Widnes Vikings suffered defeat in the league for the first time this season with a 24-34 loss at home to Barrow Raiders in Round Five of the Betfred Championship.
Head Coach Simon Finnigan described this as our biggest test of the season so far, being back at home and going against another unbeaten side in the league. After a fast start from the Vikings with tries through Sam Wilde and Ste Tyrer in the opening 15 minutes to put us 12-0 ahead, errors and ill discipline allowed Barrow back into the game.
A soft try straight from the scrum by Raiders half-back Jarrod Sammut gave them a confidence boost heading into the last 20 minutes of the first half, with the scoreline at 12-6.
Tee Ritson crossed in the right-hand corner after a kick was not dealt with by the Vikings defence allowing Hakim Miloudi to dance his way around three defenders before putting his winger over for another Barrow try.
With the game in the balance at 12-10 with Barrow edging the field possession battle and marching us down the middle of the field, Lloyd Roby worked his way to the line off the back of a short side play on our left edge. Another successful conversion from Ste Tyrer took the game to 18-10 with less than a minute on the clock before half time.
Barrow then went up the other end of the field and scored on the hooter which brought them back within a score of taking the lead, giving them confidence heading into the second half.
Three minutes into the second half saw Frenchman Miloudi cross again to put Barrow ahead for the first time in the game. After this try, the Raiders continued to complete their sets at a higher rate than Widnes and edged the territory battle with the Vikings blowing several excellent opportunities to score tries of their own.
Errors and ill discipline finally took its toll on the Vikings when centre Ste Tyrer was sent to the sin bin for an alleged raised knee trying to regather a Matty Smith kick, a controversial decision, and in that 10 minutes Barrow scored again to take them out to a two-score lead.
Carl Forster then crashed over a tired Widnes defence close to the line and the game was as good as over with 10 minutes to go. We gained a consolation try through hooker Matty Fozard, but weren’t good enough to pick up the two points against the Cumbrian outfit who were good value for their win.
We now have a weekend off and will be preparing to travel to the LNER Stadium to play York City Knights in Round 6 of the Betfred Championship looking to put this result behind us and to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.
Widnes Vikings: Lloyd Roby, Ryan Ince, Ste Tyrer, Matt Fleming, Brad Holroyd, Joe Lyons, Matty Smith, Tyler Dupree, Matty Fozard, Shane Grady, Sam Wilde, Olly Davies, Aaron Brown.
Interchanges: Eribe Doro, Adam Lawton, Will Tilleke, Dec Gregory.
Tries: Sam Wilde, Ste Tyrer, Lloyd Roby, Matty Fozard.
Goals: Ste Tyrer (4/4)
Barrow Raiders: Luke Cresswell, Tee Ritson, Hakim Miloudi, Ryan Shaw, Shane Toal, Jake Carter, Jarrod Sammut, Carl Forster, Josh Wood, Ellis Gillam, Tom Hopkins, Jarrad Stack, Anton Iaria.
Interchanges: Nathan Mossop, Jack Wells, Josh Johnson, Dan Toan.
Tries: Jarrod Sammut, Tee Ritson (2), Hakim Miloudi, Luke Cresswell, Carl Forster.
Goals: Ryan Shaw (3/5), Jake Carter.
Penalty goals: Ryan Shaw (2).