Widnes Vikings 62-0 Whitehaven RLFC

Widnes Vikings 62-0 Whitehaven RLFC widnesvikings.co.uk

13th January 2018

Widnes Vikings ran in 11 tries in a dominant 62-0 victory against Whitehaven RLFC at the Halton Stadium on Friday night, on an evening in which over £4,000 was raised for Kato Ottio.

The Club held a minutes silence before the fixture for PNG international Kato Ottio, who was due to join up with Denis Betts’ side this week before his untimely passing.

Following a fitting tribute, the game got underway and the Vikings gained the ascendency early and opened the scoring quickly through Rhys Hanbury. Joe Mellor produced a brilliant step close to the Whitehaven defensive line to beat a defender and break it, before handing a nice inside pass to Rhys to go over untouched. Tom Gilmore added the extras.

On the next set following Hanbury’s try, the Vikings extended their lead through Aaron Heremaia. Krisnan Inu, wearing Vikings colours for the first time since arriving from Catalans Dragons, grubber kicked through on the last tackle and the ball bounced awkwardly enough for Jordan Burns to allow Heremaia to collect and touch down. Tom Gilmore converted the try.

Sam Wilde was the next player to go over the whitewash when crossing just five minutes later. Tom Gilmore’s high kick to the corner was knocked on by Danny Green, and the ball bounced into the path of the back rower, who collected and dived over. Gilmore added his third conversion of the night.

The Vikings’ fourth try inside the opening 20 minutes arrived as Stefan Marsh touched down. A nice shift from the Vikings’ left edge to right ended with Krisnan Inu putting Stefan Marsh into some space, and he was able to beat a defender and muscle over from close range. Gilmore missed the conversion from the touchline.

Patrick Ah Van would mark his return to action following his season ending injury in early 2017 with a try, also. Tom Gilmore ran laterally, dummied the pass to two Vikings runners, before hitting Ah Van on an inside ball, and the powerhouse winger was not going to be stopped from close range as he barged over to score. Tom Gilmore added the extras.

The final try of the first half was Stefan Marsh’s second of the night, and may possibly the easiest try he scores throughout 2018. Krisnan Inu superbly grubber kicked through for himself, re-gained the ball on the bounce, before drawing the full back and handing Marsh a walk-in try at the corner. Gilmore converted the try superbly to give the Vikings a 34-point buffer at the break.

Half-Time: Widnes Vikings 34-0 Whitehaven RLFC

The away side started brightly in the second half, and almost posted their first score of the night inside the opening five minutes of the second half. Jordan Burns charged onto a nice Phillips inside pass, juggles the ball before collecting, and looks to score, however, great scrambling defence from the Vikings meant he was held up in goal. 

Denis Betts’ side extended their lead shortly after this as Joe Mellor scored a great solo effort. The half back collected the ball with room to work with, managed to break the Whitehaven line down the Vikings’ right edge, and ignored supporting runners as he rounded Jordan Burns to touch down. Tom Gilmore converted the try.

Young winger Owen Buckley made it two tries in two appearances in pre-season with a try mid-way through the second half. On the back of a penalty to put the home side into position, Charly Runciman darted out from dummy half down the short left edge, drew in the winger before handing it out to Buckley to cross the whitewash. Stefan Marsh added the conversion with Gilmore off the field. 

50 points for the Vikings was up shortly afterwards as Stefan Marsh grabbed his hat-trick try. Danny Craven, operating at full back, collected a pass out the back to break down the right, and handed the ball out to Stefan Marsh to stroll over untouched. Stefan missed the conversion to his own try.

The biggest moment of the night went to MacGraff Leuluai, however, as he somehow managed not to score when it seemed easier to touch down. Nice work between MacGraff and Brad Walker put Leuluai into open space, and with the line begging and just yards away, the back rower tripped over his own feet and knocks on.

The Vikings did post more points shortly afterwards as Tom Olbison deservedly got on the scoresheet following a brilliant individual display. After creating an overlap on their right edge, Joe Mellor managed to break the Whitehaven line, before offloading to Olbison for an easy score. Brad Walker converted the try.

The final score of the night was posted from the Club’s 2017 Young Player of the Year, Danny Walker. A Joe Mellor bomb caused confusion between Burns and Green, resulting in a knock on, Chapelhow was able to kick through into the in-goal, and Danny was the quickest to react and get the ball down. Brad Walker converted the try from in front of the stick to give the Vikings a convincing victory. 

The biggest cheer of the night came when Mark Naughton announced that £4296.71 had been raised on the night through bucket collections ran by our U19s players pre-game. A huge thank you from everyone at Widnes Vikings for the generosity on the night. A fitting tribute for Kato.

Full-Time: Widnes Vikings 62-0 Whitehaven RLFC

Widnes Vikings: Hanbury, Ah Van, Runciman, Inu, Marsh, Mellor, Gilmore, Burke, Heremaia, Cahill, Dean, Wilde, Houston. Subs - White, J.Chapelhow, T.Chapelhow, Chamberlain, Craven, D.Walker, B.Walker, Whitley, Olbison, Leuluai, Johnstone, Buckley.

Whitehaven RLFC - Burns, Green, Reece, Thompson, Lister, Billsborough, Phillips, Cottington, Tilley, Shackley, Olstrom, Gillam, Forster. Subs - Abram, Coward, Brown, Holliday.

Widnes Vikings 62-0 Whitehaven RLFC widnesvikings.co.uk