Widnes Vikings 24-26 Hull Kingston Rovers

Widnes Vikings 24-26 Hull Kingston Rovers widnesvikings.co.uk

14th July 2018

Widnes Vikings were edged out 26-24 by Hull Kingston Rovers at a sun-soaked Halton Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A late flurry set up a tense finish, but the home side were unable to come up with a game-winning score as the clock ticked down.

Francis Cummins made four changes to the side which were beaten by St Helens, as Olly Ashall-Bott made a try-scoring return to fullback, replacing Rhys Hanbury. Wellington Albert, Ted Chapelhow and Chris Houston also came in, with Weller Hauraki, Alex Gerrard and Sam Wilde making way.

The first-half was an arm wrestle of an affair, with Houston having a try chalked off for double movement early on.

Widnes mounted an attack from their own half when Krisnan Inu came up with an interception, and from the resulting set Owen Buckley’s offload sent Joe Mellor racing into the opposition half. Danny Tickle retreated to haul the Vikings halfback down, but held on too long and was sin binned for the offence, with Inu taking a simple shot at goal to open the scoring after 14 minutes.

Inu then broke from a short side play, but his pass to the supporting Ashall-Bott was well read by Adam Quinlan who knocked the ball to ground and saved a try.

On 23 minutes the Robins replied with a penalty goal of their own through Chris Atkin, as Gil Dudson was caught offside.

On the half hour mark the visitors then scored the first try of the game, as a late tackle from MacGraff Leuluai on Mose Masoe gave Jamie Donaldson the platform to race in under the sticks. Tickle’s conversion was the last points of the half, as Rovers took a six-point lead into the break.

Half-time: Widnes Vikings 2-8 Hull KR

The second half started perfectly for the away side, as Maurice Blair chased down a kick to bundle Buckley into touch, and from the resulting set Tickle found a hole in the defence to cross the whitewash.

Widnes’ first try came after 50 minutes of play, as Ashall-Bott raced through the line from a Houston pass and rounded the fullback, with a little assistance from the referee who impeded the defender.

Within five minutes they had their second try of the contest and the scores were back level, as Danny Craven bundled his way over from dummy half on the last tackle to make it 14-14.

Just short of the hour mark, a slick passing move saw Quinlan beat Inu for pace and race 50 metres to score and re-affirm KR’s six point lead.

Back-to-back penalties gave Widnes a chance to hit-back, and they did just that as Buckley climbed highest to a Craven bomb to finish smartly in the corner. Inu dragged the conversion across the face of the sticks, leaving the hosts trailing by two points.

13 minutes from time some clever footwork from Liam Salter saw him beat Craven to touch-down over the line from close range, meaning the Vikings needed two tries to turn the tide of the game.

With two minutes remaining they pulled one back, as Buckley batted back a kick before regathering and scoring his second of the game out wide. Inu nailed the touchline conversion this time, but with a minute to play Charly Runciman spilled the kick-off and ended any hopes of a comeback.

Full-time: Widnes Vikings 24-26 Hull KR

Widnes Vikings: Olly Ashall-Bott, Owen Buckley, Krisnan Inu, Charly Runciman, Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor, Danny Craven, Jay Chapelhow, Aaron Heremaia, Gil Dudson, Matt Whitley, Chris Houston, MacGraff Leuluai. Subs: Tom Olbison, Wellington Albert, Danny Walker, Ted Chapelhow.

Tries: Ashall-Bott (50), Craven (55), Buckley (64, 78) Goals: Inu 4/5

Hull Kingston Rovers: Adam Quinlan, Justin Carney, Maurice Blair, Liam Salter, Will Oakes, Danny McGuire, Chris Atkin, Nick Scruton, Shaun Lunt, Robbie Mulhern, Danny Tickle, James Greenwood, Chris Clarkson. Subs: Josh Johnson, Mose Masoe, Ben Kavanagh, James Donaldson.

Tries: Donaldson (30), Tickle (42), Quinlan (59), Salter (67) Goals: Atkin 1/1, Tickle 4/4

Widnes Vikings 24-26 Hull Kingston Rovers widnesvikings.co.uk