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Super League Dream Team announced

Wigan and Warrington players dominate Super League Dream Team

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UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 10 September 2012

Table-toppers Wigan and Challenge Cup winners Warrington provide all but four players between them in the 2012 Stobart Super League Dream Team, which was announced at Old Trafford on Monday.

Warrington prop Chris Hill, who was playing in the Championship with part-timers Leigh 12 months ago, has capped a remarkable debut season by becoming one of six newcomers to the prestigious mythical team chosen by a panel of journalists.

Dream Team members: Wigan's George Carmont, Josh Charnley, Gareth Hock, Sean O'Loughlin, Brett Finch and Sam Tomkins

Dream Team members: Wigan's George Carmont, Josh Charnley, Gareth Hock, Sean O'Loughlin, Brett Finch and Sam Tomkins

DREAM TEAM

S Tomkins (Wigan), J Charnley
(Wigan), G Carmont (Wigan), R Atkins (Warrington); R Hall (Leeds), B
Finch (Wigan), S Dureau (Catalan); C Hill (Warrington), J Roby (St
Helens), R Casty (Catalan), B Westwood (Warrington), G Hock (Wigan), S
O'Loughlin (Wigan).

The Wigan trio of Josh Charnley, who finished on top of the Super League tryscoring list with 31 touchdowns, stand-off Brett Finch and Gareth Hock make the line-up for the first time, along with Warrington centre Ryan Atkins.

The other newcomer is Catalan captain and prop Remi Casty, who becomes the first Frenchman to make the team since it was introduced in 1996.

Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins is one of four players making their third consecutive appearances, alongside his club captain Sean O'Loughlin, St Helens hooker James Roby and Warrington back-row forward Ben Westwood.

Bradford 32 Hull KR 26: Battling Bulls keep play-off hopes alive

Bradford 32 Hull KR 26: Battling Bulls keep play-off hopes alive

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UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 10 August 2012

Loose forward Jamie Langley doubled his try tally for the season as
Bradford kept alive their Stobart Super League play-off hopes with a
fifth successive home win.

The Bulls are still waiting to hear if the administrator has found a
suitable buyer for the club but the players continued to make light of
the uncertainty over their futures with another battling victory.

Langley touched down in each half and winger Jason Crookes, whose hat-trick helped Bradford to a 36-24 win at Hull KR in March, marked his comeback from a four-month lay-off with a dislocated shoulder with a crucial second-half score.

The Bulls were far from their best against an under-strength Rovers team but did just enough to gain the points that enabled them to draw level with their eighth-placed opponents.

Hull KR, who gave a debut to prop James Green and a first start to loose forward George Griffin, were without four of their first-choice backs, including stand-off Blake Green, but still managed to cause plenty of problems for their hosts largely through the prompting of scrum-half Michael Dobson.

It was Dobson who gave the visitors a the lead with a fifth-minute penalty but the Bulls made most of the early running and ought to have made more of a clean break by second rower Tom Olbison.

Rovers centre Liam Salter rescued his side with a try-saving tackle on lively full-back Brett Kearney but Bradford got the first try on 16 minutes when Langley ran onto Ben Jeffries' short pass to cross untouched.

But Langley then coughed up possession from the re-start and that gave Hull KR the position for replacement prop Scott Taylor to take Lincoln Withers' pass from dummy half and crash over for his side's first try.

The Bulls regained the lead when right winger Shaun Ainscough gathered Luke Gale's pinpoint kick to score a second try but the errors continued and Rovers punished Bradford's indiscipline to score again nine minutes before half-time.

Skipper Ben Galea combined with Dobson to create an overlap for winger David Hodgson to score his 15th try of the season and Dobson's third goal, which grazed an upright, restored the visitors' advantage.

Stalemate set in early in the second half but the game came alive when the Bulls found some rare cohesion to score two tries in a five-minute spell.

Centre Keith Lulia demonstrated exceptional strength on the run to create an opening for Crookes, who finished strongly at the corner, and Langley produced a turn of pace to go through a gap and bump off full-back Louis Sheriff to score his second try.

Gale added both goals to put his side 10 points clear but Rovers struck back on 63 minutes when Salter crossed wide out for his side's third try and Dobson kicked his fourth goal.

Bradford finally made the game safe when Gale broke clean through the first line of defence and second rower Elliott Whitehead was in support to score their fifth try.

Gale kicked his fifth conversion and added a penalty before winger Craig Hall grabbed a last-minute consolation try for the visitors, with Dobson kicking his fifth goal.

