St Helens’ England hopefuls were right at the centre of their sensational comeback win over Salford Red Devils on Friday night.
At 8-24 down with eight minutes to play, Mark Percival played the ball inside to James Roby as the Saints got a foothold in the contest.
Tommy Makinson was involved in the set-up for Welshman Regan Grace’s effort a couple of minutes later before England duo Percival and Jonny Lomax teamed up to draw the sides level at 24-24.
That gave the chance to Matty Smith, capped by England four times between 2014 and 2015, the chance to slot home a mammoth drop goal to seal an incredible 25-24 win for Justin Holbrook’s side.
Prop Alex Walmsley produced another mighty performance, making 172 metres and 33 tackles on Friday. Hooker Roby was Saints’ top tackler, with 53 to his name.
Man-of-the-match Luke Gale showed superb leadership qualities to guide leaders Castleford to their third win over Leeds Rhinos in 2017, as the Tigers won 23-12 at Headingley.
In addition to kicking five goals and one try assist on the night, the half-back showed superb game control in slippery conditions and earned plenty of praise from his coach Daryl Powell after the match.
Fullback Zak Hardaker had an enjoyable night against his old side, including a brilliant 80m dash to the line for the Tigers’ second try. He made 203 metres in total, more than anyone else at Headingley on Friday.
Winger Greg Eden, a new addition to the Elite Performance Squad, continued his brilliant scoring run as he bagged his 31st of the season in a Castleford shirt with a top finish in the corner.
Elsewhere, forward Mike McMeeken made 117 metres and hooker Paul McShane made 33 tackles, the second highest for any Castleford player.
It wasn’t a particularly successful night for Leeds’ three Elite Performance squad members Ryan Hall, Stevie Ward and Kallum Watkins, with the latter making 40 tackles on the night.
George Williams turned in an inspired performance for Wigan Warriors as they drew with Huddersfield Giants for the second time this year.
The half-back landed a 40 metre drop goal which ended up securing the 19-19 draw. He also kicked three goals as well as producing a brilliant grubber kick through for Liam Marshall’s first of the evening.
After scoring on his return from injury in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup last weekend, John Bateman was on the scoresheet again with a second half try for Wigan.
Back rower Liam Farrell put in a big performance for the Warriors with 47 tackles and 153 metres at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Jermaine McGillvary continued his scoring run for the Giants, scoring his sixth try in five appearances. The winger was also Huddersfield’s top metre-maker – 193 in total.
Although he wasn’t named in the latest Elite Performance Squad, Hull FC full-back Jamie Shaul scored two more tries for the black and whites as they beat Wakefield Trinity 40-18 on Friday. He has also scored six tries in his last five in Super League matches.
Daryl Clark was influential in Warrington’s attacking play on Saturday as they defeated Catalans Dragons 24-16. EPS members Chris Hill and Mike Cooper also featured in the match.