12th August: Burgess makes an early impression

Richard de la Riviere looks back at what happened in Rugby League over the years on this day: 12th August

An early Sam Burgess try helped Bradford consolidate third place in Super League as they beat Hull Kingston Rovers at Craven Park on this day in 2007.
The 18-year-old was continuing to make a wonderful impact in the Bulls’ first team, after having debuted a year earlier. By the end of 2007, he was a Great Britain international, helping the side to a series whitewash over New Zealand.
In a blistering first-half display by the Bulls, Burgess’s try was added to by Terry Newton, Glenn Morrison, Ian Henderson and Marcus St Hilaire.
Four successful conversions by Iestyn Harris took the score to an unassailable 28-0 lead, before Jon Goddard pulled back four points for the Rovers three minutes before the break.
Substitute Ben Fisher added another try midway through the second half for the hosts, but the damage had already been inflicted and the visitors held on for a 28-10 win.
The Bulls held on to third place but were ultimately beaten at home in the play-offs by Wigan.
The Bradford defeat left Rovers in a relegation battle with Salford, who they had beaten nine days earlier.
But, having beaten Wigan twice and Leeds in an impressive debut Super League season, they deservedly maintained their top-flight status with a 42-6 win at neighbours Hull, consigning the Reds to National League One in the process.
Hull FC held onto fourth place with an impressive thrashing of Warrington at the KC Stadium in front of an impressive crowd of 13,404.
Braces from Gareth Raynor and Motu Tony helped them to a 46-14 win, with Willie Manu, Shaun Briscoe, Garreth Carvell and Richard Horne also scoring.
Hull remained in fourth but suffered the same fate as Bradford in the play-offs, bowing out with a home defeat to Wigan.
Martin Gleeson and Henry Fa’afili (two) scored for the vanquished Wolves, who dropped to sixth in the table before they eventually finished outside the play-off places by the season’s end.
They were overtaken by Wakefield, who beat Harlequins 28-14 with Ryan Atkins scoring two tries. Jamie Rooney, Paul White and Ned Catic also scored for the home side, for whom prop Richard Moore was in great form.
But Wakefield also missed out on play-off football, which was limited at that time to the top six teams, as they finished eighth with four straight losses.
Scott Hill, Jon Wells and Tyrone Smith registered tries for the Quins, who dropped down to ninth place on the ladder, where they remained for the rest of the campaign.

In National League One, Widnes maintained top place by demolishing Dewsbury 48-12 with Damien Blanch and Joel Penny each scoring two before 2,853 spectators.
The win set them up nicely for their clash four days later with Castleford, which would effectively decide the Minor Premiership.
Fourth-placed Halifax surprisingly demolished fifth-placed Leigh 68-22 in front of 1,816 at The Shay.
David Larder, Paul Smith, Shad Royston and Lee Greenwood each crossed for doubles, with veteran stand-off Graham Holroyd kicking ten goals for his home-town club.
Batley beat Doncaster 26-12 while Sheffield won a high-scoring encounter 56-36 at Rochdale to move into sixth, the final play-off spot.

In National League Two, Featherstone Rovers remained at the top after beating York 38-12 with in-form forward Tom Haughey scoring one of the tries.
But Celtic Crusaders were breathing down their necks, having hammered Hunslet 84-10 the day before.
Barrow were also racking up the points, consolidating third spot with a 54-4 win at Keighley while Oldham beat Workington 44-18 and Swinton battered Blackpool 70-20.
In the end, it was the Tigers who won National League One, securing their place in Super League, with a 42-10 win over Widnes in the Grand Final.

Lions lost Kiwi Test series

New Zealand wrapped up their two-match series against Great Britain with a 20-13 win in Auckland on this day in 1950.
The Lions had already lost the Ashes in Australia, winning the first Test in Sydney 6-4 but losing 15-3 in Brisbane and 5-2 in the decider back in Sydney.
And they got off to a bad start across the Tasman, losing 16-10 in Christchurch in front of a 10,000 crowd, despite Roy Pollard and Dickie Williams scoring tries.
At Carlaw Park in Auckland, 20,000 turned up, with hundreds locked out, and they were treated to an excellent Test.
Kiwi fullback Des White kicked the first points, but British captain Ernest Ward hit back with the game’s first try from Harry Street’s pass.
Ward then turned creator, kicking ahead for Bob Ryan to score, but White kicked another penalty to reduce the deficit to 8-4.
And by half-time they had the lead thanks to tries by stand-off Bevan Hough and prop Jimmy Haig.
Their captain Maurie Robertson was next over, and when Haig added his second the game was up at 20-8.
But Warrington second row Jim Featherstone pulled a try back which was converted by Ward leaving the final margin at seven points.
It was the first Kiwis’ series win over Great Britain since 1924 and the visitors became the first Lions tourists to lose in both Australia and New Zealand.