Hull FC 34 Salford Reds 26

Hull FC 34 Salford Reds 26: Too little too late as Reds suffer play-off blow

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UPDATED:

16:39 GMT, 29 July 2012

Salford Reds' play-off aspirations suffered a blow as Hull FC held off their stirring comeback at the KC Stadium to edge a close encounter 34-26.

Jordan Turner's late try for Hull against his former club finally settled a game which hung in the balance after the Reds threatened to upset the hosts with two tries for Sean Gleeson and Ashley Gibson.

A missed Daniel Holdsworth conversion with 10 minutes remaining left Hull defending a slender two-point lead until Turner's late score gave the home side the two points which keeps them sixth in the Stobart Super League table.

The Reds remain 10th – four points from the play-offs.

Hull coach Peter Gentle had spoken of his side's need to get to grips early on with Super League's fast starters.

Salford have developed a successful habit of scoring early tries this year, but it was the hosts who raced into a 12-point lead thanks to the efforts of one of their rising stars.

Tom Lineham got his first taste of Super League in last Monday's televised Hull derby and, following his second-half cameo in the hostile environment of Craven Park, the 20-year-old revelled in being on home turf for the first time as he was handed a first start for Hull.

Within six minutes of kick-off, talk of Hull having found a new Tom Briscoe was already echoing around the KC as Lineham set Hull on their way with a well-taken first try before braking 60 metres down field to set up a second try of the afternoon for Hull, Kirk Yeaman this time the scorer.

Salford were shocked into life and, after being caught by their own game, the Reds came back into the match through Ashley Gibson's well-worked try in the corner.

The centre's pace and power took him over the try line and sparked a period of dominance by the visitors, who made their territorial possession count minutes later when Jodie Broughton avenged an earlier error to go over unopposed in the corner to complete a flowing move out wide.

Salford's moment in the sun did not last long, however, and Lineham again set Hull on their way.

It was the winger's break which set up field position for Joe Westerman to break the Reds' defensive line and score.

Lineham completed a half to remember on the half-time hooter, leaving Broughton flat-footed as he dived over in the corner to give his side a 12-point half-time advantage.

The game became fractured in the second half, but Hull took the opportunity to go three tries clear with a simple penalty conversion for on-loan St Helens winger Jamie Foster.

That decision looked even wiser when Gleeson, who next year will wear the red and white of Hull KR, exploited poor Hull defending to score approaching the final quarter.

The Reds senses a comeback and it looked on when they capitalised on Hull's ill discipline through a second try for Gibson.

Daniel Holdsworth's missed conversion left Salford four points behind, but the visitors remained on top.

Hull were then thankful when another Salford infringement, this time for holding down, allowed Foster to kick a penalty from in front of the posts.

The Reds continued to press, and got their rewards when Gleeson touched down by the corner flag on the break.

Holdsworth had a chance to level the game but hooked his touchline conversion as Hull breathed a sigh of relief.

The visitors continued to mount a serious challenge but with the clock ticking down, ex-Salford player Turner popped up five metres out to take an off-load and seal the points for Hull.

Wigan 40 Castleford 16: Lauaki at the double against patched-up Tigers

Wigan 40 Castleford 16: Lauaki off the mark for Warriors against patched-up Tigers

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 27 July 2012

Tongan powerhouse Epalahame Lauaki was
Wigan's unlikely hero with his first tries for the club as the Stobart
Super League leaders opened up a five-point gap on second-placed
Warrington with a comfortable win over a depleted Castleford.

Lauaki had managed just one try in 27
Super League appearances for Hull in 2011 but he romped over for his
first for Wigan – on his 23rd appearance – after only four minutes and
two minutes later doubled his tally to give his side a dream start.

Sam Tomkins of Wigan Warriors gets past Grant Millington (L) and Jordan Thompson (R) of Castleford Tigers

Sam Tomkins of Wigan Warriors gets past Grant Millington (L) and Jordan Thompson (R) of Castleford Tigers

Winger Iain Thornley then marked his debut with a third try to put Wigan 16-0 up inside 10 minutes but they were made to work for the rest of their tries by a patched-up Tigers side hit by the withdrawal of three players on the day of the game.

The Warriors, who had scrum-half Matty Smith making his home debut, produced a mixed show on their first appearance at the DW Stadium since crashing out of the Challenge Cup and succumbing at home to Bradford in Super League.

They lost centre Darrell Goulding to injury in the first half and also lost their way after establishing that early cushion.

Castleford coach Ian Millward was forced to field a patched-up side after losing his new half-back pair of Jamie Ellis and Rangi Chase, with forwards Stuart Jones and Oliver Holmes filling in at centre and stand-off respectively.

They looked in danger of being over-run after Wigan's early scoring burst but went on to play their part in an entertaining encounter.

