24th September 2017, 16:43 | englandrl
With the World Cup kicking off in just over a month, we take a look at how the players in the Elite Performance Squad got on in this weekend’s Betfred Super League Super8s…
A much changed Castleford lineup saw Zak Hardaker & Michael Shenton rested by Daryl Powell as the Tigers look to reach Old Trafford for the first time. Luke Gale was also absent as he continues his recovery from an emergency appendectomy.
Paul McShane, Mike McMeeken and Greg Eden all featured for Castleford on Friday night, however they were unable to stop Hull Fc claiming a big 48-16 win.
Scott Taylor put in another powerful performance for the Black & Whites against Castleford notching up an impressive 132 metres with 3 tackle busts and one try assist.
One week on from becoming a father, Alex Walmsley returned for Saints on Thursday with a Man of the Match performance, scoring two important tries as they looked to secure a top 4 spot for the Super League semi-finals. Not only did Walmsley score two tries he also topped the metre maker table for the game with an impressive 175 metres – a performance which will help see him crowned top metre maker at next week’s Man of Steel Awards.
Walmsley was joined on the score sheet by Mark Percival as he got over the whitewash for his 16th try of the Super League season and further cement his spot as St Helens’ top scorer in 2017.
In a match dominated by veteran half-backs Danny McGuire & Rob Burrow, Kallum Watkins stepped up with a try, two tackle busts and 131 metres to help Leeds Rhinos towards victory over a Huddersfield Giants team who already knew this would be their last game of the season.
On the ground where he scored a very memorable try in 2015, Ryan Hall was a powerful presence on the Leeds wing, covering over 100 metres and providing an assist as Leeds won 36-12.
Saturday’s Super8s clash between Wakefield Trinity and Wigan Warriors saw the Cherry & Whites needing to score an unlikely 91 unanswered points to make the top 4.
Captain Sean O’Loughlin was once again missing from the line-up again as he struggles to recover from a calf strain, however George Williams, John Bateman and Liam Farrell all featured in a tough game which saw Shaun Wane’s men fall to a 32-0 loss - a defeat that means that Wigan have now lost every time Sean O’Loughlin hasn’t featured in this season