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A slice of England - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Mon, 09 Apr 2007 12:11:00 GMT
After the break of the Challenge Cup, teams refocused their attention to Super League XII, and this Good Friday saw an exciting first half of Easter rugby league action.

The weekend saw a number of crunch ties played out, with the Easter period often used to define the rest of a team’s season.

Billed by many as “the biggest derby game in rugby league”, Wigan were beaten 32-14 by St. Helens in front of over 24,000 fans at the JJB stadium.

The Warriors had opened up the scoring early on through Pat Richards, but the Saints rampaged back, with tries from Francis Meli, Willie Talau, James Roby, and Maurie Fa’asavalu in the first half.

Wigan were able to pull points back through a Thomas Leuluai try, but the Saints increased the gap further with tries from Matthew Gidley and Mike Bennet.

The win moves Saints up to second in the league right behind Leeds.

The Rhinos jumped to the top of the table on Thursday after they beat local rivals Bradford 18-14.

It was a last gasp try from Scott Donald which snatched the points for Leeds. Donald had scored earlier on to put the Rhinos in front, before Marcus St Halaire and Lesley Vainikolo put Bradford ahead.

Gareth Ellis then pulled the Rhinos within touching distance before Donald sealed a memorable victory.

Huddersfield Giants recorded their first win of the season after crushing league high-fliers Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 56-12.

Kevin Brown scored a hat-trick for the Giants, and this was added to by Stephen Wild, Brad Drew, Robbie Paul, Martin Aspinwall and Andy Raleigh in the first half.

The Wildcats had managed to reduce the deficit after tries from Richard Moore and Matt Blaymire, but Huddersfield rounded off a convincing win after Stuart Jones and Paul Reilly scored in the second half.

The Giants remain at the bottom of the table, but will be hoping that this will be the turning point in their season.

Warrington Wolves narrowly overcame Salford City Reds in a 34-32 win. Three tries in the last ten minutes from Salford gave Warrington a huge scare, but they held on to seal the points.

Salford were ahead in the opening period after scores from John Wilshere and Luke Robinson, but the Wolves fought their way back into tie with two tries from Paul Rauhihi with scores from Brent Grose and Henry Faa’fili.

Warrington scored late on through Mike Wainwright and Andy Bracek. But Stuart Littler, Daley Williams and David Hodgson all went over for the Reds, putting the game on a knife-edge.

It could have been a different result at the end had John Wilshere levelled the scores from one of the final conversion kicks.

It was a similar story when Harlequins had to hold on to beat Hull FC 30-28. Late tries from Craig Hall and Matt Sing set the tie up for a tight finish, but Quins held on to take a vital two points.

Harlequins then gained their lead following tries from Jon Wells, Daniel Heckenberg, Andy Smith, Julian Rinaldi and Mark McLinden.

Hull kept it a closely matched encounter though with tries from Sid Dominic, Kirk Yeaman and two from Richard Horne.

Les Catalans Dragons stormed to a 34-20 win over Hull Kingston Rovers in their first back-to-back away wins in the Super League.

The Dragons had opened the scores up with tries from Jason Croker, and Dimitri Pelo, only for the Robins to level the scores at the interval through Stanley Gene and Byran Ford.

But the Dragons were too much for the Robins to handle after the break, with tries coming from Clint Greenshields, Kane Bentley, and Stacey Jones.

Scott Murrell and Luke Dyer scored two late tries for Rovers but the French side were already out of sight.

The second half to Easter’s double-bill of rugby league will resume on Monday.

My pick of the ties as I mentioned in the last Super Review is the Hull derby – and I’m expecting Hull KR’s poor spell to continue against their local rivals.

The Crossley Predictions:

Quins to beat Dragons by 14, Hull FC to beat Hull KR by 20, Wolves to beat Giants by 6, Saints to beat Reds by 20, Wildcats to beat Bulls by 8 and Rhinos to beat Warriors by 12. - Read More, Here