The impressive Thornley twice got away down the wing but demonstrated his inexperience by failing to make the most of the opportunities and the visitors took advantage of the let-offs.

The game was held up for 10 minutes so that Goulding could have treatment on the pitch following a head collision before being carried off on a stretcher and it seemed to distract Wigan for a time.

Castleford pulled a try back three minutes before the break when winger Rhys Williams was put into space by Jordan Thompson and wrong-footed Sam Tomkins.

Nick Youngquest added the conversion but there was just time for Wigan to score a fourth try through makeshift centre Liam Farrell after they had kept the ball alive following the sounding of the half-time hooter.

The Tigers battled their way to another try early in the second half when Holmes got the first touch to Ryan Hudson's grubber kick to the line and Youngquest's second goal cut the gap to just eight points.

But Wigan's evergreen centre George Carmont produced a strong finish to claim his side's fifth try on 57 minutes and Tomkins took an inside pass from a busy Thornley to go over on 66 minutes.

Tomkins then got Charnley over for his 31st try of the season and, after gallant Castleford pulled another try back through Jones, Tomkins grabbed his second after collecting Harrison Hansen's pass by his bootlaces.

The England full-back kicked a fourth goal to take his points tally for the match to 16.

Bradford Bulls docked six points over administration

Bull's play-off hopes dashed after crisis club docked six points over administration

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UPDATED:

09:02 GMT, 25 July 2012

Bradford Bulls have been deducted six points for going into administration.

The Rugby Football League’s board of directors imposed the punishment after the ailing Super League club breached the game’s insolvency regulations.

A statement said: 'The RFL board of directors has today ruled that Bradford Bulls will be deducted six points – the equivalent of three competition wins – as a penalty for entering into administration during the 2012 Stobart Super League season.'

Fear: Bradford Bulls could yet go to the wall after entering administration

Fear: Bradford Bulls could yet go to the wall after entering administration

The deduction takes immediate effect and drops the Bulls out of the play-off positions, from seventh to ninth, ahead of Sunday’s trip to Warrington, with Huddersfield and Hull KR moving above them in the table.

Bradford, who have won three of their last four matches to raise hopes of reaching the play-offs for the first time in four years, were bracing themselves for the points deduction after entering administration on June 26.

Both Wakefield and Crusaders were docked four points when they entered administration on the eve of the 2011 season after the RFL directors took into account the new owners’ willingness to pay off some of the debts to creditors.

Dedicated: Coach Mick Potter remains in charge despite not being paid

Dedicated: Coach Mick Potter remains in charge despite not being paid

Although Bradford’s joint administrator Brendan Guilfoyle has found a potential buyer, any deal is some way off being completed.

Guilfoyle has passed on details of a formal, written offer from the ABC consortium, a group of local Asian businessmen, to the RFL but it is conditional on them being able to buy back the lease to Odsal Stadium and receiving a guarantee on the Bulls remaining in Super League.

He has until this Friday to avoid putting the club into liquidation, although he has the option of a further extension of the deadline if he feels he can complete a deal.

Castleford 26 Warrington 40

Castleford 26 Warrington 40: Wolves run in seven tries to deny dogged Tigers

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UPDATED:

16:50 GMT, 22 July 2012

Warrington survived a superb second-half fightback from Castleford to hold on for a thrilling victory and cement second place in the Stobart Super League.

Trailing 34-0 in the 53rd minute, the Tigers rallied, scoring 26 unanswered points to give themselves a chance of an amazing comeback, but the Wolves were ultimately too strong and sealed the win with a late Stefan Ratchford try.

Warrington, who outscored their opponents seven tries to five in the match, were scintillating in attack in the first period and they grabbed the first points of the afternoon inside the opening two minutes.

Off and running: Ben Westwood scores Warrington Wolves first try

Off and running: Ben Westwood scores Warrington Wolves first try

After Tigers full-back Richard Owen dropped the ball inside his own half, the visitors took full advantage when Ben Westwood hit a fantastic line to go over unchallenged, Brett Hodgson adding the extras.

They doubled their lead soon after when Hodgson's cut-out ball was collected by Joel Monaghan, who strolled in for the simplest of finishes to put Tony Smith's side firmly in command.

The hosts then spurned a glorious chance to get back in the game, when Hodgson spilled a neat kick from Rangi Chase – who was making his first appearance since being suspended by the club – but the Tigers could not capitalise, Grant Millington losing possession just short of the Warrington line.

That missed opportunity was pounced upon by the Wolves, when Ryan Atkins was on the end of Richie Myler's superb break to further extend the visitors lead with a third try.

