McGuire scores five as Leeds win

Danny McGuire answered his coach's call to kickstart Leeds' title defence with a five-try haul to see off Bradford 37-22 in the penultimate round of the Magic Weekend.

Eurosport

Catalan Dragons 42-18 London Broncos

Title-chasing Catalan Dragons made perfect use of the home-from-home conditions at their disposal in Manchester as they ran in seven tries to see off London 42-18 and cement their top-four spot as day two of the Magic Weekend got under way at the Etihad Stadium.

Leon Pryce and Remi Casty scored a brace each with additional tries from Lopini Paea, Steve Menzies and Jamal Fakir, while Scott Dureau was successful with all seven goals for the Dragons. Antonio Kaufusi, Ben Bolger and Chad Randall crossed over for the Broncos as Shane Rodney scored three goals.

Trent Robinson's men had looked set for a runaway victory at one stage - they led 24-0 at half-time - but were eventually made to work harder than that as London came back to within six points at one stage. It was an admirable effort from a Broncos side currently the subject of a performance review from the club's directors.

Catalan scored with their first genuine attack. Jamie O'Callaghan's ball steal gave them a penalty and Dureau's reverse pass gave Paea a walk-in to the line. A pattern quickly formed, with another London error, this time a Michael Channing knock-on, leading to Dureau sending Pryce through with 14 minutes on the clock.

London were not helping themselves and, unlike the Catalans, when they made errors, they were not getting away with them. Dan Sarginson and Craig Gower gave away penalties, as did Scott Wheeldon, with that trio of mistakes eventually leading to another try, this time with Casty ploughing over. Three minutes before the break, Pryce got a second.

With a 24-0 half-time deficit, London could have been forgiven for expecting to be on the end of a beating similar to the one handed to Widnes by Warrington on Saturday but, to their credit, they started the second half well, with Kaufusi doing what he failed to do in the early stages and scoring from close in.

That was in the 42nd minute and four later, Bolger put on a similar play from a Mark Bryant offload and with Rodney kicking his second goal, the gap between the two was only 12 points.

It seemed as though Catalan were still in the dressing rooms and Jason Baitieri actually was when he was given a 55th-minute sin-binning for a late hit on Gower. It took London less than 60 seconds to cash in too, with Randall diving in from dummy half.

A pressure-relieving penalty and a London error helped Catalan stabilise, though, and when Casty used his size to get over for a second with 17 minutes left, they had some breathing space again.

Any panic was over when Menzies touched down with 10 minutes left, before Fakir wrapped things up following a wonderful flowing move that went through Menzies before Fisher teed-up the forward.

Huddersfield 34-38 Salford Reds

Salford prop Adam Sidlow trebled his try tally for the season to condemn one-time Stobart Super League leaders Huddersfield to a third consecutive defeat as the Reds triumphed 38-34 in a classic contest at the Magic Weekend in Manchester.

Sidlow grabbed two in the final quarter to settle the encounter, while a brace a piece for Joel Moon and Jodie Broughton, a single for Sean Gleeson and five goals by Daniel Howarth completed Salford's tally. Danny Brough was the hero for the Giants, with two tries and five goals, adding to a Eorl Crabtree brace and tries for Kevin Brown and Michael Lawrence.

The lead changed hands six times over the course of the pulsating match, but it ended with Salford's first win in four games - keeping alive their outside play-off hopes.

In a team full of heroes, Salford were particularly indebted to veteran full-back Luke Patten, whose attacking flair proved to be a constant thorn in Huddersfield's side all day, and two-try centre Joel Moon.

But the Giants developed an advantage when Brough and David Faiumu ripped holes in the heart of the Salford defence with clean breaks and, after Luke Robinson had been held up on his back, Crabtree demonstrated his massive threat close to the line, charging over for two tries in quick succession after the break.

Brough kicked his fourth goal to put his side 28-22 ahead but the never-say-die Reds roared back and Moon would have completed a hat-trick but for losing the ball in Leroy Cudjoe's tackle over the line.

Huddersfield still could not contain the threat of Patten and Holdsworth, however, and they worked the ball out for Moon to get Broughton over for his second try on the hour mark that trimmed the Giants' lead to just two points.

And the Reds regained the lead five minutes later when Sidlow broke the monopoly of their outside backs by plunging over for his side's sixth try. Salford had the chance to wrap up the win when Patten's outstretched arm kept the ball in play but second-rower Matty Ashurst could not control the touchdown.

Huddersfield made the most of the let-off by working their way upfield and hooker Scott Moore broke through to get Brough over for his second try which looked to have finally settled the outcome.

But Salford regained possession from the kick-off and, after running the ball on the last tackle, Sidlow took Smith's pass to plunge over for his second try.

