Salford Red Devils 26-12 Widnes Vikings

Salford Red Devils 26-12 Widnes Vikings widnesvikings.co.uk
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14th June 2018

 Salford Red Devils came out on top at the AJ Bell Stadium on Thursday evening as they defeated Widnes Vikings 26-12. 

The Vikings started strongly, though, and posted the first points on the board as the returning Tom Gilmore touched down. A break and good yards from Jay Chapelhow put the away side into position, and when Joe Mellor’s grubber was only patted back by Ryan Lannon, Gilmore was first there to touch down. Gilmore added the extras to his own try. 

Ian Watson’s side responded well to going behind, however, and scored the next try of the game as Kris Welham raced 50 metres to score. After Gilmore’s kick on the last was deflected into the path of Welham, the centre simply picked up the ball and went over un-touched from the half way line. Robert Lui missed the touchline conversion.

Welham added his second try of the evening shortly afterwards as he went over in the right corner once more. The Red Devils shifted the ball to their right edge out to Welham, and the centre was able to evade the tackle of Craven to get an arm free and get the ball down. Lui hit the post with his conversion and the ball bounced away.

The home side were reduced to 12 men on the 22nd minute as their man of the moment, Welham, was sent to the sin-bin after a referral from the video referee. Francis Cummins’ side made their man advantage pay, and retook the lead as Patrick Ah Van went over in the corner. The try was created by the Vikings’ first try scorer, Gilmore, who superbly executed a chip kick to the corner for Ah Van to touch down. Gilmore superbly added the extras from the touchline.

With Welham back on the field, the Red Devils had a prolonged spell on the Vikings’ line towards the back end of the first half. However, superb goal line defence, including a Mellor tackle on Josh Wood, meant the away side went into the break with the lead.

Half-Time: Salford Red Devils 8-12 Widnes Vikings

The second half started with both sides exchanging sets without really putting pressure on the either’s line. However, Patrick Ah Van being taken for a concussion test and a re-shuffle of the Vikings’ back line meant the Red Devils took advantage and Jake Bibby levelled up the scores.

On the back of two penalties to put the home side into position, the Red Devils shifted the ball to their right edge and Jake Bibby finished acrobatically in the corner. Robert Lui missed the touchline conversion.

The Red Devils took the lead for the second time in the game as Greg Burke scored on his debut for the home side. Tomkins hit the forward on a short ball, he broke the Vikings line and was just able to get over the try-line under the sticks. Robert Lui converted his first try of the game.

They extended their lead with 15 minutes to play with the boot of Robert Lui. Good work from Junior Sa’u earned them a penalty in front of the sticks, and Lui made no mistake with the boot to stretch the lead to eight points.

Robert Lui had the last say of the night as he scored the final try of the game. With the Vikings chasing the score board, Craven tried a kick through which was charged down by Lui. The half back picked up the ball and ran 60 metres to score untouched. Lui converted his own try to seal the points for the Red Devils.

Full-Time: Salford Red Devils 26-12 Widnes Vikings

Salford: Littlejohn, Olpherts, Welham, Sa'u, Bibby, Lui, Shorrocks, Tasi, Wood, Burke, McCarthy, Griffin, Lannon. Replacements: Kopczak, Tomkins, Nakubuwai, Chamberlain.

Widnes: Craven, Ah Van, Runciman, Norman, Ince, Mellor, Gilmore, J Chapelhow, Johnstone, T Chapelhow, Whitley, Hauraki, Houston. Replacements: Gerrard, Olbison, Farnworth, Heremaia.

Salford Red Devils 26-12 Widnes Vikings widnesvikings.co.uk