ACADEMY REPORT: Widnes Vikings 22-34 Leeds Rhinos

ACADEMY REPORT: Widnes Vikings 22-34 Leeds Rhinos

27th February 2017

Despite a brave effort to try and come from 18 points down, the young Vikings were unable to overcome Leeds Rhinos on Saturday afternoon at the Halton Stadium.

The opening 15 minutes were probably a reflection of the game itself, with Leeds in the ascendency and Widnes suffering handling errors.  Leeds forced two goal line drop outs and scored from both.  The opening try was scored by prop Owen Trout and Kiedan Hartley followed shortly afterwards.  Half back Tom Schofield converted both scores.

A rare Widnes attack saw them force a drop out but they were unable to break a resolute defence and two unforced errors handed the possession back to the Rhinos.  Leeds once again turned concerted pressure into points when Trout scored his second and when Schofield added the extras the game looked all over at 18-0.

The Vikings would then rally and refuse to be beaten. Fullback Sam Freeman showed great determination and strength to somehow force his way over the line to open the home side's account, but at half time Leeds were in control.

A more determined Widnes entered the field for the second half and, after two close efforts, their pressure was rewarded when Danny King went over.  Two minutes later Widnes moved the ball right and Jayden Hatton scored in the corner.  Sam Freeman was unable to convert the difficult kicks but Widnes were now only six points adrift at 12-18.   Having dragged themselves back into the game, Widnes went looking for another try but just when another score looked likely, a loose pass was intercepted and fullback, Hartley, went 70 metres to touchdown to which Schofield added the two points.

Brad Walker then put his team under further pressure when conceding three quick penalties, the latter two being for dissent and he was despatched to the sin bin.  Despite this, Pat McCarroll reduced the arrears to six points again as he barged over from short range. With Freeman converting, it was 18-24 with 17 minutes left. 

Once again, all the good work was undone as a high kick saw two Widnes players converge on the ball and, with neither player appearing to assert themselves and claim the ball, Hartley was presented with his hat-trick try. Schofield maintained his 100% conversion rate.  Sam Freeman, who ran well all game, claimed his second try but it was Hartley who would have the last laugh, as he claimed his fourth try to seal the Leeds victory right on the final whistle.

Widnes Vikings

Sam Freeman, Owen Buckley, Ben Davies, Lloyd Roby, Jayden Hatton, Joe Lyons, Chris Wilson, Owen Farnworth, Danny Walker, Pat McCarroll, Danny King, Dan Norman, Brad Walker.

SUBS:  Jake Alder, James Rutledge, Louis Glover, Max Dudley.


Tries:  Freeman 2, Hatton, King, McCarroll,

Goals: Freeman 1/5


Leeds Rhinos

Kiedan Hartley, Harry Boyes, Harry Newman, Tom Hall, Reece Chapman-Smith, Jack Walker, Tom Schofield, Owen Trout, Harvey Whiteley, Spencer Darley, Alex Sutcliffe, Ellis Nuttall, Loui McConnell.

SUBS:  Harrison Scott, Muizz Mustapha, James Barraclough, Connor Sunderland.


Tries:  Hartley 4, Trout 2

Goals:  Schofield 5/6

HT   4-18

FT    22-34

Pens  9-12

ACADEMY REPORT: Widnes Vikings 22-34 Leeds Rhinos