Highlights and analysis from the Super League. St Helens v Castleford, Wakefield v Wigan, Catalans v Salford, Leeds v Widnes, Leigh v Hull FC and Warrington v Huddersfield Giants.
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Seconds out for some second helpings from Super League.
It is part two of the Easter double-header and here
Joining us in the studio is Eorl Crabtree and Richard Mathers.
Is it a little bit strange watching on the sidelines
You have been very good and come in on a Monday having been beaten
Yeah, I think we have done all the live shows
as well that time and, yet, very sorry and tired and I have
three games today that I have either been to or watched
Obviously Giants are doing pretty tough at the moment,
so I don't miss that aspect as well, getting those rollickings off
But for me at the moment, sitting pretty, it is a bit warmer
when you have got your coat on in the stands, so I am a little
Richard, Kevin Sinfield always used to say he loved Easter,
because he didn't have to train, you just played, but now you don't
have to put the spin on it, just how sore will the guys beat
tomorrow morning after these two game?
They will be sore, particularly after playing two game in four days.
They have to back up again next weekend and that is when it really
starts, so I am happy with my decision to retire and enjoy
Easter and have a few Easter eggs, but the boys will certainly
We were talking off air that we are not envious of them tomorrow.
For the first time since 1993, St Helens went into a home game
without the input of their former captain and coach Kieron Cunningham.
His statue remains, but Jamahl Lolesi and Sean Long
were again in charge for the visit of Castleford.
There was nothing spectacular about Castleford's opening try.
Paul McShane caused chaos, and somehow Greg Eden
A Luke Gale conversion and penalty had given Castleford and 8-0 lead,
but Saints hit back with three tries in ten minutes.
The outstanding Mark Percival switching the attacker from left
to right, centre Matthew Fleming finishing strongly in the corner.
Two minutes later an unexpected hole opened up in the Castleford defence.
And Scottish international prop Luke Douglas charged through.
And Percival claimed a third in the 34th minute.
Fages the architect with his perfectly weighted kick.
Five minutes after the restart, Castleford began their fightback.
Ben Roberts' step, pace and power embarrassing the St Helens defence.
Then came the type of try that we have come to expect
Nine different players involved in a mesmerising nine pass movement
that ended with Greg Eden claiming his second
Saints for a moment looked to be chasing shadows,
as Castleford moved back to within two points of the home
side and there were still 20 minutes left in the game.
But the home side have a new hero in their ranks.
20-year-old Eden Grace scored in a memorable debut against Wigan
on Good Friday and he was in again for a try which coupled
with Percival's conversion sealed the win.
Castleford tried to turn up the heat in the late stages,
but although this final attack bore all their expansive hallmarks it
Ben Roberts in for his second, but not enough to prevent
Probably hard for Kieron Cunningham to sit and watch that,
but Saints looking better in the last two game
The Saints have a new lease of life and it is a strange one when there
It doesn't feel like it should be like that,
but St Helens a bit more well structured in a strange way,
they seemed more disciplined and they were throwing the ball
The Castleford team, they are still good and they can
score a lot of points, but St Helens actually made
The structures that Castleford have, they didn't score off the back
St Helens made them work really hard and that to me means
they are working a little bit harder themselves.
It is said to see Kieron go, but something has worked.
Did the result surprise you or did you see that coming a little bit
in the way that Castleford played against Wakefield?
Yes, particularly in the second half against Wakefield.
The first half they were red-hot, but I think they have carried
a little bit of that form to this weekend against Saints.
It was an evenly matched game, two great sides, but I thought
Castleford's second half in particular against Wakefield
was disjointed and not as fluid as they had been and I think that
Young Regan Grace again came up with a key try,
What is going to be the key now to managing him?
He is actually 20 years of age, so he is not brand-new,
he is not that young, he has actually got a tiny bit
of experience, but with that obviously comes that 20-year-old
That is a great try there, but he had to finish off probably
an easy one for him, but he is so athletic, so good,
Managing him, it is an interesting one, you don't know how it will go.
