Bumps and bruises
Terry O'Connor looks back at the Super League action where Castleford shocked Leeds.
Last Updated: February 12, 2013 10:41am
There was plenty to talk about after Round 2 of Super League XVIII including a shock defeat, a mass brawl and a shoulder charge!
Wigan and Warrington produced a cracking game on Friday and after 80 minutes you could not separate the two giants of Super League.
Leeds, on the other hand, were left aggrieved after Rangi Chase's shoulder charge left Zak Hardaker out cold as they lost to Castleford. Salford could not stop a rampaging 12-man Catalans while Widnes were left ruing the dismissal of Ben Cross as they lost to St Helens.
Terry O'Connor popped into Sky Sports News to discuss all the issues from Round 2 of the Super League XVIII...
Wigan 17-17 Warrington
Terry says: "This was always going to be an exciting game and both really played some great rugby. In Lee Briers, Warrington still have the master who came up with some special plays time after time. Both teams are willing to play with the ball and take a chance, which means we are always in for a treat. Richie Myler was one of the stars for Warrington too and every time he got the ball something seemed to happen. However Matty Smith got the one pointer for Wigan and they thought they had clinched it but then what happens? Briers comes up with his 68th Super League drop goal to level the scores - an amazing game."
Wakefield 36-20 Hull KR
Terry says: "Ben Cockayne was shown the door by Hull KR so obviously he had a point to prove in this game and really turned up the heat for Wakefield. He works hard - not only at the end where you score tries but also by bringing the ball out of trouble. There was a horrible injury to KR's Lincoln Withers but there was no maliciousness involved. Wakefield coach Richard Agar accused his team last week of being a bit soft in the middle of the park. Straight from the kick off Justin Poore got hold of the ball and ran straight at Withers - he ran over the top of him. He actually stands on his head and it causes Withers to have 17 stitches. Hopefully he will be okay and if he is he will put on a skull cap and put his hand up to play next week - that is what rugby players do, they put their hands up."
Catalans 40-6 Salford
Terry says: "Even with 12 men, Catalans were too strong for Salford. Julien Bousquet was sent off in the third minute after a late and high hit on Theo Fages. Catalan coach Laurent Frayssinous said he did not think it was a late challenge but perhaps the timing was a little out. However it was late and the referee had no option but to send him off. Catalans are full of internationals whether they are from this side of the world or the other side of the world. They looked very exciting. For Salford well that it two heavy defeats, you can never knock their effort when they are playing rugby but they just lack a bit of class. No one is going to help them though; they just need to get on with it."
Castleford 14-12 Leeds
Terry says: "Leeds coach Brian McDermott was very outspoken after the loss about the shoulder charge Rangi Chase put on Zak Hardaker which knocked the youngster out cold. Chase's hit reminds me of an incident that happened last year in the Challenge Cup. Chase was involved against Featherstone's Tangi Ropati - he hit him in the same way and picked up a ban for that. At the end of the day the RFL will look at that and maybe he will be called up. Castleford did win this game on merit though; they just kept on pressuring Leeds. That was not the form that McDermott would be after heading towards that World Club challenge against Melbourne Storm."
Widnes 4-16 St Helens
Terry says: "Widnes were well in this game until a high tackle on Saints skipper Paul Wellens by Ben Cross. The mass brawl that followed was not pretty and while I have no real problem with Cross getting sent off for that challenge, what I have got a problem with is that you could not see Jon Clarke throw one punch yet he was sent to the sinbin. At that time it was crucial - it was four points apiece and suddenly Widnes went to playing with 11 players against Saints - one of the best teams in the competition on attack. It was always going to be an uphill battle from that moment on and Widnes were forced to chase the game a bit which resulted in them making some mistakes and St Helens capitalised."