Highlights from a crucial weekend in the Super League. Castleford v Leeds, Warrington v Catalans, Hull v Wakefield, Huddersfield v Wigan and St Helens v Salford.
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It's drama all the way this week and a round of matches split
right down the middle.
The top six and the bottom six have gone head-to-head and we have two
from the top to guide us through it.
The Leeds forward Stevie Ward is alongside the Wakefield head
of rugby, John Cainer.
First to Headingley and part three of the 2017 Trilogy between Leeds
and the league leaders, Castleford.
Castleford have started in electrifying fashion.
What a night for the Castleford Tigers.
This is good from Leeds now.
Leeds put to the sword.
It has been talked up in a grand style ahead of the game
and Headingley is full tonight and thoroughly expectant
of what could be a classic.
Parcell at dummy half.
Leeds looking to strike here, with Sutcliffe
on the right-hand side.
Well, they're in excellent position here.
McGuire, with the testing little grab.
Picked up by Roberts who is still in trouble here.
Oh, what has he done?
What's he done?
He has thrown the ball away for Ash Handley to score.
Well the referee wants another look at this.
Was there a hand on here?
Parcell is in full flight, but does not quite touch it.
Then Ben Roberts, what is he doing here?
He stays in the field of play, there is no doubt about that,
his foot does not touch the whitewash and he passes
to Handley and he is in the field of play and that should be a try
and it is confirmed.
A gift of a score for Leeds.
With eight minutes played.
Oh, he has lost it.
The referee says play on.
Play on and another set of 6 for Castleford.
As they go left now.
Minikin to Eden, with one of those trademark Greg Eden finishes.
Well a little bit of controversy here.
Danny McGuire is merely annoyed at what he thought should
have been a knock-on, he has been shown a yellow card
for swearing at the referee.
Was that Parcell's arm that knocked it out or was that the drop?
Either way, the referee said play on, they are looking at this,
the grounding for the video refs and that is fine.
And Castleford are given the score.
He is looking left again.
It is the drive by Patrick.
McShane has had plenty of time to look left and right,
he is going to pop out of the whole game and put the little
grubber kick in, which is easily taken by Parcell.
But, it's a penalty for offside against Leeds.
The referee deciding that the defenders there
were up too quickly.
They're not happy on the terraces, they're not happy on the field.
Certainly not those in Leeds colours.
Castleford have a chance to get themselves a lead here and they do.
Luke Gale's kick makes it 8-6.
Shoving away there, McShane at dummy half.
Just steering his players into position and here is Milner.
He is having a terrific season, isn't he?
Eventually held up, having occupied their attentions for quite a while,
a kick from Gale goes high in the air.
Briscoe is underneath it, he has dropped it, and Eden will score it.
Well, the referee, immediately is asking a question here.
It's all about whether Alex Foster, he says it is a try here.
Can you check please, whether Alex Foster is within the ten?
Alex Foster is within the ten, so the referee is deciding
he was ahead of the kicker here.
And if he is within ten metres of the man attempting to catch
the ball, he is deemed as offside.
It is a dreadful rule.
Because he is not interfering with play at all but because
he was within the ten, they have to rule the try out.
The sooner they change that rule, the better.
Different interpretation needed, you feel.
A little chip and a chase, that is clever.
Gale gets in the way but Moon is still able to pick it up.
McGuire is galloping on here, he has got support as well.
There is a bit of flair here from Leeds.
Briscoe on the inside, Jamie Jones-Buchanan,
wonderful stuff from Leeds.
Well, the hooter sounds.
Leeds carry on, but the referee decides that the hooter had
sounded before the play of the ball was made.
So time is called, in controversial fashion again,
at the end of that first.
I think the referee got it right, though.
Not that they would agree.
Just drilling it downfield to try and put a bit of pressure here.
Hitchcox, he is the man who is given the responsibility
of bringing it back.
Brought in by Handley.
Here is Webster.
Bouncing around the first couple of defenders,
out past the third and he has got a bit of space here now.
He has only got the full-backs going, he puts the third down
and holds him off and will that be a sweet tasting try
for Zac Hardaker?
