Barrie McDermott reviews round 14 of Super League, which saw Wigan and Leeds score big, while St Helens struggled again...
Last Updated: May 7, 2013 12:19pm
Wigan Warriors 46-6 Salford City Reds
MCDERMOTT SAYS: Salford head coach Brian Noble will obviously have known his team were up against it and the job's never easy when you're facing rugby league players like Sam Tomkins and Josh Charnley who are in the top 10 of scoring charts.
Charnley got Wigan off to the best start possible and he and Tomkins were just fabulous in making the defenders retreat. Salford really played into their hands. But Wigan have the best attack and best defence and are in great form. A big worry for them is Matty Smith's shoulder injury. He's one of the successes of the season and he'll be a massive miss. Wigan play Leeds next week and they'll be desperately trying to get him fit again. Salford are bottom but they've still got something to offer, although they haven't got enough for sides like Wigan. Noble has a developing team and he has to give the players the opportunity to play for their contracts and future at Salford.
Bradford Bulls 22-42 Leeds Rhinos
MCDERMOTT SAYS: Leeds were fabulous on the night. Bradford tried to make it as competitive as they could but it's not easy against players like Kallum Watkins. He's as strong as an ox, as fast as a cheetah and has footwork to die for. Leeds have a number of players playing well. In the last two years they've reached the Grand Final from finishing fifth and taken away the spoils. But this was a great performance and shows how far they've come from 12 months ago. There are dangerous signs for their opposition.
It was Kevin Sinfield's 450th appearance and he's just an iconic player of the Super League. When he retires there won't be anyone who'll be able to replace his leadership qualities and unselfish attitude in the game. He's going to be England captain at the World Cup and I'd love to see him lift that trophy. He's a great bloke and lives the life. He says he doesn't want to coach but I think Leeds Rhinos might have something to say about that!
St Helens 28-35 Widnes Vikings
MCDERMOTT SAYS: This was a morale-boosting win for Widnes and was so impressive to produce such a good performance at their rivals. It doesn't happen if you don't have a good work ethic and they have just that.
Saints are in eighth so it's worrying times for them. They're under stress and it doesn't look pretty. I just hope the club, players and fans hold their nerve with Nathan Brown. I have to say he's an outstanding coach. I genuinely hope everybody stops panicking. The players are all young without a lot of rugby league under their belt. It will take time to bed them down in such a tough, high contact collision sport. Alex Walmsley is having a great year and their injured players are gradually coming back. So it's getting a little easier for Saints.
Wakefield Wildcats 30-12 Catalan Dragons
MCDERMOTT SAYS: There's a big question mark on the performance of the Catalan Dragons. Wakefield coach Richard Agar will be taking the post for the French national side for the World Cup and he will have seen one or two of his future players at the Dragons doing their chances of getting into the team no good! Wakefield have got speed, a toughness and an inner steel that brings other teams to their level - it's not up nor down but to their level. They have a great knack of playing teams at the game they want to play.
Huddersfield Giants 12 - 34 Warrington Wolves
MCDERMOTT SAYS: Huddersfield won't be happy with this result but they do this every now and again and have the ability to defy their form. Warrington were due this though. It got a bit tasty just before half-time with some pushing and shoving. In rugby league, if there's no punching it's called a melee. If punches are thrown it's a brawl! But I have to say there were plenty of peace-makers in this melee. There was a lot at stake in this contest. Huddersfield are second now and Warrington third with just a point between them. It's getting tight at the top, but, overall, this was not a great day at the office for the Giants.
Castleford Tigers 32 - 24 Hull KR
MCDERMOTT SAYS: Incoming coach Daryl Powell will have been impressed with his new club Castleford. It was nip and tuck early on - it was 12-12 at half-time - but the second half belonged to Cas. They have a confident frame of mind but it wasn't good enough for Hull KR. They desperately need to find a win from somewhere.