SL Friday round-up: Dragons, Tigers, and Robins secure big wins

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Highlights of the Super League match between Wakefield Trinity and Catalans Dragons.

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Highlights of the Super League match between Wakefield Trinity and Catalans Dragons.

Highlights of the Super League match between Wakefield Trinity and Catalans Dragons.

Catch up on all the action from Friday night’s Super League action…

Wakefield Trinity 10-18 Catalans Dragons

Wakefield’s 24-year stay in Super League is hanging by a thread after an 18-10 defeat to Catalans Dragons left Mark Applegarth’s men rooted to the bottom of the table with two games of the season to go.

Despite dredging up two late tries, Trinity were never in the running against Steve McNamara’s visitors, for whom early tries from Tom Johnstone and Adam Keighran paved the way for a victory that reignited their hopes of claiming the
League Leaders’ Shield.

It is an all together more dismal outlook for the hosts, who must now secure points in their remaining games at Leigh then at home to Hull KR if they to stand any chance of remaining in the top-flight.

Applegarth’s men made up plenty of ground but in an all-too-familiar story they contributed too little too late, and Catalans needed no fireworks to get back on track after two consecutive defeats.

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Former Wakefield man Johnstone came back to haunt his former club by crossing for his 25th try of the season in seventh minute, moments after Mason Lino’s superb interception had caused Tom Davies to come up short.

Keighran extended the visitors’ advantage and 10 minutes later the Australian increased his tally when he jinked over before converting to stretch the score to 12.

Wakefield needed some inspiration and it was provided by the introduction of David Fifita, potentially playing his last game for the club, who helped pile the first spell of pressure on the Catalans’ line.

But any momentum Wakefield gleaned was interrupted by the sin-binning of Sam Eseh for a dangerous tackle on the half hour, and only some desperate defending, including another try-saving tackle by Lino to deny Tomkins, restricted the score to 12 at the interval.

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Wakefield pressed forward in the first 20 minutes of the second half, forcing back to back goal-line drop-outs, but Catalans once again contained them and Manu Ma’u fluffed a fine chance to extend their advantage.

Catalans finally grabbed their third try just past the hour mark when Davies pounced on another clever Tomkins kick to cross in the corner, and although Keighran scuffed the conversion, a later penalty extended the French side’s lead to 18.

To their credit, the hosts never stopped fighting and late tries by Kelepi Tanginoa and Lee Kershaw, who charged the length of the field after an interception – made the scoreline respectable, but by then Wakefield’s fate had been sealed.

Huddersfield Giants 18-26 Hull KR

Hull KR cemented their claim for a Super League semi-final berth thanks to a hard-fought 26-18 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.

First-half tries from Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Jordan Abdull, and then second half four-pointers from Kane Linnett and Louis Senior, secured the Robins the tight eight-point win that moves them up into fifth spot, ahead of Warrington Wolves.

Highlights of the Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Hull Kingston Rovers.

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Highlights of the Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Hull Kingston Rovers.

Highlights of the Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Hull Kingston Rovers.

Hull KR had to fight back from a 6-0 deficit early in the first half, with Brad Schneider’s cool goal-kicking ensuring they notched their third victory in a row.

The Giants took the lead after just six minutes when Will Pryce glided through the defence and made a great 40-metre break to score.

Jake Connor was unable to convert from out wide, leaving the scoreline at 4-0.

But four minutes later the half-back was given another chance, this time right in front, and made no mistake with his penalty goal.

After 23 minutes Hull KR hit back when Kenny-Dowall barged over from a tidy Mikey Lewis pass to score, with Schneider’s conversion levelling it up at 6-6.The Robins edged ahead five minutes later with a penalty goal thanks to the boot of Schneider.

Then in the 33rd minute, substitute Abdull brilliantly spotted a gap and powered over from dummy half, and then Schneider converted to put the visitors in a commanding 14-6 half-time lead.

