Super League Round Two: Five things we learned

Super League Round Two: Five things we learned Written by PHIL WILKINSON, February 15, 2016

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

1. WAS the World Club Series a distraction for the three Super League clubs involved?

Both Leeds and St Helens were humiliated – by two of last year’s bottom-four sides – just a week before they take on NRL opposition.

St Helens were 44-10 losers at Salford while Leeds were rocked 56-12 at Widnes – games they were widely-expected to win.

Super League Round Two: Five things we learned

The third English team in the WCS, Wigan, got the win but they were far from at their best, and needed a late Josh Charnley try to beat injury-hit Huddersfield 18-13.

Saints, Wigan and Leeds will be seeking improvements before they take on Sydney Roosters, Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland respectively this weekend.

2. BUT let’s take nothing away from Salford and Widnes. They played with no shortage of enthusiasm and attacking flair to rack up the points.

Former Cowboys half Robert Lui was outstanding for Salford while Corey Thompson registered a hat-trick for Widnes.

“That’s their best result since they returned to Super League,” said club legend Jim Mills.

Salford and Widnes face each other in Super League this weekend (last year’s bottom four play Round 11 games early, as they enter the Challenge Cup a stage earlier than the other eight teams).

It’s a game which has taken on a whole new complexion.

3. GARETH Ellis made a strong return from a seven-month injury lay-off as Hull FC notched their second win in succession.

Gareth Ellis2

The ex-Tigers forward, 34, was one of six tryscorers – ex-Rabbitohs winger Fetuli Talanoa bagged two – in a 38-10 win at Catalans.

It was an all-round impressive display in the south of France, which added weight to suggestions the Black and Whites may be a force this year. Meanwhile…

4. CATALANS coach Laurent Frayssinous may be feeling the heat.

While their 12-6 opening day loss at Wigan wasn’t a disgrace, their comprehensive loss at home was harder to stomach than a bowl of fried frogs legs.

This is the side, remember, which spent big to bring in Dave Taylor, Justin Horo, Glenn Stewart and Pat Richards from the NRL this year – and has Todd Carney pulling the strings at half-back.

Ex-Tigers favourite Richards scored all the Dragons’ points inside the opening 22 minutes.

5. KURT Gidley had an eventful home debut for Warrington.

He set up the first two tries for Warrington and finished with seven goals from as many attempts as they overcame Hull KR 38-8.

But it didn’t all go his way – he was sinbinned for preventing a Hull KR restart, by throwing the ball away.

@wolvesrl Amazing display and result. Made my four year olds birthday! Thanks to @kurt_gidley, for the photo ??? pic.twitter.com/GSOxo2w4R4

— Karen Houghton (@KarenHoughton4) February 14, 2016

As impressive as Gidley was he wasn’t the best player on the pitch.

“Benny Westwood was the best player on the pitch by far,” enthused coach Tony Smith.

In the other game, Wakefield went down 40-6 at Castleford. Former Storm player Denny Solomona bagged two tries in the match, the second of which was scored in remarkable fashion.

Tigers coach, Daryl Powell, said: “That’s a world-class finish. How he gets that down, I’ve no clue. It’s an unbelievable finish. He does some special things in terms of getting the ball down.”

What a finish @DennySolomona #COYF pic.twitter.com/KQXm6M6lwt

— Stephen Clarkson (@Ste_Clarkson79) February 14, 2016

Well player to our very own superman @DennySolomona pic.twitter.com/IKIjhwtAPe

— Ian FosterĀ® (@power9ball) February 14, 2016

SCOREBOARD:

Hull FC 38 (F.Talanoa 2, S.Manu, J.Bowden, J.Logan, G.Ellis, J.Shaul tries; M.Sneyd 5 goals) beat Catalans 10 (P.Richards 2 tries, goal).

Wigan 18 (L.Farrell, D.Manfredi, J.Charnley tries; M.Smith 3 goals) beat Huddersfield 13 (J.McGillvary, J.Foster tries; J.Ellis 2 goals, field goal).

Salford 44 (R.Lui 2, N.Evalds 2, G.Johnson, C.Kopczak, M.Dobson, A.Walne tries; M.Dobson 4, J.Griffin 2 goals) beat St Helens 10 (A.Walmsley, A.Swift tries; L.Walsh goal).

Warrington 38 (T.Lineham 3, B.Currie, J.Westerman, D.Clark tries; K.Gidley 7 goals) beat Hull KR 8 (I.Thornley, K.Dixon tries).

Widnes 56 (C.Thompson 3, S.Marsh 2, S.Sa, L.White, C.Runciman, J.Mellor, C.Farrell tries; R.Hanbury 7, S.Sa goals) beat Leeds 12 (K.Watkins, R.Burrow tries; J.Lilley 2 goals).

Castleford 40 (D.Solomona 2, O.Holmes 2, B.Roberts, L.Dorn, A.Milner tries; L.Gale 6 goals) beat Wakefield 6 (S.Howarth try; L.Finn goal).

Standings after round 2: Widnes 4, Hull FC 4, Warrington 4, Wigan 4, Castleford 3, Salford 2, St Helens 2, Hull KR 1, Huddersfield 0, Catalans 0, Wakefield 0, Leeds 0.

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