Highlights. St Helens v Wigan, Leeds v Hull FC, Salford v Wakefield, Huddersfield v Castleford, Featherstone v Hull KR, Leigh v Widnes, London v Warrington and Halifax v Catalans.
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You Just over a month until the Grand Final, but award season is
well under way. In terms of the major prizes, it's two down and one
to go. # We are stars
# COMMENTATOR: Castleford League
Leaders Shield winners 2017. They used to say they couldn't win at
Wembley. Now they simply cannot stop winning at Wembley. Wonderful try.
What a finish that is. Here comes the chase and Tompkins is the man to
score. Eight teams still very much
in the race for the Grand Final, and two prize fighters are with us
tonight in the shape of John Kear, and the Challenge Cup
winning captain of Hull FC, Gareth, has it sunk in a bit quicker
this time around that you've won the Challenge Cup, back-to-back as well?
It certainly has, yeah. There was a different feel in the build up to
the game. Certainly a different feel afterwards, but we spoke about Hull
becoming a more consistent team, we've won silverware, Challenge Cups
back-to-back is a massive statement of intention from the club for the
hard work that's been done for the last few years. Certainly after the
game, things moved very much towards the Grand Final and wanting to
achieve that. So yeah, everything has been a bit more dub dude and
re-- subdued and relaxed. It was such a big deal to win it last year.
You look back to Leeds finally winning. Has Lee Radford been more
relaxed? Yeah, of course. He's our leader. We feed off him and how he
is before and after games is very much influential on how we are as
players. It's something that he's been great at throughout his
coaching career. He's evolved. From a young, inexperienced coach that
was very reactive to now being a great manager as well as coach. I
think it's testament to him and we're a product of that, how we're
acting this year. So to Round 4 of the Super 8s,
and it was a landmark week His 12-game ban for a positive
drugs test is at an end, so it was time for his Super League
debut. Everyone knows he can score tries
and things like that. It's the way he reads the game. We don't have too
many natural rugby league players with vision in the world any way.
He's got that. Attacking has been what I'm known for. Hopefully I can
bring that to the club and help the boys.
COMMENTATOR: Barba scores. I've said all along it's great to have him
playing for us. But it's great for the game. I think anyone that likes
rugby league in England or anywhere in the world will tune in to see him
playing rugby league. It has been tough. I've gone from playing footy
every week to having a seat for such a long time. The one thing I've
taken from it is how easy things can get taken away from you. Now I'm on
the other side of the world and playing in a totally different
competition. The only thing I can do now is work hard and try to put good
performances on the feed. I'm excited and nervous at the same
time. It's been almost a year since I've played in a rugby league field.
I'm looking forward to it. Are you excited to see a player of
his standing and ability in Super League? Not this Thursday! But after
that I will be. He's an outstanding player. He was a stellar player in
the NRL. You could see glimpses in his first game against Wigan of a
similar stature within Super League. It was a little rusty. I hope it's
not too quick! And first up for Ben Barba,
it was one of the biggest matches on the calendar,
as St Helens met Wigan Always a real intensity to this
fixture. He's sent off! The youngster strikes. Marshal for the
corner. Support for Tierney. The fullback's in. Nobody's home. He
scores. Try! St Helens look to have snatched it.
He scores. 90 seconds played and Wigan are up and running. What a
start for them. That's a spilled ball. Oliver
Gildart steps away - two tries in the opening four minutes. Wigan are
on fire here. It's a little scruffy. The referee
says playion, and then he gives a penalty. Not doing enough to get
away, the referee decides. Williams with a chance to make it 14-0. 14
minutes played. What a wonderful position they find
themselves in here as well. Oh, Barba! We're going to the big
screen. He says try on the field. Check the grounding, then Barba.
Well the ball seems to have been dropped. Whether Gelling was getting
in there? The referee says try on the field. And try has been given.
That will be controversial. Ben Barba on his debut opens his
accounts. He's thrilled. The referee stops the game because
McCarthy has hopped away injured. Is that dangerous contact? Clearly he
was hurt. We're unsure on the point of contact. The referee puts it on
report. Tompkins quick hands - Gelant slides
over. Burgess is racing away. He's got
support, should he need it from Williams. He ducks and slides in.
