St Helens and Wigan closed the gap on Leeds Rhinos at the top of the Super League table tonight with convincing victories against Wakefield and Hull Kingston Rovers respectively, while Hull FC gained a much needed victory over Salford Red Devils at the KC Stadium.
St Helens defeated bottom club Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 44-4 at Langtree Park, scoring nine tries to retain second spot on the Super League ladder.
The star of the show was Australian halfback Luke Walsh, in only his second game in the starting lineup since returning from injury, while his partner Lewis Charnock, making his first appearance in two years, also grabbed a double, as did fullback Tommy Makinson. Jordan Turner, Adam Swift and Mose Masoe were the other tryscorers, with Travis Burns adding four conversions..
At the DW Stadium Wigan blitzed injury-hit Hull KR 60-0, scoring six tries in the opening 21 minutes, ending the game as a contest, and going on to score eleven tries in total.
Winger Joe Burgess got three of them, while stand-off George Williams grabbed two, and other tries were scored by Dom Crosby, Liam Farrell, Joel Tomkins, Dan Sarginson, Dominic Manfredi and Taulima Tautai, with Matty Smith adding eight goals.
The most exciting game of the night was at the KC Stadium, where Hull FC came with a late rally to pip Salford Red Devils 24-20.
The Red Devils, who had tries to have the game postponed earlier in the week because of their injury crisis, led for 72 minutes, until Setaimata Sa scored a late try for the black and whites, with Marc Sneyd’s conversion giving Hull a four-point victory.
The Red Devils had taken an early eight-point lead with a try by Kevin Locke, and a conversion and penalty goal by Theo Fages.
Hull hit back with a try by Tom Lineham, goaled by Sneyd for a half-time score of 6-8.
Wigan’s on-loan pair of James Greenwood and Oliver Gildart both scored tries for Salford, with Fetuli Talanoa having grabbed one for Hull.
Mark Minichiello narrowed the gap to two points when he powered over after 65 minutes with Sneyd’s conversion, and as the Red Devils tired late in the game Sa was able to find a way through the defence to touch down.
A full report, photos and analysis from all these games will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.