Super League round four: Five things we learned

Super League round four: Five things we learned Written by PHIL WILKINSON, March 7, 2016

HERE are five things we learned from round four of the 2016 Super League season.

1.
CHRIS Sandow struck a stunning fieldgoal to secure Warrington’s dramatic 31-30 win against Salford. The Wolves trailed 30-12 early in the second-half but surged back to lock the score with a three-try burst in six minutes. That set the stage for a grandstand finish and, after ex-NRL halves Michael Dobson and Robert Lui missed with their attempts for Salford, former Eels half Sandow nailed the decisive one-pointer. It was a fantastic strike from 40m out and, to make his effort even more impressive, he did it as the full-time siren sounded, under pressure and in pouring rain.

WATCH: Sandow boots epic buzzer beater

Super League round four: Five things we learned

2. JUST 24 hours later, there were three field-goals at the KC Stadium as Wigan edged Hull FC 26-25 to maintain their perfect start to the Super League campaign. Matty Smith and Marc Sneyd exchanged one-pointers in a seesawing finale, before England half Smith nailed a decisive second with 105 seconds left on the clock. Wigan are not yet firing on all cylinders but, perhaps ominously, they have still won all four of their games against solid opposition – and with at least four key players sidelined through injury.

3. AND the hits just keep on coming for Salford. Just hours after they were denied a victory against Warrington – their second late defeat in succession – it emerged they have been charged by the Rugby Football League for breaching the salary cap. If an independent hearing finds them guilty of breaking the £1.825m wage ceiling, they could be docked as many as 20 competition points – effectively ending any prospect of a top-tier spot when the Super-8s phase of the competition begin in August.

4. HUDDERSFIELD, frequent semi-finalists in the last few years, are the only side without any competition points after four rounds. Their Friday night game against Leeds was an unlikely basement battle between two clubs struggling with injuries. To be fair to the Giants, they aren’t far off – they matched the Rhinos for tries scored and previously went close against Wigan, too. But Paul Anderson is desperate to add reinforcements to his squad before their task becomes bigger.

Hardaker

5. IT’S still early in the season but there is an unlikely name at the top of the Super League table – Widnes Vikings. Denis Betts’ outfit have shown gradual improvement over the last few seasons and they have taken that to another step this season, winning four of their opening five games. Former Bulldogs winger Corey Thompson scored a double in a 30-16 win against Hull KR last weekend to move clear at the top of the Super League try-scoring charts with eight.

Super League results – round 4:

Wigan 26 (B.Flower, G.Williams, J.Bateman, J.Charnley tries; M.Smith 4 goals, 2 fieldgoals) beat Hull FC 25 (S.Michaels 2, L.Pryce, S.Manu tries; M.Sneyd 4 goals, fieldgoal).

Leeds 20 (J.Moon, L.Sutcliffe, J.Keinhorst tries; J.Lilley 4 goals) beat Huddersfield 16 (D.Brough, J.McGillvary, M.Lawrence tries; J.Foster 2 goals).

St Helens 28 (M.Dawson 2, A.Swift, A.Vea, L.McCarthy-Scarsbrook tries; L.Walsh 4 goals) beat Castleford 22 (G.Millington, M.McKeeken, A.Milner tries; L.Gale 4, B.Crooks goals).

Widnes 30 (J.Mellor 2, C.Thompson 2, R.Hanbury tries; R.Hanbury 5 goals) beat Hull KR 16 (M.Blair, T.Minns, R.Shaw tries; R.Shaw 2 goals).

Warrington 31 (R.Atkins 2, J.Hughes, B.Currie, A.Sims tries; C.Sandow 5 goals, fieldgoal) beat Salford 30 (J.Sau 2, J.Jones, G.Johnson, J.Griffin tries; G.O’Brien 4, M.Dobson goals).

Catalans 42 (T.Gigot 2, J.Broughton, D.Taylor, P.Richards, J.Baitieri, G.Stewart, R.Myler tries; P.Richards 5 goals) beat Wakefield 28 (A.Tupou, J.Arundel, R.Lyne, T.Johnstone, M.Simon tries; L.Finn 4 goals).

Standings after round 4: Widnes 8, Warrington 8, Wigan 8, St Helens 6, Castleford 5, Hull FC 4, Salford 4, Catalans 4, Leeds 2, Wakefield 2, Hull KR 1, Huddersfield 0.

 

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