Super League Round One: Five things we learned

Super League Round One: Five things we learned Written by PHIL WILKINSON, February 8, 2016

HERE are five things we learned from round one of the 2015 Super League season.

1. CHRIS Sandow had said he would be better for a pre-season with Warrington, and he was true to his word in his first game of the year.

The ex-Eels halfback showed some real touches of quality in their 12-10 victory at Leeds, scoring one try and creating a second with a feigned pass and measured, pinpoint kick. He also linked up well with new halves partner Kurt Gidley, who booted two goals on debut.

2. BUT Leeds could easily have drawn level had Zak Hardaker not missed with a late penalty attempt which fell into the ‘should have been kicked’ category.

“It was not a sitter, but one of the easier ones to get,” conceded coach Brian McDermott.

Hardaker is a fine player who deservedly took the Man of Steel award last year, but he will need to improve his goal-kicking if he is to fill Kevin Sinfield’s boots.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: Zak Hardaker of Leeds Rhinos kicks the ball into play during the First Utility Super League opening match between Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on February 4, 2016 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Daniel L Smith/Getty Images)

The Rhinos will head into the World Club Challenge against North Queensland Cowboys without halfback and new captain Danny McGuire, who suffered a knee injury – putting 19-year-old rookie Jordan Lilly in the frame for a duel against Johnathan Thurston in two weeks.

3. RARELY has an opposition player received such an appreciative reception than Pat Richards had at the DW Stadium.

Catalans’ new signing spent eight years at Wigan – bookended by spells with Wests Tigers – and the home fans gave him loud cheers during their scrappy 12-6 win against the French outfit.

Great to see this legend last night. Muddy hug ??@patrichards5 pic.twitter.com/1sv172jCgP

— Joshua Charnley (@Joshuacharnley) February 6, 2016

Catalans, with new recruits Glenn Stewart, Justin Horo and Dave Taylor featuring, made a string of errors in the wet-conditions.

4. HULL FC will need to beat better teams before they convince people they are the real deal but their opening day win against Salford was an encouraging sign.

Lee Radford’s outfit posted all of their points by the 55 minute mark as they went on to beat Salford 42-20.

Frank Pritchard made a strong debut and their were tries for ex-NRL players Carlos Tuimavave and Mahe Fonua on their club debuts.

5. FORMER Knights forward Chris Houston made an instant impression for Widnes, just days after arriving in England.

Houston

“He arrivedĀ  last Sunday and moved into his new house yesterday but he looked like he’s always been in the side,” said coach Denis Betts after a 24-16 win at Brian Smith’s Wakefield.

Another new signing, ex-Rooster Setaimata Sa, scored two tries.

In the other round one game, ex-Knight Josh Mantellato converted his own try in the dying seconds to snatch a 16-16 draw with Castleford.

Fantastic support! Well done lads! Full time score 16-24 to Widnes. pic.twitter.com/jXfW8gEVEv

— Widnes Vikings (@WidnesRL) February 7, 2016

SCOREBOARD:

Hull FC 42 (L.Pryce, M.Fonua, J.Thompson, F.Talanoa, C.Tuimavave, J.Bowden, J.Logan, J.Shaul tries; M.Sneyd 5 goals) beat Salford 20 (J.Sau 2, N.Evalds J.Griffin tries; J.Griffin, M.Dobson goals).

St Helens 30 (M.Percival 2, A.Vea, J.Turner, L.Thompson tries; L.Walsh 5 goals) beat Huddersfield 16 (A.Murphy, J.Connor, U.Ta’ai tries; D.Brough, J.Ellis goals).

Wigan 12 (M.McIlorum 2 tries; M.Smith 2 goals) beat Catalans 6 (J.Horo try; P.Richards goal).

Warrington 12 (C.Sandow, K.Penny tries; K.Gidley 2 goals) beat Leeds 10 (B.Singleton, R.Hall tries; Z.Hardaker goal).

Widnes 24 (S.Sa, R.Hanbury, L.White tries; R.Hanbury 4 goals) beat Wakefield 16 (S.Howarth, R.Lyne, M.Sio tries; L.Finn 2 goals).

Hull KR 16 (J.Mantellato 2, J.Donaldson tries; J.Mantellato 2 goals) drew with Castleford 16 (J.Webster 2, D.Solomona tries; L.Gale 2 goals).

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

Championship results: Batley 24 d Leigh 22, Bradford 22 d Featherstone 12, London 22 d Oldham 0, Sheffield 42 d Workington 12, Halifax 52 d Whitehaven 6, Dewsbury 26 d Swinton 24.

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