All three Super League teams participating in the World Club Series enjoyed wins in Round 2 of the Super League on the weekend, including a 46-point thrashing of Salford by reigning premiers St Helens.
The Saints could also get a boost with the impending return of halfback Luke Walsh for Sunday morning's clash against South Sydney (AEST), in what would be his first game in six months after breaking his leg last July.
Ex-Wests Tigers halfback Jacob Miller was easily the most impressive of the Aussie contingent in the UK on the weekend, scoring a hat-trick against a Hull KR side that featured Terry Campese and Albert Kelly. And former Knights man Adam Cuthbertson endeared himself to Leeds fans, scoring a try in an impressive home debut.
Wakefield Wildcats 44 (Jacob Miller 3, Chris Riley 3, Matty Ashurst, Danny Kirmond tries; Craig Hall 5, Chris Riley goals) def. Hull KR 24 (Albert Kelly, Tyrone McCarthy, Ken Sio, Ryan Bailey tries; Josh Mantellato 4 goals)
Miller outshone ex-NRL talents Campese, Kelly and even teammate Tim Smith on his way to a hat-trick of tries and set up another for the relegation favourites, who have started the year with two wins. The game remained close up until the 71st minute, but a break from Samoa representative Pita Godinet set up a try that sealed the win.
Catalans Dragons 13 (Morgan Escare, Elliott Whitehead tries; Scott Dureau 2 goals, field goal) def. Castleford Tigers 12 (Justin Carney, Jordan Tansey tries; Luke Gale 2 goals)
There was still no Todd Carney for Catalans, but teammate and former Newcastle halfback Scott Dureau made a successful comeback from a 12-month injury layoff to kick the game-winning field goal in a spiteful match against Castleford. Three players were sin-binned in a second-half scuffle, while Willie Tonga played after being stretchered off in the opening minutes of his debut for the Dragons last week.
Hull FC 6 (Tom Lineham try; Marc Sneyd goal) def. by Warrington Wolves 7 (Daryl Clark try; Gareth O'Brien goal, field goal)
Mark Minichiello made 149 metres and 31 tackles but couldn't help Hull FC going down by a single point to a Daryl Clark-led Wolves outfit. The reigning Man of Steel's moment of brilliance in the first half helped Warrington to a 7-0 halftime lead.
Leeds Rhinos 38 (Zak Hardaker, Ryan Hall, Adam Cuthbertson, Tom Briscoe, Danny McGuire, Kallum Watkins, Kevin Sinfield tries; Kevin Sinfield 5 goals) def. Widnes Vikings 6 (Manase Manuokafoa try; Danny Tickle goal)
This game showed why Leeds gave Adam Cuthbertson a four-year deal. The former Knight scored a try and made 143 metres and 45 tackles, impressing his new home fans in the Rhinos' demolition of Widnes. Former Warrior Joel Moon was the only player in the Leeds backline who didn't cross the stripe in a game that was tied up 6-all at half-time.
Wigan Warriors 24 (Joel Tomkins 2, John Bateman, Michael McIlorum, Ryan Sutton tries; Ryan Hampshire 2 goals) def. Huddersfield Giants 16 (Anthony Mullally, Jamie Ellis, Aaron Murphy tries; Danny Brough 2 goals)
Former Cowboy Matt Bowen set up two tries in Wigan's thrilling comeback win over Huddersfield. Already without halfback Matty Smith, the Warriors lost their replacement No.7 in the warm-up but showed extreme courage to come from behind twice and emerge with their first win of the season courtesy of a double from Sam Tomkins' brother, Joel.
Salford Red Devils 6 (Ben Jones-Bishop try; Michael Dobson goal) def. by St Helens 52 (Mark Percival 2, Jordan Turner 2, Joe Greenwood 2, Luke Thompson, Tom Makinson, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Andre Savelio tries; Mark Percival 6 goals)
Ex-NRL talents Kevin Locke and Michael Dobson failed to finish the game in their Super League debuts for Salford, both limping off in the second half as the Devils were crushed by St Helens. The game was effectively over at half-time, but the Saints, still without halfback Luke Walsh, piled on the points to take them to the top of the Super League ladder after two rounds.
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