St Helens 16-0 Widnes Vikings

St Helens 16-0 Widnes Vikings widnesvikings.co.uk
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22nd January 2017

Widnes Vikings were beaten 16-0 by St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium to lose the Karalius Cup for the first time in three years.

It was St Helens who were the first team threatening to open the scoring as a Matty Smith grubber kick into the Vikings in-goal area was almost collected by half back partner Theo Fages, but Corey Thompson was able to get to the loose ball first.

The home side were not to be kept out for much longer though, as it was one of the Saints’ new signings Ryan Morgan, who opened the scoring. Fages broke through a Vikings attempted tackle and drew in full-back Rhys Hanbury before passing right to the supporting centre to slide over close to the sticks. Matty Smith added the extras to make it 6-0 to St Helens.

Most of the chances to score in the first half were for St Helens, and winger Adam Swift would have had a walk-in try had Fages not slipped with the ball at the vital moment, after collecting a palm back from a Wilkin high kick, before two Vikings tacklers came in to stop Fages releasing the ball.

In a tight and hard-fought first half, Saints almost scored again as they shifted the ball to the left hand side, but a great tackle from Armstrong stopped Fages from breaking through the line. Fages did manage to shift the ball wide, but the pass was ruled forward and the Vikings survived to hold the score at just 6-0 at the break.

Half-Time: St Helens 6-0 Widnes Vikings

It was the home side that came out quickest in the second half and scored within a couple of minutes through Jake Spedding. A grubber kick on the last tackle into the in-goal was not collected by full back Rhys Hanbury and Jake Spedding was first to get to the loose ball and touch down for St Helens. Richardson wasn’t able to convert the try to keep the scores at 10-0. 

The Vikings then started to threaten the St Helens line to try and get themselves back into the game, and almost scored through Corey Thompson. Gilmore, Craven and then Armstrong showed great hands to get the ball wide to the winger, but Thompson wasn’t able to get the ball over the line and was pushed into touch by three St Gelens defenders.

The Vikings came even closer to crossing the line as Danny Craven ran a great line onto a flat Gilmore pass and looked like he’d scored in front of the Vikings travelling support to pull the score back to within a try, however the referee pulled the play back and ruled that Gilmore’s pass was forward. 

That call was tough on the Vikings, and the game was all but sealed a few minutes later as Theo Fages was able to pounce on a deflected grubber kick to score. The grubber kick looked to be fast-paced and heading dead in-goal, but instead it managed to hit the padding of the goalposts and Fages was first to dive onto the ball to score. Richardson converted to make it 16-0.

St Helens' victory means they win the Karalius Cup for the first time in three years.

Full-Time: St Helens 16-0 Widnes Vikings.

St Helens 16-0 Widnes Vikings widnesvikings.co.uk