The seemingly unrelenting pace continued at Newcastle yesterday, despite rain replacing the sunny conditions initially, as #Super League's 'Magic Weekend' came to a close. Three further top class #Rugby league fixtures were completed in front of a crowd approaching 27,000 fans. Catalans and Huddersfield shared 44 points in the opening match, before St Helens reclaimed second spot in the table with a hard-fought victory over Warrington. The weekend's action was brought to a close with an all Yorkshire battle, which Castleford were convincing winners of against Wakefield.
Catalans Dragons 22 - 22 Huddersfield Giants
The opening fixture on day two pitted Gallic flair against Yorkshire pragmatism. The Giants seemed to be in control when leading 16-0 after four minutes of the second-half. A brace of tries from Jodie Broughton and four goals from the reliable kicking boots of Danny Brough giving them their advantage.
Catalans rallied to roar back into contention thereafter. Eloi Pelissier's try put them on the scoreboard, before a couple of tries from Todd Carney and a score from Zeb Taia looked to have won them the match. Giants still had time left to deny the French side both of the match points though, as Jermaine McGillvary's try right at the death left them two points behind. Brough maintained his focus to convert the tricky kick and leave the honours even at the final hooter.
St Helens 20 - 16 Warrington Wolves
Saints required a second-half fightback to claim the points against Warrington in the unusual surroundings of St James' Park. The Wolves had led 16-8 at the break, as Stefan Ratchford, Ben Harrison and Ryan Atkins all ran in tries. Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Adam Swift and captain Jon Wilkin replied in kind for Saints, but it was the more clinical kicking of Tommy Makinson that ultimately gave them the edge. His four goals helped them to their four-point winning margin in a tight contest, with a late penalty from him confirming the result.
St Helens climbed back above Wigan into second place in the league table, now trailing leaders Leeds by just a single point. Warrington remained 5th, but slipped a further point behind Huddersfield after their loss.
Castleford Tigers 56 - 16 Wakefield Wildcats
Wakefield's travails continued against their local rivals. After a close first period saw Cas establish a 22-16 advantage, Wakefield were blitzed to the tune of 34 unanswered points after the break. Denny Solomona was the Wildcats' chief tormentor, the 21-year-old New Zealander bagging four tries on the day. He was ably supported by a second-half hat-trick of tries for Ashley Gibson, as the Tigers outscored their opponents by 10-3 on the try count. Wakefield had Tom Johnstone to thank for two of their scores, but were unable to match the Tigers in the final analysis.
The heavy defeat leaves the Wildcats rock bottom of the table with 4 points from 15 matches. Castleford retained their interest in the top four places, moving up to 6th place as a result of their success.
'Magic Weekend' indeed
Once again rugby league was the main winner from the two days of action in the north-east. Their annual showcase was once again a major success, with some sparkling performances and wonderful tries for the fans to marvel at. The attendances were a new record over the two days, with almost 68,000 supporters packing into the ground.