The #RLNewEra was ushered in this past weekend as the Super League got back underway, in entertaining fashion as well.
Last season’s grand finalists Wigan Warriors got us started on Thursday night with a trip to the Widnes Vikings. An enthralling 22-22 played out to get this years Super League campaign underway.
Widnes came from 16-0 and 22-12 behind to earn a point this while having only 12 men for the majority of the game. Kevin Brown also had to leave the field with a concussion after a hefty collision with Ryan Sutton.
Joel Tomkins and Anthony Gelling put Wigan ahead before Patrick Ah Van would be given a straight red card for a high shot on Wigan winger Josh Charnley. Gelling added his second a few minutes later. However Mellor’s try reduced the deficit going into the break.
Widnes crossed again in the second half with Rhys Hanbury touching down a grubber kick. A Joe Burgess try couldn’t stop the Vikings momentum as Cameron Phelps also crossed with ten minutes remaining.
The Vikings comeback was complete just minutes from time when Wigan-born Chris Dean crashed over under the sticks and the conversion levelled the game at 22-22.
Current Super League holders St Helens opened their season with a 18-7 victory over French side Catalans Dragons.
New signing Atelea Vea put the home side in front early on. The game remained this way until Eloi Pelissier scored for Catalans, a Thomas Bosc drop goal would put the French outfit 6-7 in front at the interval.
However a dominant second half was to come from Saints. Tries from Jordan Turner, Andre Savelio and Tommy Makinson meant the defending champions got off to a winning start.
Warrington were also victorious as they managed a comfortable 22-8 victory over Salford. Richie Myler was the first on the score sheet with a fantastic try as Stefan Ratchford broke from deep before Myler took over. Hooker Micky Higham also added a try before half-time.
Ryan Atkins and Rhys Evans also scored for the Wolves. Two debut tries for Ben Jones-Bishop weren’t enough for Salford.
Sunday gave us the highest scoring game of round one, 70 points were racked up as Leeds left Craven Park 30-40 victors over Hull KR.
Leeds’ Tom Briscoe began the scoring in the first minute however KR hit back with three tries in the space ten minutes. Albert Kelly with two tries either side of a Mitchell Allgood try.
Rhino’s veterans Kevin Sinfield and Danny Maguire pulled the score back however a late first half Terry Campese try meant the Robins led by eight at half-time.
Their form would continue into the second forty with Kris Welham extending their lead. Unfortunately for KR this would be their last score of the game and would only bring out the best in Leeds as they went on to score 24 unanswered points.
Danny Maguire scored his second of the game which was added to by Zak Hardaker and Kallum Watkins. This before a late try from youngster Brad Singleton sealed the victory for Brian McDermott’s side.
Many pundits have questioned whether Castleford can repeat their success of last season and they haven’t gotten off to the best of starts with a narrow home defeat to local rivals Wakefield.
Denny Solomona got the Tigers off to a fantastic start with back to back scores early on. Luke Gale would also cross for the home side towards the end of the half. Paul McShane with Wakefields only score in the first half.
It would take another Cas try to ignite the Wakefield comeback, much like Leeds at Hull KR, as Justin Carney finished well. Pita Godinet’s try put the Wildcat’s within touching distance.
The visitors would cross the line twice in the last ten minutes. First big man Ali Lauititi went over before Danny Washbrook’s try brought them level. A Craig Hall conversion with two minutes left to play gave Wakefield the spoils on the opening weekend.
There was also a surprise result at the Galpharm Stadium as 2014 strugglers Hull FC managed to nil Huddersfield. Fetuli Talanoa was the only try scorer in the first half. A Marc Sneyd penalty meant Hull were six in front at the break.
The Giants couldn’t get going and two tries in the space of seven minutes from Hull FC full-back Jamie Shaul meant the visitors had an 18 point lead. A late drop-goal from debutant Marc Sneyd sealed a 0-19 victory for Hull FC.
Super League has returned and in epic fashion. The first weekend saw upsets, controversy and brilliant tries. With no match being won by more than 19 points hopefully it is an indication of the tight season ahead.