It all depends on his temperament and also his performance as well.
You picked out the Greg Eden try where they just moved the ball
When they are in full flight, they are incredible
They have got effectively four half-backs on the field
in Luke Gale, Ben Roberts, Adam Milner and Paul McShane.
They all play like half-backs and all had a hand in this try.
Equally, in that, all the forwards can pass and the skills on show,
And a bit like Eorl said, this try in particular was just pure
magic and it was going to take something like that to break
the St Helens defence down, because the Saints defence
How do you think Darryl Powell will react to this result?
The game probably reflects a bit of tiredness.
Certainly some harsh words in review, because they are not
hitting the standards that they have set themselves.
They have set some pretty lofty standards, but there won't be any
And for St Helens, a fantastic win for them, they looked good
against Wigan in defeat, obviously played much
Would you, if you were in management, suits on these days,
would you sit back and see what Sean Long and
They have got the experience and Jamahl has been around quite
a while and been under some good coaches as well, so they have got
the experience and will have their little spin on things as well,
and being an assistant coach is a lot easier
than being the head coach, because you gain that respect,
you can be a bit more friendly with the players.
For them, they have got to step up to another level.
They have got to now put their message across and get
them playing the way they want to play, but they both
And that excites me as a spectator now.
Well, these two were both at Warrington's game
The two teams were in the bottom four going into this one
Ball goes to ground, but it is picked up by Harvey Livett.
Giants hoping to hit back with this attack.
For McIntosh, and Darnell McIntosh is in at the corner.
He has still got a lot of work to do.
This is Leeming, the acting half-back.
He has got Mamo coming to support him.
Danny Brough with a pass to his left.
Huddersfield not quite getting over that time.
Two points on the offing here for Danny Brough.
Puts Huddersfield four points in front.
The Warrington fans probably think this one is over,
but Huddersfield are going to say something about that.
Sam Wood and Jermaine McGilvray scores.
Danny Brough now, if he gets this kick, it levels the game.
It is a third straight win for the Warrington Wolves.
What is your overall view of the game?
I think we are both agreed it was a pretty scrappy, dull game,
but I think a little bit of excitement there with
Danny Brough had the kick from the sideline to make it a draw,
but overall it was a bit of a bitter game, it doesn't really get going,
but two points both sides needed and Warrington just
How tough for Huddersfield to lose a game like that?
Yes, I think this is probably one of the better performances
we have had as well, even though it was scrappy.
I think we were very loose in the tackles as well,
too many missed tackles, especially that Daryl Clark try,
it is just not what we have done in the past, but for us in this game
to go so close and yet so far yet again, it doesn't help
the confidence levels, but I actually think we did improve.
I think the game overall was not the standard that we would expect
of our Super League teams, but they ground it out,
both teams, and there were some good tries as well,
some scrappy ones at the same time, but overall I think a bit
of a disappointing game, especially for Huddersfield losing.
What has been in the mood in the camp through the tough
It is a question I have been asked a fair bit and externally everyone
thinks there has been a lot of crisis meetings and all of these
cliches, but there has been a quiet confidence within the group
and you have got to batten down the attitudes.
Tony has been really good at handling that.
The players have been really honest and I think one loss and then two
and then it compounds and you start to get into four, five, six losses,
But I think it was just getting that first win, however pretty,
just getting that two points and then backing it up.
They seem to have turned the corner now with I think
three wins on the bounce, four points out of Easter.
I think it has been a crucial period in the season,
but it was just getting that first win.
Which Huddersfield would love to have.
The players had a meeting the other day.
Jermaine McGilvray has come out and said that they had a player's
Have you sensed a difference from that, that the performance
The fact that they have got together is a good thing and it is something
that was mentioned with Hull FC, I think it was maybe last year
It's not uncommon, for the players to actually get together
and the leaders stand up and speak, because I do actually think
we are lacking a few leaders in our team.
