Widnes Vikings 18-28 Warrington Wolves

Widnes Vikings 18-28 Warrington Wolves widnesvikings.co.uk

27th December 2016

Widnes Vikings were beaten in their first pre-season fixture of 2017 as they went down 28-18 to local rivals Warrington Wolves in the Festive Derby. 

In what was a chilly afternoon at the Select Security Stadium, it was the home side that started the brighter of the two teams and new Vikings number seven Tom Gilmore impressed early on, and almost found a way through the Warrington defence as he sidestepped two before being tackle just a metre short of the try line.

The breakthrough for the first try of the afternoon was following a brilliant Danny Craven 40/20 that put the Vikings on the front foot. From that kick, the Vikings score through Stefan Marsh after a brilliant cut out pass from Gilmore that missed out two men and allowed Marsh to easily walk in at the corner. Marsh converted his own try.

From this try, Warrington started to gain the ascendancy, but brilliant Widnes defence on a number of occasions meant the home side stayed in front. With the pressure from the Wolves survived, the Vikings had a try disallowed as brilliant combination play between Joe Mellor, Tom Gilmore and Danny Craven meant the full back hit a brilliant inside ball from Gilmore and over the line, however the referee brought the play back for a forward pass.

From the following set, Jack Johnson broke the Widnes defence and rounded Danny Craven, however the Vikings were able to scramble back and force Johnson to knock the ball on over the try line as he tried to put the ball down. Livett and Evans went close in further sets before Warrington finally got themselves onto the board as centre Harvey Livett outmuscled Danny Craven after collecting a high bomb to power over. Just like Marsh, Livett converted his own try to level the scores.

The scores were tied for just three minutes as Ryan Ince collected a brilliant Gilmore grubber kick in behind the Warrington defence to score in the right hand corner. Marsh missed the conversion to make it 10-6 to the Vikings at the half time.

A steady start was made to the second half of the game, as both sides went set-for-set in the early stages, but just like the first half, it was the home side that would strike first.

On the back of a Vikings penalty that put them into Warrington’s twenty, Widnes showed great hands to shift the ball to 17-year old Keanan Brand to finish superbly in the corner. The conversion was again missed by the Vikings to make it 14-6.

For the second time in the game, the Vikings managed to lose the ball from the kick off and from that, Warrington responded immediately. The Wolves middles created space on the left edge for Ryan Atkins to collect a great ball and barge over from close range. Livett converted the try to take them within two points at 14-12.

Both sides were pushing to score further tries, and it was another Vikings academy product to get his name on the scoresheet next. Following a high kick to the right hand corner, debutant Tom Armstrong challenged for the ball, and in doing so ricocheted the ball back into the arms of Liam Walsh to dive over from close range. Danny Craven missed the conversion to keep the score at 18-12.

Warrington were quick to respond to the Vikings try with a charge down from a Danny Craven kick. The rebound bounced kindly for Toby King, who juggled with the ball before collecting firmly and running 50 metres to score. Livett missed this time with the conversion to once again reduce the gap to two points at 18-16.

As the Vikings were starting to tire, the Wolves were firmly on the front foot in the latter stages, and made their dominance show with a two quick fire tries. 

Firstly, Declan Kay was given an easy walk-in try on the back of a goal line drop-out at the left hand corner after brilliant hands from his inside teammates. Livett converted again from the touchline to give the Wolves the lead for the first time in the game at 18-22. 

Then Rhys Evans was the final scorer of the game as the Wolves went close in two previous tackles, and a quick shift to the right hand edge allowed Evans to slide over to seal the victory for Tony Smith’s side.

Final Score: Widnes Vikings 18-28 Warrington Wolves

Widnes Vikings 18-28 Warrington Wolves widnesvikings.co.uk