Against his parent club.
He scores a smasher!
Going out left.
Testing them again.
It has gone to ground, the referee says play on,
it is still the sixth tackle.
The grubber kick from Gale.
Millington is the man to respond and a big grin on his face.
They are whooping with delight.
But they're asking a question again.
All about whether this is a knock-on or not from Minikin here.
It comes down off his knee and would seem to go backwards.
Eden rakes it away, that is all OK and fine.
Picked up cleanly by Gale, now it is about the grounding.
Millington gets hands firmly on the ball and the try is given.
And Castleford are developing a comfort zone now.
Here is McGuire.
Support from Sutcliffe.
Sutcliffe with a step, trips over his own feet.
But Leeds are still in a decent position.
That's another testing kick.
Oh, they have messed it up.
They have messed it up between them!
Adam Cuthbertson will score and another Castleford mistake
gifting, gifting Leeds a try.
They didn't have to work too hard for that one.
Knocked forward again by Milner.
Jamie Jones-Buchanan comes in as well, and Milner is not happy.
Milner not happy with the first contact here.
And that is the reason why.
It was a little high, penalty has been given to Castleford.
So here comes Gale who has kicked four out of four tonight.
That will be five out of five and Castleford have a ten point lead
with ten minutes to play.
Scooting up to that left-hand side.
It is just a case of seeing it home now, you feel from Castleford,
because three minutes are on the clock and Gale is going
to go for a dropped goal here.
It is low, but it is over.
Into those celebrating Castleford fans behind the sticks,
it is a 1-point victory, very fine individual performance
and a very fine team performance.
Stephen, they really need to take a look at your face,
it was a pretty feisty and physical affair.
How disappointed are you with how you performed,
as much as the result?
Yeah, it was such an intense game.
And the atmosphere from the crowd and the whole event,
and the occasion, it created a really big game and on the field
that showed as well.
We just let ourselves down, offensively.
Defence, we were really good, we coped with what Castleford threw
at us, but we really invited Castleford to win the game,
by dropping silly balls and just making unforced errors,
that we did not need to do.
Does that encapsulate at times, what this season has been about?
Defensively, you have been pretty good, maybe the rhythm
in your attack has not always been there?
I don't know so much about rhythm for this game,
I think it was just silly errors, really silly errors,
just coming away from our own line and our own 20 metres zone.
And we just invited Castleford to attack our line
and you just cannot do that.
And we know from the last two games, how much firepower they have,
in which they can put each other forward, so, I think the one
positive to take is how we can just defend and defend and get some
scrappy tries here and there and hopefully we can build on that
for the next time you meet.
You will be meeting them again, how frustrating is this
run getting for you?
It's really tough.
I think it spans over more than three games over the last
few seasons as well.
Castleford are in really red-hot form this year
and it is great for the league, as a neutral, this is
what you want to see, teams coming up through the ranks
and challenging the top teams.
But like I say, we are trying to put those wrongs right and challenge
them a bit going forward.
You knew what Zac Hardaker was going to bring to the game.
We have watched this before we came on.
You are shaking your head, but he had a great game
and he held himself together, didn't he, because it would have
been a big occasion for him.
Yeah, obviously I have been personally involved in that,
always playing centre and I think he would admit himself,
he was a bit naive to have rushed out on Zak like that.
We all know what Zak can do.
He is very elusive and thinking back to that moment, we were in a bit
of a cycle with Castleford.
It was quite toing and froing from both ends of the field
and Zak was just...
He put on some pace and he was doing well there.
Defensively, he still has what he was renowned for with you.
Yeah, he has been renowned for a good while with try
servers which has saved us some games, really.
He is so good at that end of the field as well at attacking.
It will be disappointing for Leeds, but how important for Castleford
that they won this game, given what happened to them
against Hull in the cup, which built up so much,
of what you are going to face at the end of the season?
How important was it for them to bounce back?
It was very important.
I thought the game as a whole, Tanya, it had a cup tie
feel, sudden death feel.
18,000 people there, two teams who were very
intense and very focused and very aggressive.