We have got the players, sometimes it takes especially
the younger lads to step up a little bit, and we have got the likes
of Danny Brough who has had the captaincy taken away
I think people need to put their hands up,
look in the mirror as well and see their own performances
and then sometimes it is a case of kicking the coach out
to have a true word with yourselves, and you have got to challenge each
other mentally and physically and I don't think we have done
Hopefully from here on in, we will do.
It wasn't good enough but it was a good start.
And how key do you think having a proper full-back
The try that he scored, he just seemed to come
It is all right having a player that is electric,
but you need to put him in the space to use that speed.
We are throwing the ball around a little bit more as well.
We actually looked a bit more threatening today.
I like the fact that we are throwing the ball around, challenging
the opposition and hopefully scoring a few more tries.
Unfortunately Brough has kicked from the sideline,
it didn't quite make it, but we were close today.
Wigan of course are the defending Super League champions, but en
route last year, they suffered they suffered a 62-0
It is of course round ten this week, and once again the
Those memories of last season fresh in the minds of both these sets of
Wakefield hoping to repeat that feat, such a convincing win here
against Wigan, and Wigan in a bit better shape this time around
Had a good couple of seasons at Wakefield.
That was before joining Wigan, and he has held up.
Absolutely cracked into Anthony England there.
He comes crashing through and he's got the
And that is a great finish from Sean O'Loughlin.
And Wigan's talisman makes those fans happy.
Wood target the short side, Miller flat ball.
Liam Finn steps inside one, send it away.
That is away to that right-hand side with Gibson.
Brother a fantastic response, and Jack Smith will go
upstairs, and have we had the optimism popped by referee Jack
As he gets the ball away to Gibson, he checks his run, and
athletic goes through, well, for me, he's onside.
And he got their head of S Garay, lovely little spin,
pirouettes to the nine, and Wakefield have a try.
What a signing he has been for the team.
With these it away to his left-hand side, but he
Wigan are offside, and that will be a Wakefield penalty.
It was a smart move, targeting that Wigan right edge.
A little bit of a fumble their, but they went back on
the ten, and Jack's list called the play.
He's going to be held up, and then tipped into a tackle.
I think he knows what is coming here.
It was the daftest of decisions really.
The tackle had already been affected, the momentum checked, and
And Jack Smith will dish out in the yellow card,
and that is ten minutes in the bin for Anthony Gilling, and his side
Can they take advantage of the extra man here?
Peter comes across, try to put the tackle
in second time round, and that would be a penalty.
Great break by Davis, Johnson made the initial tackle.
Just know how deadly years, that so key.
He gets the ball away to SRA, and that is a brilliant try.
He has got pace to burn, the Frenchman.
Since rocking into Wigan from Catalan.
He takes to the air, and Wakefield have the try.
Escare, not had the best of games but Wigan
Williams steps towards the line, back along
A little dart from Powell, they get the ball down.
I think he may well have been held up the, that is great defence.
Did he get his body under the bowl their?
He is the man making the challenge on Powell.
And sure he has managed to keep that, he's got his
arm under the ball, there is a lead in there as well.
And that is the bravest of efforts from.
Wakefield come forward again, they are pressing.
He collided with the lighting rig and
Miller looks to the sky as if in frustration.
It is his past that looks forward, and you can see just
Williams gives it a little flick over to that
It is cruel on Wakefield and it is wicked for
Marshall's ninth try of the season and Wigan come away with the
Was that a fairly classic, two teams that are in an arm
wrestle, but you did get that slight fatigue
and that there wasn't the
If you just look at the amount of strapping that the players where
wearing in the game, it is a tough game, particularly Wigan,
but Wigan historically, not just last year,
I think they've knocked them off a couple of times when I've played
there as well, so it was a tough old game, but Wigan will just
Certainly an element of relief, a feeling for Chris Chester that it
was the one that got away, that they had the chances.
