Warrington, Widnes, Catalan and Bradford were the winners on the opening Sunday of the new Super League season.
Widnes, who won just once away from home in Super League last season, got off to a dream start as they posted a 28-14 win away at London Broncos. Despite the absence of new signings Kevin Brown and Gareth Hock, they led 18-0 at half time through tries from Stefan Marsh, Jon Clarke and Dave Allen, while London’s chances were dealt a further blow when Craig Gower limped off injured.
All the damage was done down the Widnes right, as Marsh shrugged off a man and raced to the line for the first score, before Allen broke through the defence on an angled run and offloaded to Clarke who went over for the try. Allen was then on hand to touch down when Widnes took advantage of a London knock on following Joe Mellor‘s high kick.
It took London 65 minutes before they got on the scoresheet, when young winger Kieran Dixon touched down in the corner. That did not deter Widnes, who hit straight back through Frank Winterstein, taking Chris Dean‘s inside ball down the left.
The Broncos rallied late on, with Dixon adding his second and Chris Melling finding the line in quick succession, but last year’s bottom club made sure at the death when Marsh bagged his second try.
Warrington led Castleford 34-12 at half time, but were limited to just six points in the second half as the visitors dug deep. Chris Riley, Ryan Atkins, Richie Myler, Ben Westwood (2) and Garreth Carvell sealed the win, but the Wolves went scoreless in the final 35 minutes as Castleford added respectability to the scoreline.
Hull KR‘s second half comeback wasn’t enough as they were beaten at home 32-24 by Catalan Dragons. Rovers, who led 2-0 through an early Michael Dobson penalty, found themselves 22-2 down at the break with Steve Menzies scoring a double. Jamal Fakir‘s early second half try increased the Dragons’ lead to 26-2, before Rovers came back within eight points. Brent Webb‘s score nine minutes from time quashed any hopes of a hope win to give Laurent Frayssinous victory in his first game in charge of the French side.
Another new coach, Bradford’s Francis Cummins, recorded a victory in his first match, as the Bulls thumped Wakefield 40-6. New signing from St Helens, Jamie Foster, registered 16 points as the Bulls ran in seven tries against the Wildcats, who beat their opponents to a top eight spot last season.