And I thought Castleford really did themselves a lot of good,
because they won it in a most un-Castleford like way.
We are used to seeing this flowing Rugby League,
expansive Rugby League, will they really roll
their sleeves up and tuck it out and the Castleford defence
was exceptional in that game.
Well, the team in second at the start of the round were
the Salford Red Devils.
They were in St Helens on Friday night, a town
where they haven't won since 1980.
The commentator for this one is Tim Steer.
Salford looking for the first points of the game here.
As they push up towards the ten.
They are going to get the penalty.
They have gone for the two.
Todd Carney, straightforward for him and he put it straight
through and Salford have the lead.
St Helens looking to muster a response.
Try and find a way through the Salford line at the moment.
It has been Lomax.
He is wrapped up around the waist.
Oh, he has spotted a gap, Matty Smith, he is through!
To put St Helens in front.
It is Theo Fages.
That is a high tackle, that will be a penalty.
Mark Percival will step up and he put two more
points on the board.
Bounces off one St Helens man.
He was not there and he has got the off-load away as well.
Here is Welham.
Looks like he is going to be brought down.
He has got the ball at the back.
Salford are doing their best to try and keep this play alive.
Another big kick comes in there and the off-load once more,
it is Todd Carney, the long pass out towards the left and Bibby.
Finally, is this tackle going to be made on Salford?
Dangerous there, that was merely a tip tackle.
And there goes the half-time hooter.
So Carney puts the kick forward.
St Helens have made a right mess of this!
And Evalds is going to go over to score.
Salford pushing forward here, the beginning of this half.
Across the St Helen's line.
Can they make this count?
It is Carney.
And a lovely cutout pass for Greg Johnson.
He has still got some work to do, but he has got that one down.
Kris Brining with the quick run from acting halfback.
He's put Salford in a great area here.
Can they do something with this?
Lui, from acting half-back, has gone over and
he has scored as well.
This is a really strong Salford performance in
the second half.
Last tackle play.
Logan Tomkins, weighing up the options.
He's put it in the hands of Carney.
Chips it over the line.
Evalds has got that down!
St Helens have got it all to do here, with
eight minutes to go, to
try and get back in this game.
They need to score soon, with Roby.
Towards Regan Grace.
Some good footwork there, the winger.
He's got that one at the back as well, to
Percival, onto Roby, spinning away from the tackle alert
St Helens mounting what could be a
Regan Grace, he's spun away from Johnson.
Grace is going to go over to score.
They couldn't do it, could they?
St Helens moving it along the line with
Matty Smith now, for Makinson.
Pushing off one.
He's still going, Tommy Makinson.
Great run for St Helens.
He's going to be stopped in the end but he's put St Helens
within touching distance of the try line.
Back on the inside for Lomax!
From St Helens.
We are all square and Lui has given that straight to
It's into the hands of Matty Smith, the hooter's
He's gone for the drop goal.
Oh, my word, he's got it!
St Helens have staged an incredible comeback.
I'm just as excited as the players.
It was fantastic to see that sort of finish.
There's been a saying, never write off Saints.
You guys will know it.
It was great to see that myself here tonight.
I'm really happy for Matty.
Didn't have his best game last week.
You know, good players stand up at big moments
and that was as good as
it gets, right on the full-time siren, to hit the field goal.
Last ten minutes, it was like we'd won
the game and we stopped doing what we'd done.
If you do that against any good team you're going to get
bitten at some point.
What we need to do is take that forward as a
lesson and learn them lessons pretty quickly because the further you get
down the track in the bigger games, there will be more like that, that
We need to be good at coming through the other side of
Since I've been here I've been really happy with the boys'
character, attitude, wanting to learn.
I've said that all along.
Always said we'd be a team who would get better each week.
Great for them to see the belief, to be able to
finish like that.
It can only help.
Justin Holbrooke learning quickly that you never give up on Saints but
at 24-8 down, if you're Salford, you're properly kicking yourself,
Yeah I think Iain Watson, their review will have been
pretty brutal because you know, you're more
than two scores away in
the dying minutes, basically, eight minutes, but what a fantastic finish
it was by St Helens.
