With just seven games remaining, there seems to be constant drama throughout the table.
There were two drop goal victories this weekend, a surprise win for Leeds against the odds and in terrific style as well as an impressive comeback from Castleford in a tense round of fixtures.
But what were the five talking points to take from this weekend’s action?
Heartbreak for Wakefield
With Salford beating Toulouse on Saturday night, there was an outside chance for Wakefield to regain 11th place if they could find a way to beat St Helens. The first three quarters of the game went in Wakefield’s favour, and a shock win looked on the cards. Unfortunately for Wakefield it wasn’t the case, as St Helens came back in typical fashion with a victory in golden point courtesy of a Jack Welsby drop goal. A narrow defeat against a side at the opposite end of the table may serve as a reminder that they can compete with anyone when they perform as a team.
Salford into the top six for the first time since early rounds
After a rocky start to the season, Salford have found consistency in recent weeks and after threatening to do so, have finally broken the top six. With a downturn in Hull FC’s form, Salford have been slowly making ground and have finally caught them. The task is far from complete however, with Leeds and both Hull sides on their heels. With much bigger spenders surrounding them, it will be difficult to keep their spot with seven games remaining especially with an increasingly small squad to manage due to injuries. There is belief from many at the club that they have the minerals to hold onto that coveted sixth spot.
Confidence growing at Leeds
Rohan Smith has turned the fortunes of Leeds around this year, and their victory over Wigan is arguably the high point of their season so far. The Rhinos sit just one point off the play offs despite being amongst the bottom three when they parted ways with Richard Agar. They heavily beat Wigan on Thursday, and their win felt as though their improvement under Rohan Smith had paid off, being their first win against a top four side this year. There are a lot of inconsistencies remaining in the side, as shown by their recent loss to Toulouse, but with more players set to return there is lots of optimism for the end of the season.
Controversial decision causes debate
In Leeds’ comfortable victory over Wigan, a try was awarded which confused many viewers, Leeds fans included. Referees’ decisions seem to be increasingly scrutinised, often down to different interpretations of the rules. However, Harry Newman’s try in which he dived between Ash Handley’s legs from the play ball to crash over, has been met with unanimous agreement that the decision was incorrect. A try was given on field by Liam Moore before being confirmed by video ref James Child. Given that the rules clearly state a player is not allowed to make contact with the teammate who has played the ball when scoring, the decision seems to have no explanation. The RFL referee’s boss Steve Ganson has even stated that the try should not have been awarded, stating that it was “clear the department has fallen below the standard necessary and expected.”
Super League top try scorer race heating up
A Ken Sio brace levelled up the Super League top try scorers again, with him and Bevan French on 21 tries. Just behind them, tied on 17 is Jai Field and Tommy Makinson. Jai Field and Bevan French have the ability to pull hat tricks out of nowhere, and either one could finish top of the pile for Super League tries. Ken Sio on the other hand, seems to be keeping his tally ticking over, and seems to be scoring every week at the moment. With Salford’s form on the up, and with Wigan able to put on magnificent displays, it would not be a surprise to see someone hit the 30 try mark this year.