Westwood then grabbed his second of what was becoming a prolific afternoon for the visitors, again courtesy of some sublime work from Myler. Hodgson nailed his fourth conversion from as many attempts to give the Wolves a commanding 24-0 lead.

And there was still time for the Wolves to grab a fifth score before the interval, as Chris Riley produced a moment of individual magic, breaking away before sublimely beating Owen to go over.

The second half continued in similar fashion to the first, and after Westwood almost grabbed his hat-trick, David Solomona marked his return to the Warrington side by crashing over in trademark fashion to collect his first try of the season.

The Tigers finally got on the scoreboard soon after, when Nick Youngquest got on the end of a clever kick by Danny Orr to prevent the home side from the humility of a whitewash.

It then got even better for Ian Millward's men, as they scored a quickfire treble to give the home faithful something to cheer.

First, Rhys Williams scored a superb breakaway try against his parent club, evading the attention of Ryan Atkins to go the length of the field, before Chase got involved, creating arguably the try of the afternoon.

The England international danced his way around several Wolves defenders before providing an outrageous ball for Youngquest, who scrambled in at the corner for his second.

The home side were now in full flow, and they reduced the gap to just 14 points when Owen weaved his way through the Warrington defensive line, stepping his opposite number Hodgson to go in under the sticks with Orr adding the extras.

The points kept on coming for the Tigers, this time courtesy of Lee Mitchell, the forward spinning in the tackle and crashing over to further narrow the gap.

Warrington held their nerve however, and Ratchford's late breakaway effort sealed a crucial victory for Smith's men.

Catalan Dragons 15 St Helens 20: Saints hang on despite Puletua dismissal

Catalan Dragons 15 St Helens 20: Saints hang on despite Puletua dismissal

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UPDATED:

21:53 GMT, 20 July 2012

St Helens climbed above Catalan Dragons in the Stobart Super League table with a hard fought victory in the South of France.

The Merseyside club twice came from
behind and survived the sending off of Tony Puletua six minutes from
time to grab a 20-15 win.

The home side hit the front on six minutes through Vincent Duport, charging over from a set scrum play. Scott Dureau added the goal and then a further penalty goal three minutes later to put his side eight points up.

Saints hit back through a superb solo try from Lance Hohaia under the posts that saw the former Kiwi step, dance and flummox the Catalan would be defenders. Makinson added the simple conversion to narrow the lead.

The visitors then took the lead as Duport had a nightmare five minutes. First he presented a forward pass to Damien Blanch before the winger touched down. He then knocked on to give St Helens great field position and missed the all important tackle on Hohaia before the half-back sent out a long pass to send Francis Meli in at the corner. Makinson missed the tough conversion.

In a see-saw game, the home-side hit the front again with Sebastien Raguin first involved in the build up before backing up a scoop from Leon Pryce to receive the ball and dive over the line to score. Dureau added the conversion to see the Catalans head towards half time with a four point lead. As the hooter sounded, Dureau then added a drop goal to extend the Catalan lead to 15-10.

St Helens attacked from the off and were rewarded when Jonny Lomax came up with a superb short ball to the charging Chris Flannnery who touched-down behind the posts. Makinson added the conversion to see the Saints re-take the lead at 16-15.

Saints continued to attack and went over again six minutes later, a high kick Hohaia was allowed to bounce by the Catalan stand in full-back, Cryil Stacul, and Tommy Makinson managed to juggle the ball before putting it down over the line with one hand.

There was still time for controversy as Catalans got over the line three times only to see efforts for Damien Cardace, Raguin and Cardace again ruled out by the officials.

The two Cardace efforts sandwiched Puletua's sending off for St Helens as the officials ruled he had attacked Gregory Mounis' head in the tackle.

Widnes 23 St Helens 24: Josh Jones secures late win

Widnes 23 St Helens 24: Last-gasp Jones try secures win for Saints

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UPDATED:

16:40 GMT, 8 July 2012

St Helens snatched a stunning last-gasp victory over Widnes to climb back to third place in the Stobart Super League table as they stretched their unbeaten run to five matches.

But it needed a 79th-minute try from Josh Jones and a touchline conversion from Lee Gaskell with the last kick of a thrilling encounter to earn Saints both points.

Super League strugglers Widnes, who had a hat-trick of tries from Patrick Ah Van, had looked set for a famous victory when they led 23-18 until Jones struck.

Diving for the line: Micheal Shenton scores a second half try against the Widnes Vikings for St Helens

Diving for the line: Micheal Shenton scores a second half try against the Widnes Vikings for St Helens

Widnes kept the side which thrashed Castleford 40-10 to climb above London at the foot of the table.