They really score some quality tries there as
well, at the very end.
That play at the end was surreal and what a great
drop goal from Matty Smith.
I mean, let's have a look at it.
That review, if you're Robert Lui you don't want to see that
If you look at the first half, Todd Carney did a chip kick
after the hooter and they scored from it, that may have been going
through his head and it may be the Salford
confidence that they were
still being positive and trying to win the game.
Sometimes you have to put the bat under the arm and take
your cap off and say, we'll have a draw this
time and we'll seek the
two points next time we play them.
What a drop goal from Matty Smith.
The composer he showed, when the hooter had
already gone, putting it
between the Hs, it's just a great piece of play from him.
St Helens, Justin talked about the spirit, they
seem reborn since he arrived, don't they?
Yeah, they seem to have a lot of character, Saints.
To come back from game like that where they could
have easily put the cue in the rack and let the game go...
But they had some fire there and some really good
skill to put those tries away.
John mentions the drop goal, you know,
The shenanigans at the end with Robert Lui's chip,
that's some feat to see Matty Smith, doing
really well to put that away.
Watson, Salford, it's new territory for them to be up the table and he
said they need to learn lessons.
Three Super League defeats in a row for them.
They beat your guys in the Challenge Cup,
sorry to bring it up.
Is it an interesting time for them if they are
really going to rely as
They are hitting new heights.
That's credit to the players themselves and to the
I think they are the real deal, I think they'll be in and
amongst the top four at the very end because they have some really
good players and they are playing a really good manner.
Next up for St Helens, a trip to Headingley
to face their old rivals, the Leeds Rhinos.
There's commentary on that one from 7:30pm on Thursday.
It was back in February that Hull won on a wet
weekend in Wakefield.
That was the opening day of the season.
It was the return fixture on Friday.
John, a feisty start to the game, wasn't
Yes, it was quite physical initially and then there was a
tackle that Craig Huby executed and was penalised and a bit of
The result was, Craig Huby went to the sin-bin
and so did Fonua there.
And within the next ten minutes, it rarely
We only had one set with the ball in this ten minutes
and we made an error within that set and Hull got a couple of penalties
and tries and really made hay.
Played some good rugby league.
Jamie Shaul looks as if he's really returning to
the form that people talked about him as an England international.
During the sin-binning, they've got us here,
lovely play there that buys the wing man Talanoa enough space
there to score.
We were really pleased that we showed some heart
and we dug in.
When the possession momentum shifted to us, people like
James Bachelor went over for a really good try and then Sam
Williams at half-back, a bit of a show and go and shrugging off
Shaul to cross.
12-10 at half-time, we were feeling pretty pleased with
We thought that we'd got to start the half very assertively
and that's exactly what happened.
Just tackling Jones-Bishop short but Reece spotting the late retreat
and over he goes.
Liam Finn converted that.
So, 18-10, you feel you're in with a great chance of
beating Hull, but Kyle Wood is really beating himself up about
As we saw with Ben Roberts against Castleford, you make
decisions, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't work.
If he'd have found Mason Caton-Brown with
open air in front of him, we would put the glasses
down and applauded a try.
That brought Hull back in the game but then our middle defence
wasn't good enough there.
Great play from Sneyd, quality play from their
back five and then the big forwards.
This is like an action replay in the middle channel,
they played the ball quicker than us and Jamie Shaul
going a good 60 metres and that was the game,
even though there were a
couple more tries.
Chasing the game here, the message was about
off-loading and keeping the ball alive.
When you take chances, sometimes they work and sometimes
Fonua rounding off a really good individual display with a try.
This was disappointing for us, we'd spoken about it in review,
no matter what the scoreboard is, there are
processes to go through, defensive processes and our contact there
wasn't good enough.
We'll have to address that for the future.
For Hull, they've had a good few weeks.
I think possibly this season they've gone under the radar but how
impressed are you, as they develop towards the end of the season?
Yes, it's getting to the business end of
the season, teams jostling for position to be in the best position
they can to make the top four.
Hull are really looking strong.