Two tries in two-and-a-half minutes in this second half, putting Wigan
in control of the game again. Zeb Taia bull dozing, blasting his
way over. St Helens needed that. Taia produces.
Oh, and somehow it's gone right and Makinson scores! St Helens with
back-to-back tries back in contention.
Wig around more than happy with this now. They can run the clock down.
They get a penalty. That should be that now. Well, it's getting heated
again here. I'm not sure what he was doing here, he pushes him in the
back. Totally needless. He's in the sin-binn for what it matters.
There's only a minute left to play. Williams with a chance to put the
cherry on top of the cake with a kick that absolutely seals victory
and a win that puts Wigan right back in Grand Final contention. Week
after that Wembley defeat. Is that the kind of performance you
were expecting? Yeah when you lose a Challenge Cup final, it's easier to
play the next game than when you've won it. It's obvious to say, but it
stands true. One thing about Wigan, no matter whether they're playing
well or not, they show doggedness, determination and work so hard for
each other. At Wembley they were the second best team but hung in there.
They showed true quality against St Helens. I expected that bounce
backability to come through. The senior players really led from the
front, is that important in a game like this? That's massive. If there
were two blokes you could have said before the game would stand up and
be counted in that game, it would be those two. They're massive for Wigan
and they performed so well in this game. They led from the front. A
tremendous cover tackle from Tompkins. It was on the short side.
He tracked right the way across and came up with that great tackle. He's
competitive. He wants to win everything. Every challenge, he
wants to win it. St Helens have brought in Ben Barba and what do you
make of him? Ben Barba is exciting for the competition. You've got to
find a place for Jonny Lomax. . Richardson has been developing
nicely as a half-back, but that's what rugby league is all about -
competition for sports. It's do or die time now. John is watching on
closely. Do you think they've still got the top form and can do
something? Or do they look a little bit short to you? It's difficult to
say. This weekend will decide that. If Wakefield get one over on him
they could say their to be four transfers are out of the window.
They've been playing better in recent weeks. Probably a lot hangs
on this week. I won't ask you about that one!
St Helens next match is against play-off rivals Wakefield.
Wakefield were looking to hold onto their play-off place
at Salford on Friday, you've already won and lost there this season.
St Helens, it was do or die for them and Salford. They challenged with
the early try. Jacob Miller coming back to fitness has added something
to Wakefield. He was instrumental scoring the try and helping to set
up that for with good ball movement. This is good play from Salford.
Johnson had too much pace to cross in the corner and we knew at this
stage, 12 apiece, and a tight old game. We felt we had to stay with
them and we could get them and the Miller try was important. But this
fella on debut, a cracking debut. I think he has demonstrated he is a
threat. Good service. They hard worker in defence and an air of
confidence about the Wakefield performance. A good try, a couple of
good off-loads. Tyler Randell with his deception and pace, crossing. It
was such a shock that Tyrone McCarthy kicked the ball. It was a
comfortable win in the end but we were challenged early. Did you feel
it was a different Salford from early in the season? Yes, I think
they are tired. They have a small squad. They have not been able to
rotate and they have looked fatigued. Mentally they lost the
Challenge Cup semifinal. They have had the highs but disappointments
also. But they have made progression.
Just five days after their Wembley win, Hull FC were back
Headingley was their destination this week,
Now, is there something to be looked at here?
He said there is no try on the field.
Well, it is his hand that then bounces the ball forward.
Hitting that line and forcing them back a yard or two.
A good run from Mahe Fonua, who has got it
And Steve Michaels with the Hull response.
Really weird, isn't it, with the South stand empty?
They have already begun the demolition of that side.
Stevie Ward's pass, and Singleton had the angle and line.
But he is mightily impressive in his spells on the field.
Leeds defenders will be chastising themselves, I am sure.
Ward. Rattled in the tackle.
Gareth Ellis, he is backing in their to
Gareth Ellis, he is backing in there to
Well, he is off for ten minutes for a dangerous contact
It is a spilled ball that has given Marc Sneyd the chance to
Hull are gifted possession and position.
