WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats spoiled the Widnes Vikings party by opening Super League XVII with a 32-14 victory at the Stobart Stadium on Friday night.
Tries from Ali Lauitiiti, Andy Raleigh, Richie Mathers, Tim Smith and a brace from Peter Fox gave Richard Agar’s men maximum points against a Vikings side celebrating a return to the top flight.
The hosts led 10-4 at half-time, Danny Craven and Patrick Ah Van crossing the whitewash while Hep Cahill added another for the hosts on the resumption.
But Wildcats proved too strong in the second half to run out comfortable winners in Cheshire.
Leeds Rhinos also stormed to victory on Friday night with a 34-16 win over Hull KR at Headingley Carnegie.
A second-half Kallum Watkins hat-trick was the highlight on a night Rovers looked to cause an upset by leading the champions 12-10 after 56 minutes.
But Watkins struck twice in five minutes to put Leeds in control and completed his treble eight minutes from time to secure victory for Leeds.
Kevin Sinfield, making his 400th appearance, kicked five conversions to complement other tries from Brett Delaney, Brent Webb and Danny McGuire.
Graeme Horne (2), Kris Welham and David Hodgson scored the KR tries.
On Saturday Castleford Tigers opened with a 24-10 victory at a snowy Salford City Reds.
The Reds were keen to open their Salford City Stadium with success but Ian Millward’s men spoiled their big night.
Full-back Richard Owen led the try-scoring with a brace while Josh Griffin and Adam Milner also got in the points.
A James Roby-inspired St Helens opened up their 2012 campaign with a 34-24 win at London Broncos.
Roby bagged a late try to secure the points at Twickenham Stoop and created two more as Saints came from 18-16 down at half-time to secure victory.
Jonny Lomax, Andrew Dixon, Jamie Foster and Francis Meli also got on the try-scoring sheet for Saints while Michael Robertson, Olsi Krasniqi, Chris Bailey and Michael Witt scored for Broncos.
Huddersfield Giants pulled off the shock of the day on Sunday as they kicked-off the new campaign with a 20-16 win at 2010 champions Wigan Warriors.
Giants were without several key players for their opener but 23-year-old Larne Patrick was the hero, scoring two tries to lead Giants to victory at the DW Stadium.
Lee Gilmour also scored while Sam Tomkins, Liam Farrell and Sean O’Loughlin replied for the hosts.
Danny Brough’s kicking was the difference, kicking four successful attempts to Pat Richards’s two.
Rhys Evans rescued a point for Warrington Wolves in a 20-20 draw at Hull FC.
Ben Westwood had the chance to win it for Wolves but he missed the conversion, leaving both sides content with a share of the spoils.
Kirk Yeaman, Danny Tickle (2) and Tom Briscoe found their way over the line for the hosts while Trent Waterhouse, Rhys Williams and Simon Grix crossed for Wolves before Evans levelled late on.
Catalans Dragons started their season in winning fashion against a poor Bradford Bulls side at Odsal.
Jason Baitieri, Clint Greenshields, Thomas Bosc, Setaimata Sa, Daryl Millard and Sebastien Raguin ran in tries as the French side chalked up an impressive 34-12 win.
Jamie Langley and Elliot Kear scored for the Bulls in a match Bradford fans will look to quickly forget.
See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest sports news from around the district.