Round 22 Round Up

In Round 22 Round Up this week we take a look back at all the action in the engage Super League, with Widnes sufferring a defeat which could send the Vikings crashing out of Super League.

Widnes Vikings 20 Hull FC 40

Widnes suffered their second crushing defeat in a week, losing against a rampant Hull side on Sunday afternoon.

With Hull missing key players through a mix of injury and suspension ahead of their Powergen Challenge Cup semi-final next weekend, the situation was primed for Widnes to boost their ailing survival hopes with a win after defeat by Wakefield last week.

However, through a combination of individual error and flashes of brilliance from Hull, Frank Endacott's men are now staring relegation full in the face. They remain five points adrift of safety with only six games remaining.

Former rugby union centre Kirk Dixon played a lead role in their demise, scoring a hat-trick on his first engage Super League start. The 22-year-old was only playing due to the absence of several regulars but succeeded in handing head coach John Kear a further selection problem ahead of the semi-final with St Helens.

London Broncos 35 Huddersfield Giants 26

Elsewhere on Sunday London Broncos consolidated their place in the engage Super League with a hard-fought victory over Huddersfield in front of new chairman Ian Lenagan.

Lenegan made a substantial investment in the Broncos last week ahead of a link-up with rugby union side Harlequins to be formally announced on Tuesday.

The Broncos are now four points ahead of Lenegan's home-town club Wigan after denting the Giants' own faint hopes of a play-off spot.

The Giants could not have wished for a better start than when early pressure on the Broncos' line paid dividends as Brad Drew crossed for the opening try in the second minute.

The Broncos recovered from their lacklustre start five minutes later when Paul Sykes breezed past James Evans to touch down Mark McLinden's pass.

After that tghey always looked in the box seat, and eventually ran out 35-26 winners.

Warrington Wolves 22 Leeds Rhinos 46

Leeds roared back to the top of the engage Super League with a 46-22 victory which condemned third-placed Warrington to their first home defeat for four months on Saturday.

The Rhinos, who slipped to second place following St Helens' 27-20 win over Leigh on Friday night, had begun to look vulnerable following their defeat by London in the south of France but they were back to their best with a sparkling eight-try show.

Storming performances from forwards Chris McKenna and Gareth Ellis set the platform for an impressive display, while scrum-half Rob Burrow finished with 18 points with a try and seven goals from eight attempts to take the man of the match award.

Leigh Centurions 20 St Helens 27

Jamie Lyon was the inspiration as St Helens overturned a half-time deficit to break relegation-doomed Leigh's hearts 27-20 on Friday.

The Australian centre came off the bench to rescue his side with two second-half tries after Saints had been pushed all the way by the spirited Centurions, who led 14-8 at the break courtesy of Danny Halliwell's stunning hat-trick.

With the scores finely poised at 20-20 with just eight minutes remaining, Jon Wilkin's drop-goal edged Saints ahead before Lyon's second try sealed the victory with six minutes remaining in an absorbing encounter.

Wigan Warriors 28 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 34

David Solomona touched down in the final minute as Wakefield snatched a 34-28 victory in a pulsating engage Super League clash against Wigan.

Solomona was controversially awarded the winning score to cap a fine late comeback after a lengthy period of review by the video referee at the JJB Stadium.

Wakefield had led 22-12 early in the second half but their hopes looked over as Wigan responded with three tries in 10 minutes through Dennis Moran, Danny Orr and Danny Tickle.

But Wakefield were not finished and Rob Spicer crossed nine minutes from time to level the scores and Solomona stretched out an arm to score the winner as the clock ran out.

Salford City Reds 18 Bradford Bulls 24

Iestyn Harris ended a miserable week on a high with the match-winning try as Bradford held off a spirited fightback from Salford 24-18 to record their second win at The Willows in two months.

The Bulls were clinging to a tenuous 12-6 lead when the 29-year-old Welsh dual-code international forced his way over for the all-important try after re-gathering his own grubber kick on the last tackle.

After losing the first round of his costly High Court battle with his former club Leeds this week, Harris will be consoled by an impressive overall performance in an otherwise undistinguished display by his team.

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