Saints were missing Jonny Lomax with a rib injury with Lance Hohaia returning at scrum half to partner Gaskell with Andrew Dixon in for Mark Flanagan.

Saints had run in a century of points in their two meetings against Widnes this season with a 40-38 cup win at the Stobart Stadium in April followed a week later by a 62-0 league hammering at Langtree Park.

Widnes were forced on the defensive from the start and it needed a crucial tackle by skipper Jon Clarke to stop Paul Wellens crossing for his 16th try of the season.

Saints missed another chance with a forward pass from Anthony Laffranchi after a darting burst from dummy half by James Roby.

But the Vikings were not overawed and Stefan Marsh went close from a kick and then Frank Winterstein was held short.

Saints thought they had gone ahead after Hohaia danced through but referee Robert Hicks ruled the Kiwi failed to ground the ball correctly – much to Saints fury.

But it was Hohaia's teasing kick which was fumbled by Rhys Hanbury which gifted sub Sol Soliola a try after 33 minutes and Gaskell tagged on the conversion.

Hanbury made amends two minutes later when his high kick bounced awkwardly for Tom Makinson and Ah Van pounced to race over in the corner.

Hanbury levelled the scores with a touchline conversion the teams went into half-time tied at 6-6.

Saints regained the lead almost straight from the restart when Widnes conceded a penalty on the sixth tackle and Jon Wilkin forced his way over from Roby's pass to help make it 12-6.

Widnes hit back with Hanbury's perfectly-timed pass sending Chris Dean racing over against his old club.

Hanbury and the Widnes fans thought the conversion had gone over but the touch judges ruled the kick had failed.

Widnes did not let the controversy upset their rhythm, though, with Dean putting Ah Van over for his second try four minutes later and, this time, Hanbury's conversion attempt was definitely wide to leave the Vikings ahead 14-12.

Saints regained the advantage when Michael Shenton shrugged off Ah Van to cross after 58 minutes with Gaskell's touchline conversion making it 18-14 to the visitors.

However, Ah Van completed his treble after intercepting Dixon's pass and racing 80 metres to cross after 63 minutes to draw Widnes level again.

Ah Van was forced off the field with a shoulder injury after scoring his long-range try and in a thrilling finale Wilkin was denied by outstanding defence after a missed drop goal attempt by Hohaia.

Hanbury then slotted over a one-pointer eight minutes from time.

The drama continued with Clarke and Dean combining for Cameron Phelps to squeeze over in the corner but crucially Stefan Marsh missed the goal.

Then Wellens put Jones over in the corner with Gaskell booting the conversion to give Saints a last-gasp win.

Widnes 40 Castleford 10: Vikings move off the bottom with big win over Tigers

Widnes 40 Castleford 10: Vikings move off the bottom with big win over Tigers

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UPDATED:

00:08 GMT, 3 July 2012

Widnes climbed off the bottom of the Stobart Super League table with a comprehensive victory over depleted Castleford at Stobart Stadium Halton.

A Jon Clarke-inspired performance put Widnes in control after the veteran hooker had a hand in two of the Vikings' first-half tries which gave them the platform for victory.

The home side, who have been rooted to the foot of the ladder for the majority of the season, got off to a blistering start thanks to Stefan Marsh, one of eight former Wigan players in the Widnes line-up, after he latched on to a Cameron Phelps' pass.

Widness beat Castleford

Nick Youngquest replied for the Tigers, who played without a recognised pivot for 30 minutes until skipper Danny Orr showed up from the bench.

Castleford's lacklustre attacks were few and far between – clearly missing star player Rangi Chase who remains absent due to internal disciplinary reasons.

They did muster one decent bit of play towards the close of the first half through Jordan Thompson but the centre could not collect a regulation pass deep in Widnes territory.

Widnes' grip on the game continued as blockbusting second-rower Frank Winterstein barged his way over from close range in the 22nd minute before Ben Davies added a third try just before half-time.

Pat Ah Van's three conversions, all easily kickable, went over and the game was Widnes' to lose entering the second period with an 18-4 lead.

Ian Millward, the Tigers boss, must have given his troops an ear bashing at the break as the visitors came out more fired up but it did not last for long as Paul McShane crashed over from the dummy half for a converted try and then Joe Mellor flew over after a neat show and go.

Ah Van missed his first conversion of the evening but it mattered little in the grand scheme of things.

Stuart Jones got a score back for the sorry Tigers, Craig Huby tagging on the extras but Widnes were soon restoring their lead with another try, this time through debutant Eamon O'Carroll who pounced on McShane's dab through.

Ah Van then flew in for a try himself at the end with Rhys Hanbury slotting the goal from the touchline to round things off.