an 8-0 half time lead. A Liam Farrell try gave Wigan hope but Widnes defence was superb as they held on for victory. Denny Solomona continued his excellent form for Castleford grabbing another hat trick as the Tigers scored eight tries in an easy 46-22 win over bottom club Wakefield who still have not won a super 8’s game.
ST Helens bounced back from their whitewash against Wigan to beat Challenge Cup champions Hull 31-10. Two second half tried from Atelea Vea moved Saints away after a tight first half. Jack Ownes also got two tries in an impressive display which maintains their hold on the fourth play off place. This was further helped as Warrington took advantage of Hull’s defeat to go top, and beat fifth place Catalan helping Saints in the process. Two tries from Declan Patton helped Warrington into an 18-0 lead at the break. The Dragons fought back with three second half tries and a Ben Garcia score putting them ahead. A late score from Ben Currie which Patton converted, ending up with 18 points on the day, won it for the Wolves and moves them top. A top four of Warrington, Hull, Wigan and ST Helens (Not necessarily in that order) is looking increasingly likely with three rounds to go.
Hull FC came from behind to take the 2016 Challenge Cup at Wembley Stadium. In a tight first half the only score came from Matty Russell, Kurt Gidley converted to put Warrington 6-0 up at half time. Warrington dominated the early stages after the break and went 10-0 up through a long range try from Ben Currie but in a moment that proved crucial Gidley missed the conversion. The momentum turned when Marc Sneyd landed a 40-20 kick and from the next set Mahe Fonua scored to put Hull right back in it. With Hull now on top and testing the Warrington line, Jamie Shaul went over to level and Sneyd kicked the extras to put Hull in the lead for the first time. Currie nearly got a dramatic late winning score for Warrington but he was brought down by a superb Danny Houghton tackle. It was the final act as Hull lifted the cup for the very first time at Wembley and will now look for more as they narrowly lead Warrington at the top of the Super League.
Wigan brought ST Helens seven match winning run to a shuddering halt at the DW Stadium. Wigan produced an outstanding defensive display to ensure Saints did not score a single point. A hat trick from Anthony Gelling and a perfect four for four from the boot of Matty Smith saw Wigan win 25-0 in maybe the most impressive display of the Super 8’s so far
It was much closer at the Halliwell Jones Stadium where Warrington had to come from behind as a Denny Solomona try gave Castleford an 8-6 lead at the break. Warrington rallied with three tries from Joe Westerman, Rhys Evans and Jack Hughes to eventually take a close 14-11 win. In the final game of the round 2 tries from Patrick Ah Van and 14 points including a try from Lloyd White helped Widnes ease past bottom club Wakefield 40-8. Widnes went over seven times during the game as Wakefield fast become the whipping boys of the competition.
ST Helens continued their recent form with a comfortable victory at home to Catalan moving them two points ahead of the Dragons into the key fourth place. Adam Swift went over for four tries and Luke Walsh converted all six tries and added a drop goal as Saints coasted to a 39-16 win and a seventh victory in a row,. Saints have also made up ground on Wigan in third after Castleford scored an impressive win over the Warriors 36-22. Denny Solomona got a hat trick and Luke Gale kicked 6 for 6 as the Tigers deal another blow to Wigan whose inconsistency continues.
Warrington kept the pressure on Hull at the top finishing the round by scoring seven tries to earn an expected win at Wakefield. Matty Russell grabbed two of the tries with 10 points from the boot of Kurt Gidley. Wakefield kept it close for a while but Warrington took more and more control to ease out to a 38-10 win in the end.