Castleford and Huddersfield level at top of Super League as Warrington see off Toronto

By Sports Desk February 21, 2020

Castleford Tigers retained the bragging rights in their local derby with Wakefield Trinity as they claimed a 32-15 victory in Super League on Friday.

Aiming to end a 13-match losing streak in competitive matches against the Tigers, Trinity started brightly and, despite handing Castleford a way back into the match, took a 15-14 lead into the break thanks to Tom Johnstone's excellent try and Jacob Miller's drop-goal.

But Trinity were brushed aside early in the second half after James Batchelor was sin-binned – Castleford running in three tries in the space of 13 minutes to wrap up the points.

Warrington Wolves bounced back from their defeat at Wakefield as they overcame a second-half scare to beat lowly Toronto Wolfpack 32-22.

Gareth Widdop scored his first try for Warrington as the Wolves took control, but Jon Wilkin and Andy Ackers struck back for injury-hit Toronto before half-time.

The comeback looked on when Matty Russell and Gareth O'Brien combined to restore parity, only for Ben Murdoch-Masila's try to move Warrington clear in the closing stages.

Elsewhere, Huddersfield Giants moved top of the table as they made it three wins from three with a convincing 22-4 away triumph over Hull Kingston Rovers.

Louis Senior and Lee Gaskell put Huddersfield 10-0 up in the first half, with the Giants – despite losing James Gavet to injury – moving further ahead through Paul Clough and Suaia Matagi before Ben Crooks grabbed a consolation for Rovers.

Related items

  • On this day in sport: NBA record falls, Asia enjoys basketball breakthrough, and England lose landmark rugby clash On this day in sport: NBA record falls, Asia enjoys basketball breakthrough, and England lose landmark rugby clash

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar remains the record points scorer in the NBA, with LeBron James the man best-placed to snatch that accolade.

    Abdul-Jabbar achieved his status on this day way back in 1984 and his total has proved out of reach of basketball's greatest stars since then.

    Another NBA landmark moment occurred 19 years ago when China's Wang Zhizhi made his entrance into the league.

    And going back over a century, rugby league saw a historic moment unfold in Wigan when the sport's first international fixture was held.

    We take a look back at April 5 in sporting history.

    1904 - England lose historic rugby league match

    The first official international rugby league match took place on this day, featuring England playing an 'Other Nationalities' team at Wigan's Central Park.

    The fixture had been due to take place in Oldham in January but was called off due to a frozen playing surface.

    Historic reports point to a match in which the rugby was less noteworthy than the sense of occasion, with England beaten 9-3 by a team largely made up of Welsh players and attached to clubs from the northern England heartland of the sport.

    1984 - Abdul-Jabbar makes NBA history

    Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA's all-time leading scorer, with a spectacular total of 38,387 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers great went to the top of the pile on this day 36 years ago.

    He passed Wilt Chamberlain to reach the summit and went there in style in a match against the Utah Jazz that was played in Las Vegas, feeding off a pass from Magic Johnson and landing a sky-hook shot. It took him to 31,421 points, as he became the first of six players to date to better Chamberlain's old record.

    2001 - Asian breakthrough in USA

    Wang will not go down as a great, but he made history on April 5, 2001, becoming the first Asian player to appear in the NBA.

    The Dallas Mavericks center made his bow off the bench in a 108-94 win over the Atlanta Hawks, scoring six points in 8:07 on court. He later turned out for the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat before returning to his native China and starring for the Bayi Rockets.

  • Coronavirus: V'landys 'very confident' NRL can return on June 1 Coronavirus: V'landys 'very confident' NRL can return on June 1

    Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V'landys is "very confident" the NRL season will resume on June 1, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

    The NRL postponed the 2020 campaign through just two rounds on March 23 amid the COVID-19 crisis, which has halted sport across the globe.

    On Friday, NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said all ideas were on the table, with the league determined to get the competition back underway as soon as it is safe to do so.

    Now, V'landys believes the season can restart as early as June, not July in Australia – where there have been more than 5,500 confirmed cases and at least 30 deaths.

    "I'm very confident about it [the season resuming on June 1] actually," V'landys told 2GB radio on Saturday. "We've got the best can-do man in Wayne Pearce setting up this committee and he's looking at all options.

    "You only have to look at the infection rate. When we stopped playing the infection rate was just on about 23 per cent. Yesterday it was 3.9 per cent and today it's 4.3 per cent.

    "You've got to remember that we're eight weeks away and if these figures continue to be that low, there's less risk now than what there was when we were playing [up until March 22]."

    Financial concerns have emerged for both clubs and players, prompting the NRL to deliver a 40 million Australian dollars rescue package to all 16 teams.

    The NRL and Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) also reached an agreement on a revised pay deal for players on Thursday, ensuring two months' worth of wages and payments.

    Due to the postponement of the 2020 season, players will surrender five out of 12 months' salary if the NRL is unable to resume.

    But the competition possibly resuming in June would be a big boost for players, with V'landys adding: "What the deal was with the players was in a worst-case scenario that they don't play again this year.

    "[But] that's not going to happen. They are going to play football and what we've negotiated is what revenues we get when we recommence we share with the players.

    "So, the players certainly will be getting more, not necessarily what their contractual obligations are because there might be less revenue. We've just got to see what revenue we can get and the players will share in that."

    Matches, though, will continue to be played behind closed doors without fans when and if the campaign restarts.

    "But that's better than not playing at all," V'landys said. "The majority of our revenue comes from broadcasting so if we can broadcast the matches and have some atmosphere somehow, I think that's probably our best option."

  • Coronavirus: 'No bad ideas' as Greenberg and NRL explore radical plans to relaunch season Coronavirus: 'No bad ideas' as Greenberg and NRL explore radical plans to relaunch season

    NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg insisted there are "no bad ideas" as the league explores radical plans to relaunch the coronavirus-hit season.

    The NRL postponed the 2020 campaign through just two rounds on March 23 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has halted sport across the globe.

    Financial concerns have emerged for both clubs and players, prompting the NRL to deliver a 40 million Australian dollars rescue package to all 16 teams.

    The NRL and Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) also reached an agreement on a revised pay deal for players on Thursday, ensuring two months' worth of wages and payments.

    Now, the NRL is determined to get the competition back underway as soon as it is safe to do so and all ideas are on the table, according to CEO Greenberg.

    "The concept is as simple as trying to find innovative ways to get the game back. And whether that's putting players in secure environments, or restructuring how the competition looks and feels, we're open to all suggestions," Greenberg told Fox Sports on Friday.

    "At the moment there are no bad ideas. We're going to model a number of those scenarios to put to the commission at the back end of April and we're going to push really hard.

    "Obviously there are some things out of our control. We don't have a line of sight yet on what the government restrictions will look like or border controls on our teams in both Queensland and New Zealand, but what we don't want to do is not be ready."

    Greenberg's position has come in for criticism amid the pandemic, with his management and financial model in the spotlight.

    But Greenberg said: "It doesn't feel like [I'm a dead man walking], it feels like I'm working a lot of hours. I've got to say we've had great support from our [Australian Rugby League Commission] chairman Peter V'landys and the entire commission.

    "We feel very supported and I think I'm encouraged by the fact that there’s been so much support to try to drive the game forward. Of course there's going to be criticism. I'm a realist, I take that criticism primarily in the title and in the role that comes with the game.

    "That criticism will continue to come. I see that as part of the rugby league landscape that any senior administrator or leader in a role like mine has to take that. I think the primary criticism is around the game's distribution model and cost base sustainable for the future. I think that's a question that we have to answer."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.