REPORT: Widnes Vikings 16-14 St Helens

REPORT: Widnes Vikings 16-14 St Helens

22nd April 2017

A brace from Patrick Ah Van would help Widnes Vikings claim their first home win of the 2017 season with a 16-14 win over St Helens on Friday night.

The home side, like they had in previous home games this year, started strongly and were pressurising the Saints line in the first ten minutes without making a breakthrough. However, they were to score shortly afterwards through Co-captain Joe Mellor.

The Vikings shifted the ball to their right to find Rhys Hanbury, who broke the St Helens line of defence, then passed on his inside looking for Mellor which was palmed back by the Saints. With the bouncing ball heading towards the St Helens line, the Vikings half back was able to get to the ball first to score. Tom Gilmore added the extras.

St Helens were not behind for long and responded by French half back Theo Fages. Saints move the ball to their left on the last tackle to Fages, and initially wanted to kick the ball but juggled the pass to him but was able to regather the ball and burrow over. Mark Percival converted the try. 

It would be the Vikings that would respond to the scores being levelled and it would be Patrick Ah Van that would get on the scoresheet. On the back of a penalty, the Vikings were put into an attacking position and shifted the ball to their left edge with a nice shift and Runciman was able to quickly get a nice ball out to Ah Van who finished nicely in the corner and was confirmed by the video referee. Gilmore added the extras from the touchline. 

The Vikings would not go into the break in front however, as Matty Smith was able to level the scores just before the half-time hooter. Saints were put into Widnes’ 20 metre line through a penalty and Smith received the ball, dummied to give the ball out the back and was able to get himself over and the ball down despite the best efforts from home debutant Danny Walker. Video referee confirmed the try and Percival levelled the scores once more at the break.

Half-Time: Widnes Vikings 12-12 St Helens

St Helens would be the side to first post some points in the second half, and it would be through the boot of Mark Percival. The Saints were given a penalty for offside on the Vikings 30 metre line and Percival made no mistake in adding two points to their tally and putting the away side in the lead for the first time in the game. 

Both sides would spend the next ten minutes with opportunities on their opponents line, without managing to break it down. St Helens thought they had pushed themselves further in front when a possible try was sent upstairs for Luke Thompson but the try was ruled out for a knock on. 

The Vikings would rally, and the game swung when a Mellor grubber kick was collected by Adam Swift just in front of his own line under the sticks, and Danny Walker, making his first home appearance in Super League, somehow managed to force the winger back in-goal and a goal line drop out was given.  

From that group out, the Vikings would deservedly get themselves back in front through Patrick Ah Van. The home side go down the short left side on the last tackle, and a nice move would see Ah Van crash onto a Tom Gilmore inside pass and find a gap to score for the Vikings. Gilmore’s conversion hit the post and bounced away to make it a two point game with ten minutes to go.  

St Helens would try to respond and get themselves a late winning try, but good defence from the Vikings, and a forward pass from Ricky Bailey to Kyle Amor after making a break, meant the home side would claim their first home win of the 2017 season.

Full-Time: Widnes Vikings 16-14 St Helens

Widnes: Hanbury, Thompson, Bridge, Runciman, Ah Van, Mellor, Gilmore, Dudson, Johnstone, Buchanan, Houston, Dean, Gerrard.

Replacements: Whitley, Burke, J. Chapelhow, D. Walker.

St Helens: Bailey, Swift, Fleming, Percival, Grace, Fages, Smith, Richards, Lee, Amor, Taia, Wilkin, Thompson.

Replacements: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Walmsley, Peyroux, Knowles.

Tickets for the Vikings next game at Salford Red Devils on Sunday 30th April are on sale. Full ticket information can be found here.

REPORT: Widnes Vikings 16-14 St Helens