, As I said before they are, it is one of those games
that they know they can win, because in the past
It gives them that bit of self belief, going into the game,
that they can beat Wigan on their own ground,
and unfortunately for them it didn't come off, and they
There was a couple of jammy tries, almost
intercepts, but it bounces off, ricochets off the player, goes into
the corner and they go on to win the game.
They will be happy to get through that one, because of the
strapping and it is not coincidence, over the Easter period, playing that
many close games, Wigan, the way they play, so tough, so physical,
This was a bit of a missed opportunity
Scott Grix, a player you both know well, not somebody who
gets the headlines, but was he brought to
From what I've heard, his level of professionalism has been
He has notched that up and I think his experience,
particularly from some attacking clips here, his all-round game
and his experience and the defensive line as being a leader.
Very professional, one of the fittest if not the fittest
He can go down short sides, he can kick a dummy
the dumbing -- big players are of the back.
He looks like a different player because he doesn't look like
he has been given an opportunity to play how he was to play.
As a fallback, how impressed have you
The best I've ever seen a couple of years ago, and an unbelievable
support player, just looks a complete player,
Wigan have shown that they have faith in him, but he has been
Had he been surprised defensively by him?
He has been in the Wigan system, it is
a ruthless system, and I think the press
release praised the job they
had done with Escare and yesterday drew a complete player.
It will be interesting when Sam Tomkins back
We are heading towards the end of the
Easter period, but lots more rugby league to company BBC this week.
There's commentary on Saint Helen 's game
on five live sports extra, that
The Challenge Cup resumes this weekend,
and head to the BBC sport website from three o'clock on Sunday for
live streaming of Whitehaven versus Halifax.
And the Super League show is back next Monday night at 1145
with a repeat showing at 715 on Tuesday morning.
Now it shortly we will see the latest meeting between
Leeds and Widnes, but before that we will head back in time to a very
windy Central Park when the two teams met in 1984.
COMMENTATOR: Despite the gales, we still have a John player
I'm afraid we only have one and a half goalpost
A victim of the ferocious winds this morning.
Leads and maybe in the lead by 14 points -
ten, but it is still very delicately balanced.
There is a high tackle from Kieran O'Loughlin.
And I don't think there was anything wrong with
That brings them that coveted John player special trophy.
Times have changed a bit, haven't they?
Back to the present day and the 2017 version of lead against Widnes,
you know the Rhinos well, how do you think they are going to get on?
I think they have really turned a corner.
Everybody keeps talking about them just having found a combination
Yeah, it's not often you see this one come
ball bounce or come off of the crossbar, but I think the
combination of passing has been going really
well, the shift in the
half-backs has really revolutionised Leeds's attack and we see how
He has really boosted the Rhinos attack.
Has he given them a bit more freedom, do you feel?
It has allowed Danny McGuire to sit back and be the organiser, and guide
the side around, but also enable Karen Watkins to get to the ball,
and for them to be in sensational form.
It is tough -- tough time for Widnes, isn't it?
They've given themselves a chance of winning it,
but again, great support on the inside, they just
You know, throw the ball at the back, there is somebody there,
This typifies what Widnes are doing at the moment.
The body language by winners as well, a little bit disappointing.
They do give themselves a chance though.
How much will Dennis take from this comeback in the second half?
I think you have got to take the positives and try and knock out
these negatives, because they have got some ability and they do play
well and they work hard at the right times.
That looked a little bit of a dodgy final pass, but you take what
Overall I think they will be a bit disappointed because a little
bit like ourselves they have got to do something
That is great skill to get over the line there and work that second
Do you think them coming as close has woken Leeds up again?
I think they are scoring again and Callum Watkins, I don't
think there is a centre in the world playing as well as he is.
Parcell seems to have fitted in really well, hasn't
No team came out the Easter weekend in better shape than
Their Good Friday win against Leigh was their
fifth on the bounce and they took that form to Catalan on Easter
Big numbers following them here tonight knowing that a victory
could take them joint top of the Super
They are being tested here, the Salford defence.