They've got some really big guys taking them
Sneyd has come back after a bit of a lay-off, looking like
they are clinical, finishing chances and I think
they are going well in
Hull moving up to second but where will they end
up in our set of six challenge?
Representing FC, it's FT, Fetuli Talanoa.
We've got a pear, watermelon, mango, apple, banana.
Zebra, a giraffe, a Lion, a Tiger, a monkey and a Rhino.
Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis.
Pound, Euros, dollar, yen.
Are you guys feeling pretty smug, having put Ryan
Hall into bat for you?
I don't think we like the fact that Ryan Hall's
sitting pretty at the top!
Never hear the end of it.
We never hear the end of stuff like that.
Batting for somebody else, get in quick,
there aren't many to go.
Let's move into the bottom half of the table
and the meeting of Huddersfield and Wigan.
They drew 16-16 earlier in the season.
It was another close contest on Friday.
Here's Dave Edwards.
These teams were neck and neck in the Super League table with
only points difference keeping Huddersfield above Wigan at the
start of the match.
Giants captain Leroy Cudjoe was first over the
line, his eighth minute try separating the sides early on as the
home side looked to back up last week's impressive home win against
Danny Brough went for an early drop goal to extend
Huddersfield's lead midway through the first
half and then he used his
boot again, a clever kick through the Wigan defence,
making the Giants's second try, for Lee Gaskell.
Huddersfield, 13-0 up with 25 minutes gone.
But then, the Wigan comeback.
John Bateman, making his first Super League start of the
season, crossed for his second try in as many games and then Sam
Tomkins and George Williams combined to set up Leon Marshall.
The Wigan winger touching down for his 19th
try of the season.
Marshall took his tally to 20 just three minutes in
the second half, Williams and Tomkins again the architects before
a trademark flying finish.
The Warriors, in front for the first time in the match.
Huddersfield's fourth consecutive win was back on
when Jermaine McGillvary crossed in the corner and Danny Brough's
conversion put the Giants in front by one.
When Williams booted a drop goal from the halfway, the scores
were level and for the second time between these sides this season, it
finished all square.
Very differing views from the coaches on that.
Rick Stone saying happy enough in the end
but Shaun Wane, not good enough, too many penalties and errors.
Perception, perceptions are a great things.
I'm certain in the fullness of time, Shaun Wane will see the
positives in that and from looking at the clips, the positives, for me,
will be Sam Tomkins looking to regain his sharpness, some killer
passes, good quality play and John Bateman,
outstanding back row player, crossing for a try.
He will have been heavily involved in his
They've taken a step forward by getting some more game
Huddersfield just won't go away, they work hard for each other.
When Brough is playing well, they are a handful.
And they brought Jordan Rankin as well.
Have you been surprised at the turnaround that
Huddersfield have had?
I don't think it's surprisingly because they've
been such a strong team.
Three years ago they were finishing top of the
When we go over there, such a tough team to play.
They seem to have the knack of competing and
It's about developing that consistency, for Huddersfield.
They seem to be there or thereabouts a lot of the time.
Quite a statement, Jake Mamo's been so key for them and
he seemed to be the catalyst for the change.
Without him for a few weeks.
How important to get a result like that in the first match without him?
It's great for Huddersfield.
I know that Wigan are frustrated with the
loss because they have players coming back.
Huddersfield missing Mamo and Wigan having Sam Tomkins
and John Bateman coming back, they probably got
frustrated by the loss.
They wanted to pick up momentum and Huddersfield looks like they
snatched the draw.
The teams currently in the four positions were
up against each other.
First, Widnes, where Elton John was in
concert last week so he's the man to guide us
through the standings to
the foot of the table.
MUSIC: "I'm Still Standing" - Elton John
# You know I'm still standing better than I ever did
# Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
# I'm still standing after all this time
# Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind
# I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah
# I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah
# I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah
# I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah
Heremaia at dummy half.
Widnes very relieved to have both him and
Lloyd White back in their 17.
Trying to pick up position here.
It's a decent drive.
Stepping on the inside, Cahill.
Heremaia wanting more.
