Vikings 23- Leeds Rhinos 6

Vikings 23- Leeds Rhinos 6 widnesvikings.co.uk
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26th February 2018

Widnes Vikings scored 19 unanswered second-half points as they secured a commanding victory over reigning champions Leeds Rhinos at the Halton stadium.

The home side saw themselves two points behind at the break after Joe Mellor’s close-range dart to the line was cancelled out by Brad Dwyer’s effort.

Despite being reduced to 12 men early in the second half when Hep Cahill was sent to the sin-bin, Denis Betts’ men dictated proceedings and secured victory through Krsinan Inu’s brace, either side of a scampering touchdown from Danny Walker.

Danny Craven also added a drop goal shortly after Inu’s first, as the Vikings bounced back from last week’s derby day defeat to Warrington in perfect fashion.

It was the visitors who started the better of the two sides. The Rhinos could have scored the opener, had it not been for a wonderful last-ditch tackle from Danny Craven on Kallum Watkins, who charged onto the ball with speed.

It took 10 minutes for the Vikings to get a foothold in the contest, although they could not convert their territorial advantage into points.

Firstly, Craven dropped the ball on the left edge after his team-mates had created an overlap, before Inu fumbled Tom Gilmore’s crossfield-kick close to the line after outjumping Jimmy Keinhorst.

Nevertheless, they did convert their next field position into points. Wellington Albert, fresh from the substitutes bench, delivered a sublime offload in the tackle, before the ball found Mellor, who raced through a gap in the Rhinos left-edge to touch down.

The Vikings almost doubled their advantage minutes later after a wonderful break from inside their own half by Rhys Hanbury fed Mellor, who was hauled down inches from the line.

Despite their effort, it was Leeds who hit the front nine minutes before the break as Brad Dwyer showed great strength to squeeze over under the sticks, despite a determined effort to stop him from the Vikings markers. Watkins added the extras to give Brian McDermott’s side a two-point lead at the break.

HALF-TIME: WIDNES VIKINGS 4-6 LEEDS RHINOS

Shortly after the restart, Widnes Vikings were temporarily reduced to 12 men as loose-forward Hep Cahill saw yellow following a coming together between the two groups of players.

The Rhinos almost made their advantage count straight away but could not find a way over as Harry Newman was bundled into touch by four spirited Widnes defenders.

Seconds before Cahill’s re-introduction, Widnes surged in front in quite-sensational fashion. Full-back, Hanbury, broke through the defensive line before his 80-metre run was halted by Ashton Golding. On the very next play, Gilmore’s spectacular cross-field kick was well-taken by Inu, who was able to stroll in at the corner for his fourth try of the season.

Inu’s attempted conversion went in off the post to give Denis Betts’ side a four-point advantage.

The Rhinos almost hit back instantly when Jimmy Kenhorst seemingly looked destined to go over in the corner, only to be dragged down by Ed Chamberlain.

Richie Myler thought he had levelled matters for his side two plays later, only for referee Robert Hicks to bring play back for an obstruction.

After Leeds were penalised for a ball-steal 35-metres out, Inu opted to take the two, stretching their lead to six with 17 minutes left to play.

Widnes would’ve extended their advantage to 12 had it not been for a last-ditch challenge in the in-goal by Leeds, forcing scrum-half Gilmore over the dead-ball line.

Nevertheless, on their very next foray into Rhinos territory, Danny Craven slotted a drop-goal through the sticks (and out of the stadium!) to almost take the game beyond their opponent’s reach.

Victory was confirmed on their next attack, much to the delight of the Vikings fans. The ever-impressive Danny Walker opted to run the ball on the last and barged his way through the tired-looking defensive line to bag his first ever senior try.  

With two minutes to go, Inu collected the ball once more and rampaged his way to the line, before adding insult-to-injury by converting from the touchline.

The home side had one final chance to add more points in the dying seconds after Leeds kicked their restart out on the full.  However, it was not to be, with Craven halted on the ten-metre line as the siren sounded to mark an impressive victory for the Vikings- who recorded their second triumph of the season in front of their home fans.

Widnes Vikings 23 T- Mellor, Inu (2), D.Walker G- Inu 3/4 DG- Craven

Leeds Rhinos 6 T- Dwyer G- Watkins DG- n/a

Widnes: Hanbury; Chamberlain, Craven, Inu, Marsh; Mellor, Gilmore; J Chapelhow, Heremaia, Cahill, Dean, Whitley, Olbison.

Interchanges: D Walker, W Albert, T Chapelhow, Wilde.

Leeds: Golding; Newman, Watkins, Keinhorst, Handley; L Sutcliffe, Myler; Singleton, Parcell, Jones-Buchanan, Delaney, Walker, Ormondroyd.

Interchanges: Dwyer, Garbutt, Smith, Oledzki.

Referee: Robert Hicks

Vikings 23- Leeds Rhinos 6 widnesvikings.co.uk