Australian Rhys Hanbury was among the scorers as Widnes Vikings eased to a 30-18 victory in Super League and ensured the post-James Webster era began with a whimper for the Wakefield Wildcats.
Coach Webster left the Wildcats earlier this week, having led them to 12 losses in 13 matches, but things didn’t improve without him at the helm.
Stefan Marsh scored a hat-trick and Jack Owens and Lloyd White also touched down as Widnes recorded a first away win of the year, while Wakefield remain rooted to the foot of the Super League – seven points adrift of their nearest rivals.
On Friday, Leeds Rhinos ended their recent run of bad form by seeing off Hull KR 36-16 at Headingley, extending their lead at the top of the table to three points.
After losing two and drawing one of their previous three Super League games, Leeds produced a second-half blitz to pull away from their opponents, having led by just two points at the break.
Ryan Hall notched a try double while the departing Kevin Sinfield booted six goal and grabbed a try of his own to move third on the list of all-time rugby league points-scorers with 4,062.
Kieran Dixon’s pair of scores were the highlight for Hull KR, but they anxiously await news on the status of Australian winger Ken Sio, who suffered a suspected broken jaw.
The Rhinos’ advantage atop the table grew after Wigan Warriors were routed by Catalans Dragons.
French international Tony Gigot and former Newcastle Knight Zeb Taia both grabbed hat-tricks as Catalans ran in ten tries en route to a 58-16 triumph.
Josh Charnley had given Wigan an early lead before the Dragons took over and the victory sees the Perpignan side climb to sixth.
Meanwhile Wigan drop to third as St Helens produced a late defensive stand to grind out a 17-10 win over Hull FC and go second.
Australia-born Shannon McDonnell finished off well-worked move to give St Helens an early advantage but tries from Leon Pryce and Jordan Abdull levelled the scores in the second half.
Saints winger Tommy Makinson then collected Travis Burns’ kick for the decisive try and although Hull threw the proverbial kitchen sink at the visitors late on, Jordan Turner’s drop-goal made the game safe.
Meanwhile, Eorl Crabtree’s controversial late try was the difference as Huddersfield Giants battled their way to a 24-16 win over Castleford Tigers on Thursday evening.
With Huddersfield leading by just two points, Crabtree forced his way over the line among a crowd of players and after multiple replays, the video referee awarded the try – much to the disgust of the home fans.
Earlier, scores from Craig Huby, Aaron Murphy and Tonga international Ukuma Ta’ai had put the Giants in control.
But Jake Webster, Ben Roberts and Michael Shenton brought Castleford within two points before Crabtree, who has made 350 appearances for Huddersfield, sealed it.
And Gene Ormsby was the star of the show for Warrington Wolves, bagging a hat-trick in their 34-18 win over Salford.