Just an arm lingering too long and dislodging that ball.
Hull electing to go for two and Marc Sneyd is
looking to narrow the gap to just four.
Hull's defence having to work overtime again.
Still got an arm on the ball and I think he has
It is confirmed four minutes before the
Danny Houghton having a look around here.
Thompson goes in as the dummy runner.
Just what Hull needed five minutes into the second half.
And he has got a pass away and look who is galloping in.
They appreciate that around Headingley.
There are a lot of yards to cover for Hull.
A big night tonight in terms of the race for second place.
And another chance to extend their lead.
Kallum Watkins to give his side a 12-point advantage.
They are sitting pretty at the moment.
Ryan Hall coming in quickly to close down any
It is getting a little lively in there, as well.
Rob Burrow is in the middle of it all.
What we have to do is control your players.
I don't want players running in and rushing in.
Let's just settle the game back down, please.
There are still four tackles in the set.
Kallum Watkins puts it over and Leeds
Leeds are very much favourites again.
A dodge and weave back towards Jones-Buchanan.
And it is Parcell with the diving catch
Certain now of a top-four place and near enough certain of
finishing second, as well with this big win against Hull tonight.
Despite the defeat, were you pleased with how you backed up
If you had spoken to me on Wednesday when we were doing the team run
and said we were going to put in a performance like that
with the energy we showed, I'd have bitten your hand off.
There were elements of the game we were disappointed with.
It was not a classic from either side.
It probably suited us coming off the back of the Challenge Cup.
There are areas of the game we were disappointed
with and we could have done a lot better and the result might
have been different, but the energy that we showed,
that is what was really important and shown for me the mindset change
and what we spoke about earlier in terms of dropping off
Brian McDermott had a right old rant at the end of the game.
He said his own players were guilty of it as well,
of looking for easy penalties when you are pinned in your own.
Do you think he has got a point about this, or was he just on one?
If you look at Castleford, they are great at putting a really
good kick in and then the chase is good and they pin
And the Cas fans always shout, "Get into them."
Where you are really aggressive and you make it difficult
I do not know whether it is a governing body philosophy,
a referee's philosophy, but I think they give more penalties
in that area to piggyback the teams up the field rather than make teams
It is not a pop at Hull FC, it is not a pop at Danny Washbrook.
But I just think referees are looking for penalties in that area.
Teams should have to work their way out, and if they do that,
we would be better internationally, because we would be able
to play arm-wrestle rugby, which is what you need to play
against teams like Australia and New Zealand.
It is important to say he wasn't having a go at Hull.
He said his own players were guilty of it.
We all want to see an enterprising, fast-flowing game of rugby league,
but let's not forget, rugby league is a tough sport
I think for me, that is what makes it the spectacle it is.
So let's not lose that element of grinding wins out.
Those blokes that want to take those tough carries out of yardage,
Do you think it is the governing body, or is it the players,
or is it everybody needs to get together and have a
I think it might be changing philosophy, but I think it
would benefit us internationally if teams had to work their way out
from their own line, rather than being helped out
Castleford are of course over the hills and far away
and it's important that they're involved in some competitive games
I am going to take my hat off to Castleford because they have tied
up the League Leaders' Trophy.
They are preparing for the Grand Final.
But they are preparing by changing the
But also the commitment levels that are
Although I don't think that was Castleford-like
But when you look at people like Benny Roberts still turning up week
in, week out, putting in great performances.
This is a rehearsed move and my word, look at the execution.
That is quality rugby league, despite the
fact they have achieved so much this season.
Was it important like for you guy - they will have had
the euphoria of winning - they are not used to
winning silverware - to come out and win this one?
They seem to be in a really good place.
They are playing as good now as what they were earlier in the
I have got lots of Castleford fans within my family who are very
For Huddersfield, their season is a little bit
If they have this squad fit, you look at what they might have been
Yes, they are a good team and they have matured over the
They had a really iffy period early on but they
get into the top four, but I still
think they can cause a shock or two amongst
teams wanting to get into
Another win for the leaders, and this is where all
the results have left things in the Betfred Super League table.