Getting closer and closer.
Grab and a catch by Mellor.
What a bounce that was, and again.
Bridge touching down.
Well, they're going to have a look at this again.
The bounce was unbelievable.
Off this artificial pitch, they couldn't deal with it,
Leigh, and Bridge very grateful to touch down and score.
I think this is going to be given.
Widnes getting a dream start with that
Into Houston from Rangi Chase's pass.
He's not got a hand laid on him, Chris
Houston and two tries in the opening six minutes here for Widnes.
Great start for them.
The forwards again heavily involved.
Great off-load, to keep things flowing
forward, from the Widnes point of view.
Here's an opportunity.
It's with Thompson.
Oh, he's turned him inside out here.
Corey Thompson with a very cheeky grin because that was
a very cheeky try.
If it's given.
The referee, not appreciating the advances of the Leigh players.
Now, they are looking for obstruction here.
Behind his own man.
Nothing wrong with the grounding and the try
is confirmed, Widnes having their third.
Half an hour played.
Rolling in, Widnes rolling forward.
A little bit loose.
It is with Mellor.
Over the line, Houston again for a deck
Two tries late in the first half, putting Widnes in total
You rather fancy that they need to score first in the
second half if they are going to dent a bit of the confidence that
Widnes showed in the first period.
At the moment these two teams swapping places at the foot of the
table but Leigh looking for a response and finding something with
Hampshire, who has support.
Brown is driving it down.
Widnes are back on their own goal-line defending here
because Leigh have surged and they are going to score.
Nick Rawsthorne on his debut.
Timely try for Leigh and it may ignite something now.
Little sashay to the right, Pellissier.
Houston was a big obstacle in his way.
Leigh with Vea, yes, he has it down.
Two tries now for Leigh.
Putting the cat among the pigeons, showing a response.
Leigh fans are in terrific voice.
As well they might be because their side,
having been very much under the pump in the first half, looking more
likely in the second.
That's gone to ground and here comes Corey
And he is going to burst Leigh's bubble, and in exceptional style.
His second of the night, Corey Thompson, a gift when it came.
That he had the speed to take total advantage.
Widnes, back in the driving seat.
Still a long way to cover here.
A bit of urgency through Cahill.
Needs to get on with it as quickly as he possibly can here.
Oh, he slides through.
Stylishly done and has support and Ryan Ince
will finish off the job.
What a classy try that is for Widnes.
It might just have finished off the night because there is only
seven minutes left to play now.
Desperately disappointing from the point of view of Leeds.
They could say goodbye to their ambitions, their hopes
of finishing in the top eight, even the winners will struggle
to finish in the top eight, but Widnes maybe have got a little
bit of momentum now.
That is an untidy finish from them.
Ince picks it up and flicks it back.
Here is Mellor, he goes to the right and Whitley will cap a very good
individual performance from him, with the score.
One less visit to the video ref, before the night is complete.
There is the kick.
If anyone, it was a Leigh hand that sent it forwards.
That flick has clearly gone backwards.
Here is Mellor.
Whitley, clean finish.
Try for Widnes, win for Widnes, they overtake Leigh
at the bottom of the table.
That is a good night for them.
Neal Dukes did not pull his punches after that.
The last time we saw Leigh, they were beating Wigan,
they put 50 points on Wigan.
They built this up to be a Cup Final, do you think,
maybe they built up a little bit too much for themselves?
It is such a contrast to that victory they had over Wigan.
Sometimes that can happen.
You can build games up and put so much energy and thought
into how you can perform, how you need to perform
and sometimes it can happen because, I guess it is a tight league
and a tighter game, all the time.
It can put a lot of pressure on you.
They will not be happy with that, Leigh, especially after such
a good game against Wigan.
Widnes, though, three wins out of four, they look such a better
side now, don't they?
How important has Rangi Chase been at the training ground for them?
He has took a gamble and I think it is a gamble that is really paying
off for the Widnes Vikings.
This try here, I was watching it on TV and I thought
he had got the ball.
He ended up putting the ball down behind the post.
That was a great piece of deception.
He came in with a pretty good defensive shot there.
