The Debrief: George Williams masterclass, Castleford’s first win, Hull KR momentum builds

Drew Darbyshire
George Williams, Innes Senior, Matt Parcell Alamy

From left to right: George Williams, Innes Senior, Matt Parcell

Super League wasn’t short of talking points on Friday night with three games taking place.. Love Rugby League has picked out a few in The Debrief.

George Williams masterclass

Warrington Wolves went top of the Super League table – for 24 hours at least – with an impressive 34-8 win over Leeds Rhinos at AMT Headingley, with half-back George Williams producing a masterclass in the halves.

The England captain terrorised the Rhinos defence throughout the 80 minutes, and was pretty much at the heart of everything his side did in attack.

Williams has been in and out of Sam Burgess’ side so far in 2024 due to injury, but if the Wire are to do anything special this year, Williams will no doubt be integral to that.

The 29-year-old got on the scoresheet himself against Leeds, and also provided an assist. Williams was involved throughout, making 102 metres from 23 carries as well as busting three tackles.

His defensive capabilities often go under the radar sometimes given his attacking prowess – but Williams made 22 tackles against the Rhinos who threw a lot of traffic his way.

A fully fit and firing George Williams is one of the best players in Super League. Obviously there’s a big debate about who IS the best player in the competition, but Williams is up there and has to be in that debate.

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Castleford get their first win of the Super League season

Craig Lingard Castleford Tigers Alamy
Castleford coach Craig Lingard celebrates Tigers’ first win of Super League 2024 with Liam Horne (left) and Sylvester Namo (right)

Ahead of tonight, there probably wouldn’t have been too many people tipping Castleford Tigers to beat visitors Salford Red Devils – but they did, with Craig Lingard’s side running out 36-24 in front of thousands of smiling supporters at The Jungle.

It was a night to remember for Tigers winger Innes Senior, who scored four tries, with Brad Martin and Sam Hall also getting on the scoresheet. Danny Richardson was on point with the boot, too, kicking six goals to help the Tigers get up and running as far as the league table is concerned.

For only the third time in the Super League era, Castleford have begun a season with six consecutive league defeats. 2024 marked the first time in exactly 20 years they have failed to win any of their first six league games, with the last time coming in 2004 and the time before that in the second-ever Super League season of 1997.

With the aforementioned stats in mind, Friday’s win over Salford will no doubt breathe of a sigh of relief into coach Lingard and the club’s supporters. It’s probably important to note that some of their displays in their previous defeats in the early rounds have shown considerable improvements on last season.

The Tigers will look to build momentum – but it won’t be easy – against world champions Wigan Warriors in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup next weekend.

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Momentum building for Hull KR

Hull KR ran in nine tries to thrash winless London Broncos 50-10 at Sewell Group Craven Park. Although the Robins’ victory wouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to anyone, it was their fifth win in seven Super League matches, seeing Willie Peters’ side climb to third in the ladder.

It’s safe to say that momentum is building for Hull KR, with Matt Parcell scoring a hat-trick and forward James Batchelor grabbing a brace in their big win over the Broncos, who remain the only side left in Super League without a win in 2024.

Friday’s win over London is a good momentum builder for Hull KR, who head into next weekend’s Challenge Cup quarter-final against Leigh Leopards on the back of four straight wins in all competitions.

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