Super League recap: Huddersfield Giants put Leeds Rhinos to the sword on Friday
Last Updated: 11/03/13 3:05pm
Danny Brough: ran the show as the Huddersfield Giants put the Leeds Rhinos to the sword
Leaders Huddersfield Giants returned to winning ways with a vengeance on Friday night with a demolition job of champions Leeds Rhinos at Headingley.
Wigan are second in the standings after blanking the Catalan Dragons on home soil while St Helens proved their worth with an excellent win at Warrington Wolves.
Hull FC showed what they are capable of producing with a convincing success over hapless Castleford Tigers as the points were shared in Widnes' clash with Bradford.
Hull KR ran out worthy winners against the London Broncos in Saturday evening's encounter while Wakefield needed a late drop goal to secure a point against the Salford City Reds.
The Giants remain the side to beat and proved their surprise defeat to Bradford Bulls was just a one-off after dismantling the champions in their own back yard. Playmaker Danny Brough has a habit of performing well against Leeds stemming back to Hull FC's 2005 triumph over the Rhinos in Cardiff and he was instrumental again at Headingley.
First-half tries from Joe Wardle and Aaron Murphy set Paul Anderson's men on their way. Murphy bagged his second with Scott Grix adding another before Leeds finally crossed the whitewash through Paul McShane. However, Brough touched down himself before Eorl Crabtree's score saw the bulk of the fans head for the exits.
Wigan are starting to look like the real deal and this emphatic victory over the French club will only enhance the Warriors' prospects of making their first return to Old Trafford in October since 2010. The Dragons would have fancied their chances of picking up the points in Lancashire, but as it proved they failed to score a single one.
The game was scoreless with 20 minutes played, but three tries before half-time put Shaun Wane's men in the driving seat. Blake Green, Chris Tuson and Jack Hughes bagged tries and things went from bad to worse in the second half for the Perpignan club as Pat Richards, Sam Tomkins and Greg Burke completed the rout.
St Helens had a point to prove after losing at home to Leeds and Warrington will have fancied their chances of toppling the club who have reached no less than nine Grand Finals. Whereas Saints failed to hit their straps against Rhinos in attack they scored an early double through Jordan Turner and Lance Hohaia.
Francis Meli added a third try before Chris Bridge pulled one back for Tony Smith's men, but handling errors cost the home side dear as James Roby's late try effectively clinched the points. Bridge crossed for his second of the game late on, but it could not take the limelight away from the Saints.
Saints back on song after upsetting the Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium
Where Gareth Hock goes the headlines seem to follow and Friday's visit of the Bulls proved no different. Bradford looked to have the game in the bag courtesy of a 20-4 lead while on-loan Hock was given his marching order for dissent.
The Bulls had their tails up after ending Huddersfield's perfect start in round five, but Denis Betts' men are vastly-improved on their 2012 showing and second-half scores from Patrick Ah Van, Rhys Hanbury and Lloyd White pulled Widnes to within two points with Ah Van's late penalty ensuring the points were shared.
Hull FC answered their critics in style on Friday night with a one-sided win against a Castleford side who have struggled away from home this season. The game was all but over by half-time thanks to tries from Richard Horne, Joe Arundel and a double from Tom Lineham.
Lineham sealed his hat-trick before tempers flared when Danny Tickle and Weller Hauraki were both sent off while Mark O'Meley and Justin Carney were sin-binned. The absentees did not disrupt the Black and Whites' rhythm with Arundel also scoring a hat-trick with Danny Houghton and Josh Bowden completing the scoring.
The 2013 season has largely been a campaign of struggle so far for the Broncos and while the club are producing some of the best young talent in the country, their first-team results sees them bottom of the table with six games played.
Alex Brown did the damage for the visitors in the first half with a blistering hat-trick, although the Londoners showed some spirit in the second half to score tries through the exciting Kieran Dixon and Chris Bailey. However, KR were not about to repeat their display against Salford where they surrendered a big lead as tries from Liam Salter and Cory Paterson steadied the ship for Craig Sandercock's men.
Last but not least Wakefield hit back for a point after Salford threatened to win their first match away from home this season for large periods of the contest. It was Alan Hunte's first match in temporary charge of the side and he did his chances of landing the job on a permanent basis no harm after securing a draw.
It will be seen as a point gained for Salford as league leaders Huddersfield only came away from their trip to Wakefield with a two-point winning margin. Marc Sneyd's drop goal put the City Reds one point to the good late on, but Paul Sykes' even later drop goal rescued a draw.