That showed his commitment to the cause.
Technically, really good shot there and put into the ground
there and then he comes up, 20-40 kick, we have got a piece
of sublime attacking skill.
Piece of great defence.
And then a great aspect of his kicking game.
But you have got to counter that and I am sure the coach,
Denis Betts, will be aware of this as well.
There is a bit of petulance in there as well, that was not
called for as well.
But, I think you would accept it at the minute, and Frankie has got
that little glint in his eye, I think he will accept
that he is doing 80% good, 20% in difference.
I think Denis Betts will be more than happy with his
contribution to the cause.
When he is playing like that, how was he doing?
You really have to attack that line, I think that is a natural feeling
he has and that little drop that he did, that is
the next level of stuff.
I have not seen that done many times.
To try and trick the defence after you have given the ball away.
It is the next step up, I think, and he is such a hard
player to defend against.
Do you think Denis will keep him?
I do, yes.
I think he has certainly contributed.
I think Denis Betts has done a great job as well and he has shown great
resolve as well and he has stuck with his players and stuck
with his systems and structures.
Well, Steve McNamara is the new coach of Catalan.
He was confirmed as the replacement for Laurent Frayssinous last month.
The former England boss has most recently been working
as an assistant coach with the New Zealand Warriors.
He arrived in France with Catalan in the bottom four of the table.
When a team changes its coach, it is generally because they are not
in a great position.
Generally they changes the coach, because there are some things
there that need to improve at the club and quite
clearly there are things that we need to improve,
but the group of players that I have, have quite a lot
of potential in them.
We need to get some of that as quickly as we can.
This is one big club, one hell of a big club in Rugby League,
it is well-known and we want to make sure that this club
fufills its potential.
Richie Myler, with a try for Catalan.
The NRL has opened my eyes to a completely different
level of Rugby League.
After the international game as well.
It takes the experience and adds it to the experiences I have had,
as a Super League coach and I'm looking forward to bringing
all of those to this club and opening up everything
there and giving it everything we have got.
The NRL is a completely different beast.
I'm not saying it is better or worse than Super League,
it is just different, completely different and so you get
to see things from a completely different perspective.
So first up for the new coach was a trip to Warrington
on Saturday, a crucial two points on offer for the winners.
Your commentator is Tim Steer.
Acting halfback for Catalan.
The French side get it over towards the right edge
and Jodie Broughton is going to go in for the first score of the game.
Warrington looking to muster a response here.
Atkins has got that one brilliantly away for Jullien to score.
Here is Gidley.
Gidley puts a high kick forward for Warrington.
And Catalan have not dealt with it and Kevin Penny has
come away with the ball, and he stopped just
short of the line.
He goes from dummy half and Atkins scores.
Quick play, the ball from Catalan there, looking to speed things
up with Richie Myler.
Oh, huge gap for Myler there and he will score
against his former club.
He has put a high kick forward now for Warrington.
Catalan, they have knocked on there.
That is going to be a penalty.
Kurt Gidley, going to take the two.
Gets the two.
That is well for Warrington.
Great run from Clark there from acting halfback.
It is the applause of the home fans.
Catalan taking their time to unleash the tackle and the penalty goes
the way of Warrington.
So Gidley once more.
Successful penalty kick for two more points on the board.
Here is Clark.
Clark, he has spotted a gap in the line and he has
got through as well.
This is another great run from Daryl Clark.
He has got Patton.
He is going to go to ground, but credit again for
Daryl Clark's efforts there.
With the kick.
Out towards Atkins.
Try from Warrington.
Catalan is trailing by eight points here.
They need to try and reduce that now with Richie Myler.
And he has got that down to set up a grandstand finish now.
Just two points in it.
A couple of minutes to go.
It is Andre Savelio for Warrington.
He is heading and he scores to give Warrington a crucial win
and Steve McNamara has suffered defeat in his first game in charge.
I don't think it was a spectacular game of Rugby League.
I thought it had some tension in it, and both teams showed some
of that tension at times.
A lot of spirit and fight.
