Denny Solomona has lit up the final ‘Magic Weekend’ game with a four-try haul as Castleford Tigers beat struggling Wakefield Wildcats, who have turned to Australian Brian Smith in an effort to save their season.
Smith left the Sydney Roosters in 2012 but the legendary NRL coach is back in the spotlight after taking over Super League’s bottom club with immediate effect in a surprise announcement.
However, on Sunday, New Zealand-born winger Solomona, piled on the misery in a 56-16 victory at English Premier League football club Newcastle’s St James’ Park ground, where all 12 Super League clubs were involved this weekend.
Solomona arrived in England last year after being released by Melbourne Storm.
Ashley Gibson (three), Luke Gale, Jordan Tansey and Michael Shenton also touched down in a 10-try romp as Castleford put last week’s drubbing by Wigan behind them.
Reigning champions St Helens got their own back for past ‘Magic Weekend’ defeats at the hands of Warrington, captain Jon Wilkin the match-winner in a 20-16 victory.
Warrington, who had dished out 48-22 and 41-24 thumpings to St Helens in the previous two Magic Weekends, were in control for the majority of the match – with Stefan Ratchford particularly impressive.
But Wilkin struck in the 58th minute before Tommy Makinson added two goals to guide the Saints to within one point of top spot.
Danny Brough’s last-minute conversion rescued a 22-22 draw for Huddersfield after Catalans Dragons nearly pulled off a victory thanks to Todd Carney.
Carney, who quit the NRL last year after a string of incidents at Cronulla Sharks, galvanised the Dragons in the second half with two tries as the French side racked up 22 unanswered points.
But they could not secure just their second win on English soil this season after Brough matched Jermaine McGillvary’s brilliant try in the corner with an equally fine touchline kick.
Meanwhile Wigan gained ground on leaders Leeds after mounting a remarkable comeback.
The Warriors were 12-4 down to Leeds at one stage but with the help of NRL legend Matt Bowen, who crossed twice, they scored 23 unanswered points in an eventual 27-12 victory.
Sydney Roosters-bound Joe Burgess also wrote his name on the scoresheet as Wigan bounced back from a ten-try thumping at Catalans Dragons.
Former South Sydney Rabbitoh Fetuli Talanoa also sparkled in Newcastle, running in a hat-trick as Hull FC gained some measure of revenge on derby day.
Hull KR had deservedly beaten Talanoa and company over Easter but Hull FC’s 46-20 victory this weekend was emphatic – with centre Kirk Yeaman also notching a double.
Josh Mantellato, in his first season at KR after moving from Newcastle Knights, touched down twice – including cancelling out Yeaman’s seventh-minute opener – but apart from that Hull were never troubled and moved two points clear of their rivals in the table.
Widnes recorded a healthy 38-16 victory over struggling Salford, who saw Darrell Griffin receive a red card on an historic occasion.
The Griffins – Darrell, Josh and George – became the first three brothers to play together in Super League, but Darrell saw red for a high tackle just before half-time.
Widnes fully capitalised as returning captain Kevin Brown notched a hat-trick and one-time New Zealand Warrior Patrick Ah Van grabbed his seventh and eighth tries of the season.