One more win for Leeds will guarantee them a home semifinal in
Wigan move above St Helens into fifth.
The champions are now just a point behind fourth
The Qualifiers resumed after a break for the Challenge Cup final,
and the race for Super League status is on.
Four rounds to go in the Qualifiers, and desperate times for some
of the Super League teams scrambling for safety.
Leigh took on Widnes on Sunday, where the winner would end
The details on this one come from Sharon Shortle.
A win for either of these sides would prove crucial with both
And it was Widnes who got the ideal start after just four minutes,
as Lloyd White jinked his way over from acting half
Rhys Hanbury missed the conversion to that but made no mistake
with the penalty after Atelea Vea caught Chris Houston late.
He then added a second when Danny Craven was also taken out
by a mistimed challenge and Widnes were eight points in front.
The Vikings continued to dominate the first half and went further
ahead when Alex Gerard shrugged off to Leigh defenders to go
Hanbury was on target with the conversion
It was Leigh who started the second half stronger,
moving the ball out wide to James Clare.
He scored on his debut with an acrobatic stretch.
But any hopes of a Leigh comeback did not last.
A mistake from them gave Widnes good field position and they moved
Corey Thompson stepped out of one tackle, sidestepped another defender
With the conversion, Widnes were 16 points in front.
But Leigh were not ready to roll over.
They launched an attack down the right and Ben Reynolds sent
With Hanbury off injured, Chris Bridge added a penalty from 40
metres out for Widnes to stretch the lead again, before kicking
The win gives the Vikings' hopes of Super League
survival a huge boost, while Leigh's chances
A huge win and Denis Betts talking about his team leading to show
arrogance. Is that important to go in with a struct? I think there is
so much resting on this game. Being the two points. It is important one
of the teams have arrogance and incompetence about them because if
you go into the game a little tetchy and not sure of what is going on it
would be easy for a team to get one over on the other. Nervous times for
Leigh. Very nervous and possibly this time in a better spot. It is
tough for them, but is is part of the competition and structure of the
competition and they will be challenged and the fixtures they
have, they have tough games. Warrington is as tough as it gets.
And Halifax and London. They will think they can close on the last two
but the Warrington game is vital. Widnes at Hull KR, but do they have
a roll on now? You'd like to think so.
Both teams have a lot to play for in this game. Widnes probably more so.
I think they need one win in three to cement their place in the top
flight. Widnes desperate as well. Another big game for them. Tense
times in the qualifiers. Back-to-back defeats had left
Catalan staring down the barrel of the Million Pound Game,
so they were desperate to get back It was bad tempered
at times this one. Is that a reflection of what's at
stake? I think so. I don't have any bearing on these games, but it makes
me nervous just talking about them. That was nasty, wasn't it? Yeah,
some moments in the game, which were a bit unsavoury. I'm sure there will
be repercussions of that, which could affect the teams going into
this week. How impressed have you been for Richie Myler? He's been
really good. His future is secure. He's a high quality club for next
season. He's been organising the team. Doing what he's always done
since he came to Super League, supporting the break really well. It
was instrumental in this victory. This was important to win. I know
Halifax fancied this. They had to go to Halifax and get the victory in
order to set them up for the remaining three games. We talked
about it being tetchy. Another punch-up coming, did Catalan need to
be more physical? Is that something that's been missing? I think so. We
spoke about before the bit of arrogance about them. You know, I
think, that tetchiness is always going to be there. Other teams fancy
themselves against Catalan now. I think they fancy their chances. To
keep Halifax at nil as well. Defensively they've been weak. How
important for that confidence wise? Very important going forward. If you
nil anybody it gives a feel good factor in your beliefs, structures
and systems. To further close unite the game with a good try down the
left-hand side there will really again boost them. Because 24-0 at
Halifax is a good result. But there again, they've still to look
forward. Three games and three tetchy, nervous games are going to
be coming up for Catalans. One team who know all
about the Million Pound Game But they were on course to avoid it
this year with three wins from their opening three matches
in the Qualifiers. Week 4 sent them to Featherstone,
and Richard Stead saw this one. Featherstone Rovers score
through Kyran Johnson. And Hull Kingston
Rovers answer back. This will be the last and Lunt
will send Atkin on his way. Surrounded by Hull
Kingston Rovers defenders. And it is a second try, albeit
a consolation for Kyran Johnson. What have you made of Hull KR in
terms building through the qualifiers? I don't think it's just
the qualifiers. All season, the handle, the disappointment of the ?1
million game - really well. They came up quickly with a strategy of
how to counter that. They built throughout the Championship season.
