Widnes Vikings 40-12 Rochdale Hornets

Widnes Vikings 40-12 Rochdale Hornets widnesvikings.co.uk
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7th July 2019

Widnes Vikings made it six home victories in a row, as a dominant second half proved enough to see off Rochdale Hornets, in a 40-12 win in Round 20 of the Betfred Championship.

Patrick Ah Van marked his return to the club with a brace of tries, while Jack Owens collected a hat-trick in an eight-try victory at the Halton Stadium.

It was also a landmark occasion for academy graduate Owen Farnworth, as he made his 20th appearance for the Vikings and became the 16th member of Club 20.

Kieron Purtill made six changes to the side that were beaten at Odsal last weekend, as Olly Ashall-Bott, Chris Dean, Hep Cahill and Jay Chapelhow all made a welcome return from injury.

Tom Gilmore also came in, with Ah Van starting on the wing following his return to the club on a short-term deal.

Lloyd Roby was drafted into the 17 just moments before kick-off, as Keanan Brand dropped out during the warm-up. Despite his late inclusion he managed to open the scoring after just two minutes, as the returning Ah Van made a break down the left wing and drew the fullback to send Roby over in support.

Just five minutes later, Ah Van marked his first appearance back in Widnes colours with a try of his own, as Danny Craven’s drop-off ended with the winger barging over from close range.

The away side refused to lie down after conceding two early scores, and enjoyed a promising spell before breaking their deadlock on 26 minutes, with Brandon Wood backing up a Jordan Case break.

Five minutes before the break the Vikings replied, as Farnworth won a penalty before the ball was moved left for Jack Owens, who danced his way past a couple of defenders to score.

His third missed conversion from three attempts saw the score remain 12-6 as the teams headed down the tunnel for half time.

Half-time: Widnes Vikings 12-6 Rochdale Hornets

After struggling to break down their opponents in the later stages of the first period, Widnes came out all guns blazing in the second half as they piled on the points.

The first score after the break came on 50 minutes, off the back of a brilliant break from Ashall-Bott, as he carved through the middle of the Rochdale defence. A penalty followed, and Danny Craven dummied a pass, creating a gap which he went through to score.

Six minutes later Owens had his second of the afternoon when he chased an inch-perfect Gilmore kick back on the inside, touching down under the sticks for a well worked effort.

On the hour mark Ah Van also scored his second of the game, as a scrum on the Hornets’ 10 metre line led to the ball being shifted left to Craven, who found the winger out wide for a walk-in.

Within three minutes the Vikings were in again, as Ashall-Bott collected an offload from Owens to dive in out wide on his long-awaited return to action. A coming-together followed the try, as Wood hit the try scorer late, with the Rochdale winger sin binned along with Widnes captain Cahill.

With both sides down to 12-men, Owens completed his hat-trick when Harrison Hansen made a break down the right and found the supporting Ashall-Bott, who put a grubber kick through for the fullback to pick up and score.

Five tries in 15 minutes put the game to bed, however the Hornets managed to pick up a consolation effort through prop forward Callum Marriott, as he charged onto a ball to barge his way over.

Thomas added the last points of the game with the conversion, making the final score 40-12 as the Vikings picked up a well-earned 2 points.

Full-time: Widnes Vikings 40-12 Rochdale Hornets

Widnes Vikings: Jack Owens, Olly Ashall-Bott, Chris Dean, Lloyd Roby, Patrick Ah Van, Danny Craven, Tom Gilmore, Ted Chapelhow, Jordan Johnstone, Jay Chapelhow, Harrison Hansen, Sam Wilde, Hep Cahill.

Interchanges: Jacob Dugdale, Dan Norman, MacGraff Leuluai, Owen Farnworth.

Tries: Roby (2), Ah Van (7, 60), Owens (35, 56, 65), Craven (50), Ashall-Bott (63)

Goals: Owens 4/8

Sin-bin: Cahill (63’ – fighting)

Rochdale Hornets: Oscar Thomas, Shaun Ainscough, Jordan Case, Brandon Wood, Kevin Brown, Pierre Bourrel, Izaac Farrell, Callum Marriott, Callum Wood, Adam Lawton, Michael Weldon, Kyle Shelford, Ellis Robson.

Interchanges: Zac Baker, Lewis Sheridan, Ben Kilner, Lee Mitchell.

Tries: Brown (26), Marriott (78)

Goals: Thomas 2/2

Sin-bin: Wood (63’ – late tackle)

This match report was written by Liam Flanagan, work experience student from Wade Deacon High School.

Widnes Vikings 40-12 Rochdale Hornets widnesvikings.co.uk