Looking to create those numbers wide, the
A smash and grab raid by Vincent Duport.
Bouncing in and twisting away and thinking about the
offload, but he has to go down with ball in hand.
But Carney is too close to the touchline.
A little bit of space there for him to
Runs into trouble a little, but he has
And Anderson will squeeze his way over.
It is Vincent Duport who gets a hand on.
The referee on the field has given the try, so the
What a real chance here for Catalan to build on what they
He had every right to get up there and
The referee said he was tampered with.
Luke Walsh kicking towards the swimming pool end of the ground.
He has put it over and Catalan extend their lead.
And it is taken in midair by Krisnan Inu.
The leap gave him the advantage. They are looking for the onside
here. It is tight. His leap is prodigious and nothing wrong with
what came next. The onside is OK. Catalan have a try. It is OK. It is
another for the French side. The kick from Myler waited superbly and
look at the leap. Waltz to his left. Myler is looking for the inside
ball. Salford have it covered. It is a dominant performance. Another
testing kick from Walsh this time. But it is taken superbly by Carney
and he is on his travels, just in Carney. Can he go the distance? You
bet he can go the distance! What a terrific pride that those from just
in Carney! Had to do the defence of work in the first place. The kick
from Walsh, almost back on his online when it comes down. He can
claim this as a 100 yard. They were in hot prosciutto but not for long.
-- pursuit. Carney with a memorable moment.
Three tackles to go in this set for Catalan. They are kicking early from
Walsh. Attacking kick. The bounce takes it away from O'Brien! And
Myler is there, poacher in chief he celebrates his newborn baby with a
try. The sun is shining for Catalan now. An early kick. A shock play, a
shocking bounce from Salford's point of view and Myler isn't. -- is in. A
hop skip and a jump with the willing Catalan defenders. Stepping on the
inside here, Robert Louis. He has got support as well. He has given it
away. He is away! Breathtaking! Eye-catching! And a role to
celebrate at the end. It is proving to be very day. They are having a
party. And here is the gift. Gigot with the interception. Wonderful
sidestep. And then the rest is all smiles and celebrations. No need for
a translation. It has been try, try and try again for couple on today.
No doubt were the points are going. It is going to be a one point here.
Walsh adds the extra. One point. Almost certainly guaranteeing the
two points. The Salford defence trying to push forward. He is being
urged to run here. Cul-de-sac. Down he goes. They'd head by Gryphon.
Walsh is going for another one! He is in the drop goal mood. Two to his
name now. Catalan edging closer to glory. They have enjoyed seeing
their team back home again. Walsh, for a moment thought he might be
going for a hat-trick of drop goals. That is a good push. Penalty.
Salford involved far too long trying to slow down the urge and search.
Five tackles to have a real go on this Salford line. They only need
the one. With the kick to the corner. He will claim a hat-trick on
what has been a memorable day for him and his side. Catalan looking
the real deal. How short a straw is a soup get Catalan and with them
having had rest? It is awful having the trip in general but on the Bank
Holiday Easter Monday that is a shocker. Especially with a couple of
days before, if you are already shot to pieces it is always tough to go
there. Catalan are fantastic and they looked like a different side,
confident and strong and they would just pushing the tackles and it
looked like a block in the park. I think it was a step too far for
Salford. A real confidence shift for Catalan. Ten days ago they looked
shocked. Three wins in the bounce will stop how important for them to
win at home? Massively. The manner of them was pretty comprehensive.
Some of their tries, high-quality skill. Winning at home is massive.
