Leigh Centurions 8-24 Widnes Vikings

Leigh Centurions 8-24 Widnes Vikings widnesvikings.co.uk

3rd September 2017

Widnes Vikings recorded their third straight win in the Super 8s, The Qualifiers, with a brilliant 24-8 win over Leigh Centurions.

The Vikings started the game in control and their pressure on the Leigh line paid off when Lloyd White scored. The opening try was on the back of three consecutive penalties, and White darted out from dummy half and managed to muscle over despite the pressure of three Leigh defenders. Rhys Hanbury couldn’t convert the try from the left hand side of the uprights.

Neil Jukes’ side tried to respond to going behind early on, but great defence from both of the Vikings’ edges meant that the Centurions couldn’t get over the line, with Bridge and Marsh superbly forcing powerful centre Samisoni Langi into touch with the line beckoning.

Following strong defence, full-back Rhys Hanbury was able to extend the scores from the boot after Chris Houston was hit late by Vea, and the Australian was accurate with his conversion to stretch the lead to 6 points.

Denis Betts’ side continued their dominance, and forced the mistake from the home side inside their own 20 metres. On the free play, Danny Craven kicked through and was taken out, resulting in a penalty, and Hanbury once more added an extra two points with the boot.

The home side thought they had narrowed the deficit when Cory Paterson charged onto a flat pass, and looked for all money to score, but a brilliant tackle from Hanbury forced him to knock on. Two minutes later, the Vikings made the Centurions pay for that error as Alex Gerrard scored.

Jack Buchanan ran at the Leigh line, and then hit Gerrard with a flat pass, who broke the line and managed to beat McNally to score under the sticks. Alex's try was easily converted from in-front of the sticks.

The Vikings almost extended their lead further on the set following Gerrard’s try as Charly Runciman broke the line. However, Gregg McNally produced a brilliant piece of defence as he managed to get a hand to Runciman’s pass, flicking the ball upwards, and collecting to intercept with support player White having a free run to the try line.

The Centurions again tried to threaten the Vikings’ line after a number of penalties but them into position, but the defence from the away side proved too solid and kept Leigh scoreless at the break.

Half-Time: Leigh Centurions 0-14 Widnes Vikings

The home side came out flying at the start of the second half, and on the back of three consecutive penalties, James Clare scored. The Centurions shifted the ball to their left edge, and a cut-out pass from Drinkwater found Clare, and he finished well in the corner despite pressure from Marsh. Ben Reynolds missed the conversion.

The Vikings responded quickly to going behind, as Leigh knocked the ball on following the try, putting the away side into position. Denis Betts’ side shifted the ball to their right, and Mellor found Thompson out the back to put him into space and sidestep McNally to score. Chris Bridge converted superbly from the touchline.

The Centurions rallied, however, and Matty Dawson reduced the deficit as he collected a Reynolds pass from the scrum and managed to sneak in at the corner. Ben Reynolds couldn’t convert from the touchline. 

The Vikings managed to keep control of the game, and despite Neil Jukes’ side trying to throw the ball around to keep the ball alive, the away side kept them out superbly with brilliant goal line defence. 

The only scores left in the game were from the boot from Chris Bridge, as the centre managed to convert two penalties, from 40m and 20m respectively, to stretch the lead further and push the game beyond the Centurions.

The win was the Vikings’ third straight victory in the Super 8s, The Qualifiers ahead of next week’s huge game against Hull Kingston Rovers. The 17 players, who were roared on by the vocal Vikings supporters, will surely be entering their next fixture filled with confidence after this emphatic performance. 

Full-Time: Leigh Centurions 8-24 Widnes Vikings

Leigh Centurions: McNally, Clare, Brown, Langi, Dawson, Reynolds, Drinkwater, Tickle, Mortimer, Hansen, Paterson, Vea, Burr. Subs: Higham, Hopkins, Stewart, Richards.

Widnes Vikings: Hanbury, Marsh, Bridge, Runciman, Thompson, Craven, Mellor, Buchanan, White, Dudson, Houston, Whitley, Cahill. Subs: Gerrard, Manuokafoa, Olbison, D.Walker. 

Leigh Centurions 8-24 Widnes Vikings widnesvikings.co.uk