St Helens got back to winning ways in style against Wakefield on Thursday. In the Challenge Cup semi-final Catalans ripped a big hole in Saints’ seeming invulnerability. A week later Huddersfield added to the hole significantly. But the Red V stopped the rot, and gained some much-needed confidence back, with a 20-point win over Trinity.
Get on the Giants’ bus now because it has been some ride. Huddersfield made it 11 wins out of their past 12 games with a 26-6 result against Hull FC. Amazingly it was 0-0 at half-time, but after the break the Giants broke away courtesy of Alex Mellor, Lee Gaskell, Ryan Hinchcliffe and Ukuma Ta’ai tries. Whatever the situation at the moment, Huddersfield seem able to find a way out it and keep recording victories. Warrington, who sit just four points above them on the ladder, should be afraid.
Hull KR headed across the pond this weekend to tackle Toronto, needing another Middle Eights defeat like a hole in the head. After their Salford slip-up they simply could not afford another loss. They rode their luck at the Lamport Stadium, fighting back twice to edge the Wolfpack. Craig Hall, who was at fault for Toronto’s opener and dropped the ball with the try-line open, made up for it with a brilliant intercept try and a long-range penalty goal right at the death.
The ex-Toronto skipper went from hero to villain, in the locals' eyes anyway. Hall’s two-pointer sealed the result, which is a huge boost to Rovers’ chances of staying in Super League next year. The Wolfpack have copped one to the ribs, but still have five more games to prove why they deserve to be in the top flight.
Hull FC fell to their sixth defeat on the bounce to Huddersfield on Friday night. The Black & Whites have a number of their first-teams back from injury, including Jamie Shaul, Fetuili Talanoa and Josh Griffin, but it was still the same result. Hull FC are suffering from a lack of confidence and a focus on doing the simple things right. Coach Lee Radford is running out of ways to describe his side’s drastic loss of form. “This was another disappointing night all round,” he said. “I thought the way the players worked for each other in defence was a positive, but apart from that it was another tough defeat to take."
More pain and ache for the Widnes faithful after yet another loss at improving Salford. The Vikings last won a game in Super League, against Salford at home, on March 22 – a total of nearly five months. Their run of losses now stretches to 18 consecutive defeats, with no signs of it abating. To make things go from bad to worse, fullback Oliver Ashall-Bott was carried off with a bad injury in the first. Ashall-Bott is about the only promising thing that has come out of Widnes’ disastrous 2018 season. Only someone with a heart of stone wouldn’t feel at least a little something for the club’s current plight.