To see us compete, and give ourselves a a chance
of winning the game, right up until the last three
or four minutes, for me, means we have moved a step
in the right direction.
It is only one step, a small step, but it is certainly the right step.
Catalan had a real dig, they were trying to impress the new coach.
They tried really hard.
I thought they were a lot better than I have seen in recent weeks.
They really had a shot at it.
Good improvement from my boys as well, I thought.
How big a job has Steve McNamara got in his hands at Catalan?
Yeah, it is going to be tough.
It is going to be tough.
They have obviously lost a lot of confidence and self-belief.
And it is pretty easy to lose, but it is very difficult to regain
and I think that is the first job for Steve.
Whilst he is over there.
Perhaps to strip it back and simplify it and tick little
boxes so they can start believing, once again, that they are good
players, because there is no doubt about it,
he has got some quality there, but it is quality
at the minute on paper.
It needs to be transferred then onto the playing field.
For Warrington, they had a real mix of youth and experience,
how important do you think their experienced players
were for them in getting them through what was a nervy game?
I think those last ten or 15 minutes, where the game really
matters is where the older heads start to take control and develop
the game from there to take them into a winning position.
They have got so many old heads and people who have been in these
kind of situations and I think they will probably come
through when it really matters most.
Recently you experienced this last year.
They have shown a lot of spirit in the last couple of weeks,
Warrington, how key is that going to be to get them out
of the position that they are in?
Yeah, that would be paramount, I think, after all the coaching
staff, they need to make sure that the team are always good
and it can be so draining and so hard to lose games
back-to-back and it can be really hard to concentrate
and to try and improve, because they have lost so much steam
and energy from battling those losses and trying to improve.
I think they need a clean slate and to try and make that top eight,
if not, they're going to have to look at a different
kind of competition.
Do you expect to see Warrington and Catalan in those qualifiers?
I think Catalan will be in the qualifiers.
I think Warrington have got a chance of getting in there,
but time is running out.
Fascinating, the last few weeks, isn't it, so Warrington back
to winning ways and with the months to go in the regular season,
this is where they stand in the BetFred Super League table.
The Wolves move up to ninth, three points adrift of Wigan.
Remember the bottom four will face a fight for Super League
survival in the qualifiers.
The big movers at the top of the table are Hull,
climbing two places to second place.
They remain seven points behind the leaders Castleford.
So, we've reached the end of June and here are one or two things that
caught our eye in the last couple of months.
Brian Lennon might want to forget this one.
Don't celebrate your tries too early is the motto here.
Fortunately for him, the Red Devils managed to hold
onto the lead against Hull KR.
People seem to have trouble staying on their feet.
Recently Tony Gigot took this tumble at Wigan.
One Wakefield fan quite literally went over the top in celebrating
Nathan Caton-Brown's try at Salford.
And is this the best header seen at St James's Park
since Alan Shearer retired?
Textbook technique from the Tigers fan at the Gallowgate end.
Well at least someone has an excuse for leaving
Newcastle with a sore head!
That's it for this week, my thanks to Stevie
and to John for joining us.
We will see you all next week.
Highlights from a crucial weekend at the top and bottom of the Super League, as the 12 clubs continue to fight for position in the top eight and guarantee their Super League status for 2018.
League leaders Castleford have a six-point lead at the top of the table, and are looking to complete a hat-trick of victories against their local rivals Leeds Rhinos, who they face for the third time this season. Castleford won 66-10 when the teams first met in March, and were again victorious against the Rhinos at the magic weekend, but Leeds have re-established themselves as a Super League force in 2017 and will be looking to gain a crucial two points to maintain their position in the top four.
There are two big battles in the basement, as the bottom four teams in the League go head to head. Widnes take on Leigh and defeat for either team will push them further towards a place in the qualifiers, where they will face a fight for Super League survival. Both teams have endured difficult seasons, but Leigh's recent victory over Wigan, and Widnes's success against Leeds will have given them hope that they can climb out of the bottom four to safety.
The other two teams in the bottom four, Warrington and Catalans meet at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Hull FC face Wakefield, Huddersfield take on Wigan and St Helens are at home to Salford.