Huddersfield Giants maintained their recent good record to see off London Broncos, but it was a case of what might have been for Hull FC at Catalan Dragons.
London coach Joe Grima has bemoaned the fact his side gave Huddersfield a 20-point head start as they slipped to a 38-22 defeat.
The Giants ran in four tries to one to go 22-6 up at the break, but the Broncos managed to draw the second half with both sides scoring three tries a piece.
It left Grima, who replaced Tony Rea at the helm last month, wondering what might have been as his side slipped to a 17th consecutive defeat.
Speaking after the game he detailed his two main aims for the rest of the season - improve London’s defence and avoid the Super League wooden spoon.
“You can’t give any team a 20-point start, let alone a side like Huddersfield Giants,” Grima said.
“There’s got to be a wooden spoonist in every competition, but we’ll be doing our best to avoid it.”
Elsewhere, Catalans Dragons overcame a late Hull FC comeback to seal a 20-16 victory to continue their recent impressive run of results.
Leon Pryce had a hand in three of four Catalan tries to seal an impressive performance for the Dragons’ half back.
Catalan had to contend with the late withdrawal of Louis Anderson from the side, as well as former player, Setaimata Sa, playing for Hull against his former side for the first time since departing to rugby union eighteen months ago.
The hosts started much the brightly, with Ben Pomeroy seizing on a kick from Richard Horne in the 11th minute to release Morgan Escare for a 95-metre dash to score. Thomas Bosc added the conversion to give the hosts an early six-point-lead.
This was extended six minutes later, with Leon Pryce putting in a high, cross field kick to the right corner that was taken by Michael Oldfield who touched down. Bosc missed the conversion.
Hull got back into the game just after the half-hour mark as Gareth Ellis capitalised on weak defence from Bosc to charge over and register Hull’s first points of the game. Jordan Rankin was unable to add the extras.
Pryce was tackled just short of the line before the interval, but Benjamin Garcia picked up to race over from short range to score under the posts. Bosc added the simple conversion to take the half time score to 16-4.
The Dragons must have thought they had the result wrapped up when Daryl Millard raced down the left touchline to score after a superb pass from Pryce, but crucially Bosc missed the conversion.
Catalan then had a try ruled out on the hour after Vincent Duport was found to have taken a Hull FC player out off the ball earlier in the play.
That inspired Hull to score back-to-back tries.
They broke up field from the penalty and superb footwork from Fetuli Telanoa created space down the Hull left and his neat offload to Kirk Yeaman sent the centre in at the left corner. Rankin added the touchline conversion to take the scores to 20-10.
Three minutes later, Hull were in again, Jamie Shaul taking Joe Westerman’s pass and rounding Millard on the right hand side in one motion before racing in at the right corner.
Rankin showed his kicking prowess by adding a second touchline conversion from the opposite side to narrow the scores to 20-16 with fifteen minutes still to play.
Nerves were clearly on show as both sides battled to try and win the game, with Bosc missing a penalty from 30 metres and both teams guilty of dropping the ball in threatening situations.
As time was running down, Hull were awarded a scrum, but Josh Bowden knocked on with seconds remaining to seal the Catalan win.