Vikings silence the Thunder
Tuesday 2nd February 2010
Widnes Vikings 50
Gateshead Thunder 6
By Martin Lace
WIDNES VIKINGS began their defence of the Northern Rail Cup with a thumping win over administration hit Gateshead at Stobart Stadium.
New signing James Ford was in top form for his new club and his 65 minute effort culminated in four tries, three of them in the first half as Thunder struggled to contain him.
Widnes looked pretty slick in the first period too, especially in the backs, and they registered eight scores and it should have really been more if they could have showed the composure that was needed early on.
Anthony Thackeray got the score board ticking over for Widnes after only four minutes of play with Ford crossing for his well taken double to put the game beyond Thunder after only 16 minutes.
Steve Pickersgill, another pre-season signing for Widnes from neighbours Warrington, was in next as he stabbed through to pick his own kick up.
Scot Yates added the extras from bang in front, one of only three conversions between him and centre Shane Grady in the entire contest - despite Widnes scoring eleven tries.
Matt Gardner walked in for another four pointer for the home side on 22 minutes with Chris Dean and Grady backing those efforts up before the break.
Gateshead certainly made a fist of it in the second half and credit to them in the way they kept Widnes to only 16 points. They did get a try eight minutes from time from Robin Peters and it was everything they deserved after a spirited second half showing.
Ford grabbed his fourth eight minutes after the restart and Dean touched down on 67 minutes to take his second of the evening.
Dave Allen had the final say with five minutes to go with a walk in.
Widnes boss Paul Cullen said: "It was just good to get on the field . It was a bit disappointing that we were 34-0 up at half time and we didn't cross for a few more scores in the second half. But we can't kid ourselves - at 34-0 the game is done and dusted and we have to back ourselves up with another game at Batley on Sunday."
Widnes may be without hooker Tommy Coyle for that game after receiving a ban during a hearing yesterday morning his dismissal against Salford last week. The Vikings plan to appeal but at this moment in time the young Wiganer is out of contention.Ford limped off last night with cramp in his calf but he is expected to play against the Bulldogs