You feel sorry for the Salford boys, they looked shattered. Ritchie has
had a busy time. Being a dad for the second time. What do you make of him
for Catalan this season? I think he has been instrumental. Particularly
in the last couple of weeks, on fire today. Had a hand in a number of
tries. This is what he does on form. His pace. He looked like he was
enjoying himself. I think they have got a Brit of freedom to play. This
is great linkup play. He chases hard. He shouldn't be getting near
this anti-gets a bit of a bounce. Celebration as well. A fitting end
to his game and getting that try for the baby. We talked a lot about
people missing. How much was dated was it for them to get the win? It
was tough. It is great with the confidence that they can come out
and put in a performance without their leader. Salford have Toronto
who will be gunning for them in the Challenge Cup, how tricky will it be
on the back of that? It will be because you can't take them for
granted. They are a good side. They have got a bit of attitude because
they want to show everybody how good they are and I think they are
fantastic for the sport and Salford can't take them lightly. It will be
big for both sides. That's round up the Bank Holiday with a trip to
Leigh where whole city where. They needed a big response. I think
they've altered a bit. Hull needed to bounce back. The first try going
over. They looked big and powerful. This is? For Leigh because they are
used to winning and now it is about the mental attitude after losing a
couple of games. The toughness of Super League. Great skill and
strength to dive over on the left-hand side. Player Albert Kelly
is absolutely fantastic this year. A shoo-in for one of the possibilities
this year. That pick-up is sensational. 18-0 up for Hull at
half-time. The game was pretty much over. Breaking through here. This
little pass. It was a stroll in the park. Have you been surprised that
Hull have wobbled? Yes, and the manner. Over 100 points. Rock solid
defence. Attacking flair but a solid defence. The big focus but the
players this afternoon would have been the defence and scoring some
nice tries on the back of that. Leigh came back but it looked pretty
comfortable for Hull FC. Five defeats in a row for Leigh, they
have got Hull KR in the Challenge Cup. It was a good opportunity.
Leigh have got the quality and personnel. We have seen them win
games and they can do it but backing it up each week is tough. You have
to get through that and start winning games again and try to build
the confidence and momentum. So while the players and pundits head
for the recovery sessions its check on the standings in the Super League
table. Leeds are level on points with Castleford at the top although
the Rhinos have played a game more. Catalan up to six and Warrington
moved above Leigh internet. Four matches this week featuring the top
eight from last year. Champions Wigan Warriors take on Catalan. Home
game for Widnes and Warrington. Challenge Cup action as well. You
have talked about how difficult Easter is and coaches always juggle
with it, but they are already planning for the double weekend
again in just over a month? Certainly. I think Easter is a
tradition. We know what we are getting. The next Easter in May
quite frankly is a joke. No reason for it. I think the planning has
been making the congested fixture list worse and the players have to
go through it again. For the top players some have to go down under,
then the Challenge Cup, then Magic Weekend, double weekend, when would
you say the players settled down after Easter and when will it hit
into the congestion period? They already try to recover as quickly as
possible and they agree with Richard, what we are trying to do is
fit in more and it is now having effectively two Easter periods. What
worries me is the players but also the quality of the game if we wanted
to get better, you can't just keep an fitting Morand war games because
there are more injuries -- more and more difference. That is not a good
advertising for Super League. It seems ridiculous but we seem to be
trying to fit Morand war games and I don't think it is right. If it takes
players a couple of weeks to record from Easter when do think we settled
down back after May? Well into June but that is a crucial period. The
scrambling for position is a crucial part of the season. In terms of
injuries potentially picked up it could make it even tougher in that
period at the end of June. You still made the right decision to retire?
Two Easter periods, definitely. That is it. Thanks for joining us. We
will see you next week. Until then enjoy your Easter eggs. Goodbye.
Highlights from the Easter Monday matches as the teams complete their busy Easter programme with an intriguing set of fixtures. Castleford's impressive start to the Super League season will be put to the test when they travel to St Helens. Castleford have not won on any of their last 29 visits to the town, a run which stretches back to 1992. Wigan travel to Wakefield, where they were beaten 62-0 on their last visit. Wigan recovered from that loss to go on to win the Grand Final, but Shaun Wane and his team will be out for revenge after their biggest defeat of the year in 2016. Salford look to become the third visiting team to win in France this year when they travel to Catalans. Leeds are at home to Widnes, Leigh take on Hull FC and Warrington are at home to Huddersfield Giants.