Gilmore looking to build on Festive Derby

Gilmore looking to build on Festive Derby

28th December 2016

Tom Gilmore believes that Widnes Vikings can take a lot of positives from their Festive Derby defeat to Warrington Wolves.

Despite starting brightly to the game, and leading for most of the fixture, the Vikings were eventually beaten 28-18 by Tony Smith’s side in a chilly afternoon at the Select Security Stadium. 

Gilmore was playing his first game wearing the famous Widnes Vikings number 7, and said that despite the result not being in their favour, there was a lot they could take away from the game.

“I think we started off the game really well,” he said.

“I think in the first half we showed some good stuff at times and we defended our line really well. We also blew a couple of opportunities early on and we could have genuinely been 12-18 points further in front than what we was at half-time.

“I think in the back end of the game we got a little tired after a few interchanges, but that can’t be used as an excuse as we had a lot of young lads out from the start. But I really think it’s a good starting block for us to build on and a learning curve for everyone as we move on now further into our pre-season.”

Gilmore has joined the long list of famous scrum halves to wear that shirt over the years, and says that although seeing himself in the shirt was great, he believes it didn’t affect his performance in any way and there was no added pressure.

“I don’t think it was a massive difference to me to be honest,” he said.

“I must admit that I enjoyed walking into the changing room before the game and seeing ‘Gilmore 7’ on the back of the shirt hanging in my space.

“To be honest though, I don’t think I played any differently than what I have done in the past or will do in the future. I thought I held my own and played okay in the game but there’s still stuff for me to work on.”

The 22 year-old looked to form a great combination with half-back partner Joe Mellor and full-back Danny Craven throughout, and Gilmore says the partnership with both those players was something that he found quite pleasing after the game.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with Danny,” he said.

“I’ve played with him from a young age so I know what he’s good at and we know how each other can play so it worked well. 

“With Joey, I think today was good for us and we can only build on that combination as we go further into the games in pre-season. The more we’re playing together and working on stuff in games, the more we can improve, and I think you saw glimpses of that today.”

There was a disallowed try in the game for Craven in the first half that displayed a brilliant piece of play between the three, and Gilmore says that moves such as that will hopefully be fine tuned when the season comes around in February.

“Unfortunately for us, the referee thought the final ball was forward,” he said.

“But that kind of move shows we can do in attack and hopefully it’s something that hopefully will come off from February onwards and getting those moves together in pre-season is exactly what these games are for.“

With just two games to go until the 2017 Betfred Super League campaign gets underway, the 22-year old believes the Vikings have a lot to build on, but also a lot to work on before the season comes around.

“I think we can definitely take our first half and how we played in that first 40,” he said.

“We completed well and kept turning them round with our kicking game, which I thought was really good today, and we did the little things right. 

“Warrington caught us quickly a few times around the ruck and hopefully we can tidy that up in the future, get a few boys back and hopefully build on that performance.”

Gilmore looking to build on Festive Derby