They've recruited for these qualifiers. Four from four it's
pretty perfect. Now they're going to the last three needing one win to
ensure promotion. They've done really well. How they've planned for
life in the Championship and how to get out as well. Tim Sheens has done
a good job with them. A big week in terms of managing nerves and
expectation. You wouldn't expect anything else from Tim. Been around
the block a million times. This won't be new to him. He will lay
that platform for the rest of the players but relaxed in the next few
games. They need just one win. So Hull KR remain at 100%,
and the other perfect record in the Qualifiers
belonged to Warrington. They were in London
on Saturday night Shrugs off the tackle
and puts the ball down! Spectacular start from
the London Broncos. And that is three
scores without reply. It is right over
the hands of Williams. George King takes it to the line.
Has he got that one down? The referee has to go to the video
referee. Under a pile of bodies, there it is, a smart finish, under
pressure and Warrington have a score right on halftime.
They're going to target the right-hand side. They storm through.
Suddenly Warrington right back in the game.
Or are they? This presence of mind here that Jack Hughes, well, does he
knock the ball on there? It looked like a smart off-load. We're looking
at the grounding. The try has been awarded. Shades of controversy.
Right on the line then. Warrington attacking. Kevin Brown stretches out
a big arm and it's a try. Suddenly Warrington in control. Rampaging
run. This could be another try. It's finished off. There's a bit about
this too just showing their Super League class. Andrew Henderson has
every right to be frustrated. It's Ben Westwood, too big and power.
That's six tries without replay from Warrington.
That is really sharp work from the bonko half-back. Suddenly, they've
got a foot hold again. So much pace here. It's a chase from
Brown. He gets his second try and just as you thought that London
might be back in the game, Warrington blitz them out of sight.
Ackers goes for the line. The Broncos back in the game.
That's the cat amongst the pigeons. He's turned on the turbos. He takes
it round to the stick. There is another try for the bonk yeses that
puts them so close last chance saloon for the bonko. Two points in
it. Really good hands. Oh, what's that there? From Ryan Atkins. That
was a needless tackle. That's horrible. Thankfully Dickson looks
all right. That is it. That is game over. Brave effort from the Broncos.
But it's a win for Warrington. Job just about done for Warrington.
London, it's been ifs and buts. They've come so close in all of the
games. They were tremendous in the first game of the qualifiers.
Tremendous in that as well. They scored exciting Troyes and tested
Warrington to the very end. They will feel hard done by. I'm certain
that they'll feel that they've progressed from last season to this
season and during the qualifiers as well, they've been very competitive.
I suppose these qualifiers is about getting the job done. It is. There
are a lot of players, who play at higher standard. There are
international players that are having to perform at this level.
It's a test of their character to do with that. I'm running out of time.
This ehave done the job. Just three rounds of matches to go
in the Qualifiers, then, That's it for now,
my thanks to Gareth, and to John for joining us,
we'll see you next week.
Highlights from the latest round of matches in the Super League and the qualifiers.
Castleford have claimed first place in the Super League, but the remaining seven teams are still in with a chance of finishing in the top four and securing a place in the end-of-season play-off semi-finals.
St Helens have a local derby at home to Wigan, Leeds take on Hull FC and Salford face Wakefield. League leaders Castleford travel to Huddersfield. Another nervous week awaits the eight teams in the qualifiers, where only four of them will secure a Super League place for 2018. Hull Kingston Rovers are looking to maintain their 100 per cent record when they travel to Featherstone, Leigh are at home to Widnes, London play Warrington and Halifax play Catalans.