By James Smith
We are well into the Super League season by now with surprises galore and some entertaining rugby to boot.
Castleford Tigers continued their magnificent start to the season with a 54-4 victory over Wigan Warriors, who are down in fifth, hopefully sustaining within the top eight. Castleford’s remarkable victory came courtesy of nine tries to Wigan’s one, leaving them top of the division at the end of the match week.
The weekly Thursday game saw a local derby take place as struggling Huddersfield met a Leeds side who are up in fourth after last season’s disaster. Going into half time Leeds were level with their visitors, but the Giants ran riot in the second half with tries from Darnell McIntosh, Dale Ferguson and Ollie Roberts sealing the game as Huddersfield ended up running out 31-12 winners at Headingley.
The second Yorkshire side in the top two is Hull FC. Hull have had a fantastic start and are clearly not missing the presence of their local rivals Hull KR after their rivals’ relegation in the 2016. Ninth placed Warrington Wolves came to Hull with hopes of maintaining their assault on the top eight, yet ended the game-week outside of the Super 8’s positions after a 34-10 defeat at the hands of their Yorkshire hosts.
The fourth and final Yorkshire side in the Super League are Wakefield Trinity, who were paid a visit by French counterparts Catalan Dragons. As expected the Dragons are much stronger at home than away due to the large amount of travel. The two sides bogged down in mid-table went in at half time with Trinity 8-6 up. However, Wakefield ran riot in the second half as they won the game 30-10, largely in part to a hat-trick from Mason Caton-Brown as Trinity end the game-week in 6th.
Down in the Championship, and we start with Bradford Bulls, who, after 12 games, are still not out of the minuses having started the season with a point’s deduction. They came up against a rampant Toulouse side who will have their sights set on promotion to the Super League having started the season like a house on fire. Bulls, on the other hand, may be in League One come 2018, despite having five wins from their opening 12.
Next up are perennial challengers, Halifax. Halifax faced Batley in an all-Yorkshire clash and came out 40-22 winners in a high scoring game which leaves both sides in healthy positions after the match week. The result was never really in doubt from the hosts’ perspective, despite consolation tries from the visitors which gave the score line a more favourable look.
Dewsbury almost produced the shock of the match week as they led Oldham Rougheyeds in a tightly contested affair going into half time. Dewsbury’s defensive frailties shone through in the second half as Oldham scored four tries and narrowly beat the side who have only won one game all season.
Sheffield Eagles’ relatively poor start continued as tries from Garry Lo and Mark Mexico weren’t enough to see them beat Featherstone Rovers, who remain in 4th. Rovers went in 16-2 and from then on didn’t look like losing from then on.
Finally, Hull KR stay top of the league after a routine 24-16 win over Rochdale Hornets. Rovers remarkable start to the season ensures a brilliant sporting season for the city of Hull. The four-try victory kept KR four points ahead of the pack at the top of the Championship, with 11 wins from 12. Their form could mean an immediate return to the Super League.