Widnes Vikings 20-21 London Broncos

Widnes Vikings 20-21 London Broncos widnesvikings.co.uk
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9th August 2018

Widnes Vikings fell to a devastating 21-20 defeat at the hands of London Broncos in their opening Super 8s fixture, as Jarrod Sammut’s last minute drop-goal proved to be the difference.

Francis Cummins made six changes to the side who were beaten by Castleford Tigers, as Charlie Gubb was handed his debut. Olly Ashall-Bott, Charly Runciman, Chris Houston, Aaron Heremaia and Gil Dudson also came in, replacing Rhys Hanbury, Ryan Ince, Jay Chapelhow, Owen Farnworth, Danny Craven and Ted Chapelhow.

The first half saw both defences cancel each other out, as the Vikings line had to stand firm on a number of occasions.

Runciman had a try disallowed for obstruction early on, as Widnes were left frustrated.

Ashall-Bott finally opened the scoring eight minutes from the break, as he chimed into the line and found a hole in the defence. The try came off the back of a clever chip over the top from Joe Mellor, which saw Chris Dean force the fullback in-goal, and Krisnan Inu improved the effort to give the Vikings a 6-0 lead.

Half-Time: Widnes Vikings 6-0 London Broncos

It took the visitors just three minutes of the second period to break their deadlock, as Rhys Williams broke through the middle and found Sammut in support. He was hauled down short before Mark Ioane bounced off Inu’s attempted tackle on the next play and found his way over for an unconverted effort.

Widnes replied via a penalty goal seven minutes later, with London penned for hands in the tackle as Heremaia attempted to play the ball. Inu added the two points from in front to give the hosts a four-point advantage.

An error from Kieran Dixon then put the Vikings in a dangerous position, as he fumbled a Liam Finn grubber on his own 20 metre line. From the resulting set, Mellor took the ball to the line and hit Dean with a flat pass, as the back rower touched down for a six pointer.

Up the other end of the field it was déjà vu, as Runciman came up with a similar error from James Cunningham’s grubber with Pewhairangi sending Daniel Harrison over untouched. Sammut improved the try to cut the London deficit to 14-10.

The scores were level on 62 minutes as a high bomb was knocked on by the Vikings defence and regathered by the Broncos, leading to some slick hands sending Dixon over in the corner. Sammut dragged the conversion attempt wide.

London had the lead within five minutes, as Finn floated a cut-out ball towards Runciman only for Dixon to pluck the ball from the air and race 70 metres to dive under the sticks. Sammut’s simple conversion gave the away side a 20-14 lead.

With five minutes left on the clock, the Vikings brought the scores level as Finn’s last tackle kick was spilled into Inu’s possession, who wrestled the ball to the ground under the pressure of a number of defenders. He then converted his own try to make it 20-20.

Mellor scuffed a rushed field-goal attempt before London went up the other end of the field where Sammut landed the game winning one-pointer.

Full-time: Widnes Vikings 20-21 London Broncos

Widnes Vikings: Olly Ashall-Bott, Charly Runciman, Matt Whitley, Krisnan Inu, Patrick Ah Van, Joe Mellor, Liam Finn, Chris Houston, Aaron Heremaia, Gil Dudson, Chris Dean, Harrison Hansen, Weller Hauraki. Interchages: MacGraff Leuluai, Charlie Gubb, Tom Olbison, Danny Walker.

Tries: Ashall-Bot (32), Dean (55), Inu (75) Goals: Inu 4/4

London Broncos: Alex Walker, Kieran Dixon, Ben Hellewell, Elliott Kear, Rhys Williams, Api Pewhairangi, James Cunningham, Eddie Battye, Eloi Pelissier, Ben Evans, Jay Pitts, Daniel Hindmarsh-Takyi, Matthew Davis. Interchanges: Thomas Spencer, Mark Ioane, Daniel Harrison, Jarrod Sammut.

Tries: Ioane (43), Harrison (59), Dixon (62, 67) Goals: Sammut 2/4 Field-goal: Sammut (80)

Widnes Vikings 20-21 London Broncos widnesvikings.co.uk