Widnes Vikings 6-16 Leeds Rhinos

Widnes Vikings 6-16 Leeds Rhinos widnesvikings.co.uk

9th September 2018

Widnes Vikings fell to an agonising loss at the hands of Leeds Rhinos, as the away side edged a close encounter 16-6 at the Halton Stadium.

Francis Cummins made seven changes to the side which took to the field in France last week, as Joe Lyons was handed his Vikings debut. Owen Buckley, Sam Wilde, Charlie Gubb, Liam Finn, Jay Chapelhow and Danny Walker also returned in a much-changed line-up.

The first half was a tense affair with the deadlock unbroken until seven minutes before the break, as both sides defended their line well for the opening half hour.

Lyons stood up well in the early exchanges, weighing in with a number of great tackles on Brett Ferres and forcing a goal-line drop-out with a deft grubber.

Buckley thought he had made a try-scoring return soon after, as he stepped his way over only for play to be pulled back for a forward pass.

The Rhinos opened the scoring on 33 minutes from a Vikings error, as Lyons’ pass out the back found the floor and bounced kindly for Richie Myler, finding Luke Briscoe who had the pace to finish the break.

Liam Sutcliffe missed the conversion which in turn led to Widnes going into the sheds in front, as clever work from Danny Walker caught the markers not square and laid the platform for Tom Olbison to spin over from a flat pass. Krisnan Inu improved the effort to give the home team a 6-4 lead.

Half-Time: Widnes Vikings 6-4 Leeds Rhinos

Inu thought he had built on that lead when he did well to climb highest to a Finn bomb, but lost possession over the line to the despair of the home supporters.

Widnes then forced two goal-line drop-outs and earned a repeat set from a Ferres charge down, but couldn’t take advantage of their sustained pressure on the Leeds line.

Up the other end of the field the Rhinos made them pay, as Jack Walker’s quick play-the-ball gave Matt Parcell an opportunity to dart over from close range against a disjointed defence. Sutcliffe made no mistake with his second conversion attempt, making it 10-6 on 57 minutes.

A penalty in possession against Weller Hauraki killed the momentum for the Vikings after they racked up back-to-back sets, before Joe Mellor went agonisingly close soon after only for Jimmy Keinhorst to halt him a metre short.

Lyons then sparked a Vikings attack with his kick in behind early in the count, with Inu racing on to the bouncing ball. The centre then dropped the ball off for Ah Van who had the try line beckoning but couldn’t keep hold of possession.

The Rhinos then hit the home side with a sucker punch, as Sutcliffe shrugged off two defenders and sent Myler over in support to end any hopes of a late comeback. The effort was improved, and Leeds saw out the remainder of the contest to take home the two points.

Full-Time: Widnes Vikings 6-16 Leeds Rhinos

Widnes Vikings: Joe Mellor, Patrick Ah Van, Krisnan Inu, Charly Runciman, Owen Buckley, Joe Lyons, Liam Finn, Jay Chapelhow, Lloyd White, Chris Houston, Weller Hauraki, Harrison Hansen, MacGraff Leuluai. Interchanges: Danny Walker, Charlie Gubb, Tom Olbison, Sam Wilde.

Tries: Olbison (37) Goals: Inu 1/1

Leeds Rhinos: Jack Walker, Tom Briscoe, Jimmy Keinhorst, Joel Moon, Luke Briscoe, Liam Sutcliffe, Richie Myler, Dom Crosby, Brad Dwyer, Brad Singleton, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Brett Ferres, Jordan Thompson. Interchanges: Matt Parcell, Nathaniel Peteru, Cameron Smith, Josh Walters.

Tries: L. Briscoe (33), Parcell (54), Myler (78) Goals: Sutcliffe 2/3

Widnes Vikings 6-16 Leeds Rhinos widnesvikings.co.uk