Best of the round: Highlights from the weekend rugby league action
Last Updated: 16/04/18 12:16pm
Wakefield stun St Helens, Sam Tomkins nails a late drop-kick and Salford win away - a review of the best of the weekend's action.
Wakefield ended a run of five straight defeats, the last three by a combined total of just eight points, as they held their nerve in a nail-biting finish to beat Super League leaders St Helens 24-20 on Sunday.
It was Trinity's first home win over Saints for six years and only a second defeat of the season for Justin Holbrook's side.
After racing into a 22-6 lead with four tries in an 18-minute spell, Wakefield were forced to withstand a tremendous fightback by the visitors, who cut the deficit to just two points early in the second half and were pressing their line right to the end of a thrilling contest.
"I aged about 10 years in the last five minutes but I couldn't be more proud of my players," said Trinity coach Chris Chester.
"It's a massive win for the club but it will mean nothing if we don't back it up at Salford next Friday. After going on a losing run, it's important we now go on a winning run."
Man for the occasion
A drab affair at Leeds on Friday came to life in the closing stages as Wigan fought back from 8-0 down to snatch a 9-8 victory over the Rhinos.
Sam Tomkins converted Oliver Gildart's 72nd-minute try from the touchline to bring the Warriors to within two points and then kicked a penalty and a sensational 35-metre drop goal to secure Wigan's first win at Headingley for six years.
Even Leeds coach Brian McDermott was impressed, saying: "It's very disappointing we lost it but credit to Wigan, they didn't go away and the drop goal from Sammy was world class, in those conditions and under that pressure, he nailed it."
Wigan's eighth win from their opening 10 matches moved them within two points of St Helens at the top of the table.
"We played tough and showed some good character. You need to be very good for 80 minutes against Leeds. They're a very good team and tough to beat," said coach Shaun Wane.
Back to square one
After beating Huddersfield and running Wigan close in their previous two matches, Catalans Dragons slumped to a 41-0 defeat at Castleford to remain bottom of the table with only four points from 11 games.
The Tigers ran in seven tries and Dragons coach Steve McNamara admitted his side's performance had not been good enough.
"That performance was unacceptable. I thought we made big strides the last couple of weeks but we took a huge step backwards," he said after the match.
"We conceded five tries off kicks which tells you in the little effort areas of the game it wasn't there for us.
"It's unacceptable for us to play like that at any stage, never mind after the way we'd improved over the last couple of weeks."
But McNamara remains optimistic despite the pressure growing on him, adding: "I'm confident in the team improving and over a period of time winning enough games. I'm confident the team will be a good team."
Away-day joy for Red Devils
Salford ended a run of almost 11 months without a Super League away win as they triumphed 30-12 at Huddersfield.
Two tries from Jake Bibby and one apiece from Ben Nakubuwai, Weller Hauraki and Mark Flanagan, along with five goals from Rob Lui, secured a win which lifts the Red Devils into the top eight, while the Giants remain without a win since Chris Thorman took over as caretaker coach following the departure of Rick Stone.
"We are confident wherever we play," said Salford head coach Ian Watson. "We have met some good teams away from home in this early part of the season.
"In those games we have been really competitive so that wasn't a problem.
"But I suppose it is nice to get that monkey off our back. Other than that we weren't bothered."
Try of the week
Jake Bibby wrapped up Salford's win at Huddersfield with two late tries in the right-hand corner, the second of them coming after a slick passing move with Weller Hauraki supplying the final backhand pass.
Injury blow for Robins
Hull KR could be without captain Shaun Lunt for three months after he ruptured knee ligaments just two minutes into the Robins' 40-26 defeat at Warrington.
Rovers coach Tim Sheens said: "Shaun has ruptured knee ligaments and clinically it's three months which is the initial diagnosis but he will go for a scan on Monday.
"Together with Danny McGuire he has made such a difference at the club and to the team with his general play so it's a major blow for us."
The Wolves, meanwhile, were claiming a sixth successive victory and are also now just two points behind leaders St Helens in third place.
Whitehaven broke two records as they hammered West Wales Raiders 84-6 at the Recreation Ground in League One.
It is their highest ever home score, beating the previous record of 80-6 against Nottingham, and the 17 tries scored are their most ever in a game, surpassing the previous mark of 15.
PNG player Jessie Joe Parker also made his 150th Whitehaven appearance and scored his 100th career try.
Women's Super League underway
2017 champions Bradford Bulls Women lost 32-16 to Leeds Rhinos Women at Odsal as the season kicked off on Sunday.
There were also easy home wins for Wigan Warriors Women, who defeated Featherstone Rovers Ladies 54-0, and St Helens Ladies, who saw off York City Knights Ladies 40-0.
Warriors beaten in NRL
The New Zealand Warriors suffered their first defeat of the season after five successive wins as they lost 27-18 to the Brisbane Broncos in a hard-fought game in Auckland.
The St George Illawarra Dragons are now the only unbeaten team in the league after claiming a 40-20 victory over Cronulla Sharks. Gareth Widdop scored eight goals in the game as he racked up his 800th career point in the NRL.
The Penrith Panthers are second in the standings after a comfortable 35-12 victory over the Gold Coast Titans.
Defending champions Melbourne Storm halted a two-game losing sequence with a convincing 40-14 win over the Newcastle Knights at home.