Bradford Bulls 22-37 Leeds Rhinos

Danny McGuire answered his coach's call to kickstart Leeds' title defence with a five-try haul to see off Bradford 37-22 in the penultimate round of the Magic Weekend.

The 29-year-old half-back, whose prolific try-scoring feats have been a hallmark of Leeds' domination of the last eight years, single-handedly pulled his side back from the brink of another defeat that would have left them stranded outside the top eight.

Even at 18-6 down, McGuire was the coolest man inside a red-hot Etihad Stadium, taking his career tally of tries against the Bulls to 20 as well as setting up Carl Ablett for another as Leeds continued their record of winning every Magic fixture they have played in.

McGuire was certainly needed, with Leeds failing to heed coach Brian McDermott's mid-week warnings about this being a must-win game as Bradford ran three quick tries past them in the first half.

The Bulls lost Craig Kopczak in the first play of the game and fell behind when McGuire took in Kylie Leuluai's third-minute pass, but rallied sufficiently to go ahead thanks to Elliott Whitehead's close-range barge and Ben Jeffries' show and go.

And, when Jamie Peacock failed to grab Luke Gale's wind-assisted kick, ex-Rhino Matt Diskin was on-hand to dot down, although he did appear to be in an offside position. If the Bulls were lucky to get that try then fortunes were levelled out in the 23rd minute, when McGuire took in a forward-looking ball from Brent Webb before slipping Gale to score.

And then, as has so often been the case throughout their almost identical 10-year careers with Leeds, McGuire and Rob Burrow linked up to devastating effect. The latter jinked through a gap and sent the former free for a hat-trick try nine minutes before the break.

Perfect conversion records from Gale and Kevin Sinfield ensured the scores were level at 18-all heading into the break, but that changed in the 47th minute, with McGuire doing the business again. Sinfield was the creator this time, throwing a dummy on the back of a Richard Moore offload.

Knowing they needed to pull clear to be safe, Leeds did just that. Sinfield took a high ball and set Ryan Hall free and, in the ensuing plays, McGuire sent Ablett over the line. Sinfield split the posts with a drop-goal and then McGuire took in a Webb pass for his fifth - becoming the first Leeds player to do so since Hall against Castleford three years ago.

There was still time for a try from Elliot Kear, but it was little more than a consolation for Bradford.

St Helens 16 - 42 Wigan Warriors

Wigan demonstrated breathtaking brilliance to maintain their position at the top of the Stobart Super League with a 42-16 victory over St Helens, but the final game of the 2012 Magic Weekend will best be remembered for an all-in brawl which produced three red cards.

The Warriors had forwards Gareth Hock and Chris Tuson sent off by referee Ben Thaler, along with St Helens substitute Shaun Magennis, after they were ruled largely responsible for the fighting that erupted at a scrum in the 53rd minute.

Wigan were leading 34-6 at the time, after Sam Tomkins and Josh Charnley had both scored twice while Hock, Sean O'Laughlin and George Carmont also crossed, and managed to hang on with 11 men, despite Saints tries from Paul Clough, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Paul Wellens, as Liam Farrell's try rounded things off for the Warriors.

Winger Charnley, Super League's top tryscorer, scored two of his side's eight touchdowns to take his tally for the season to 20 and make up for another off-day with the boot. He missed all four kicks at goal in his previous match against Huddersfield and managed just five successes from 10 attempts tonight to let Saints off the hook.

Full-back Tomkins was also in magnificent tryscoring form but it was in-form Australian stand-off Brett Finch who did most of the early damage, creating the opening for Tomkins' first try and then getting Hock in the clear for the second.

Tomkins thrilled the Wigan fans with a brilliant 50-metre solo try and it was near-perfection for the Warriors as skipper O'Loughlin took a return pass from Darrell Goulding to touch down and, although a jinking run from Jonny Lomax created a try for Saints substitute Clough, it was largely one-way traffic up to half-time.

Charnley grabbed his second on the stroke of the interval, racing onto Goulding's deft kick to the corner, and it got even better for Wigan when veteran centre Carmont, who turns 34 next month, fended off Michael Shenton to race 80 metres for their seventh try.

That took Wigan's lead to 34-6 but they were forced to play the last 27 minutes with 11 men after Hock and Tuson paid the price for the second-half flare-up.

St Helens lost replacement forward Magennis but they gave themselves brief renewed hope when McCarthy-Scarsbrook showed exceptional pace for a prop to score a 20-metre try.

But Charnley kicked a penalty and then broke down the wing to get replacement back rower Farrell over for Wigan's eighth try before Wellens scored a consolation effort for his well-beaten side.

View comments (0)