REPORT: St Helens 26-10 Widnes Vikings

REPORT: St Helens 26-10 Widnes Vikings

9th June 2017

St Helens ran out 26-10 winners over Widnes Vikings at the Totally Wicked Stadium, denying the Vikings a third successive win in the Betfred Super League.

The Vikings, wearing black armbands in memory of Manase Manuokafoa’s father who has sadly passed away, started the game with all the pressure and field position inside the first 20 minutes. With that pressure, the breakthrough almost came as Charly Runciman side-stepped Ryan Morgan well to reach the line but knocked the ball on in the act of scoring.

Not being able to turn pressure into points, the Vikings fell behind as Justin Holbrook’s side opened the night’s scoring through Mark Percival. Saints shifted the ball quickly to their left edge, and Percival broke the line. The centre then offloaded to his winger, Regan Grace, who looked to be tackled by the Vikings defence, but offloaded superbly to Percival. Percival scored and went on to convert his own try.

St Helens extended their lead shortly afterwards through Regan Grace. Saints shifted the ball left once more and Lomax’s cut-out pass put Grace into open space, and he was able to muscle over the top of Jack Johnson to score. Percival couldn’t add the extras from the touchline.

Half-Time: St Helens 10-0 Widnes Vikings

The Vikings came out quickly in the second half, and scored a nice try on the right edge through Ryan Ince. The Vikings shifted it out the back to full back, Jack Johnson, who drew in Regan Grace and gave the ball to Ince, who finished acrobatically in the corner. Danny Craven couldn’t convert Ryan’s try from the touchline.

On the back of a number of penalties giving them field position, St Helens extended their lead again as prop forward Alex Walmsley crashed onto a short ball close to the Vikings’ line and couldn’t be stopped. Percival added the simple conversion. 

Two minutes later and St Helens stretched the scoreline further through Ryan Morgan. Smith and Fages combined nicely to put Lomax into space on the right edge, and the fullback passed out his centre in Morgan to go over untouched. Percival missed the touchline conversion.

The Vikings rallied though and scored a wonderful try through returning half back Danny Craven. Buchanan hit Dudson on a short, flat pass, Gil half broke the line and offloaded brilliantly in the tackle to the supporting Craven, who scored under the sticks. Danny converted his own try to reduce the gap once more to 10 points.

St Helens rounded off the night’s scoring with just two minutes to go with a fortuitous play from Theo Fages. The half-back charged down Craven’s kick, sending the ball spiralling into the air for what seemed like an eternity, before Fages would claim it to run in under the sticks. Percival once more added the extras to seal the victory for Justin Holbrook’s side. 

Full-Time: St Helens 26-10 Widnes Vikings

St Helens: Lomax, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace, Fages, Smith, Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Taia, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Replacements: Douglas, Thompson, Knowles, Richardson.

Widnes Vikings: Johnson, Ince, Marsh, Runciman, Thompson, Chase, Heremaia, Dudson, Johnstone, Buchanan, Whitley, Houston, Cahill. Replacements: Manuokafoa, Chamberlain, Olbison, Craven.

REPORT: St Helens 26-10 Widnes Vikings