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In the second half Linnett crashed through several tackles for his 100th career try, with Schneider adding the extras.

Huddersfield would not lie down and they responded through Jermaine McGillvary out wide on the right flank, the veteran winger crossing for his 250th career score.

Connor nailed his conversion from the sideline, cutting the lead to 20-12 with 23 minutes left and giving the home side hope.

However, their task got harder in the 60th minute when the Giants were reduced to 12 men when Jack Ashworth was sin-binned for a high tackle on Abdull.

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Senior then dived over in the corner with eight minutes left, with Schneider unable to convert, to make it 24-14.

But there was still time for Sam Halsall to touch down to give the Giants a chance, until Schneider put the final nail in the coffin with a penalty goal in the 78th minute to finally seal the vital victory.

Castleford Tigers 29-12 Hull FC

Jason Qareqare scored twice as Castleford beat Hull FC in a 29-12 success to move four points clear of bottom club Wakefield with just two games remaining.

The Fijian winger opened the scoring with an impressive finish and a scintillating long-range effort to help the Tigers into an 18-6 interval lead.

Highlights of the Super League match between Castleford Tigers and Hull FC.

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Highlights of the Super League match between Castleford Tigers and Hull FC.

Highlights of the Super League match between Castleford Tigers and Hull FC.

That laid the platform for a victory which saw Danny Ward’s men open up a significant gap over neighbours Trinity as the relegation fight nears its conclusion.

Ward is the third Tigers coach this season following previous stints for Lee Radford and Andy Last, and after this priceless win he will feel it is almost mission accomplished. It marked Ward’s second victory in four games since taking charge and was a special way for a trio of Castleford players to celebrate landmark appearances.

Former England international Gareth Widdop made his 300th career appearance, second-rower Alex Mellor hit 200 career appearances and forward Nathan Massey notched his 300th match in a Tigers jersey.

Castleford began brightly and were rewarded for their early endeavour with a third-minute try when a superb long pass from Widdop found Qareqare on the left flank.

With a combination of impressive speed and clever footwork, he beat visiting full-back Davy Litten and dived over in the corner.

Widdop kicked the conversion from a difficult angle, but the Black and Whites fashioned an impressive response.

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In the 11th minute, Tex Hoy created the space for Adam Swift to scamper over in the left corner.

Darnell McIntosh applied a superb conversion to level matters at 6-6 and, while Hull’s attacking intent was clear to see, too often their approach was undermined by basic handling errors.

They shot themselves in the foot to gift Castleford their second try in the 24th minute when Hoy’s errant pass from a scrum inside Castleford’s 20-metre line was intercepted by Qareqare.

The lightning-quick winger raced 80 metres to score a superb long-range try which Widdop converted to make it 12-6.

The Tigers scored again in the 32nd minute when Blake Austin’s grubber kick caused havoc in the Hull rearguard and Greg Eden pounced to score.

Widdop kicked his third goal to make it 18-6 at the break and Castleford were forced to dig deep to keep Hull out as the second half unfolded.

It required a superb tackle from Elliot Wallis to deny Swift in the left corner and the Tigers had a chance at the other end as the hour mark approached as Qareqare broke down the left flank.

He was caught with a high shot by Litten, who was sin-binned, but Widdop missed the penalty conversion attempt and a drop-goal from Austin made the game safe for Castleford.

Highlights of the Super League match between St Helens and Leigh Leopards.

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Highlights of the Super League match between St Helens and Leigh Leopards.

Highlights of the Super League match between St Helens and Leigh Leopards.

Foster grounded an Eden grubber kick to put the home side in to a 23-6 advantage with 13 minutes remaining.

Swift hit back late on with his second try in the left corner, with McIntosh converted again for Hull, but the hosts wrapped up victory when Jordan Turner pounced from close range and Widdop booted his fourth goal.

Watch the conclusion of the 2023 Betfred Super League season, including the play-offs and Grand Final, live on Sky Sports. Also stream on NOW.

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