Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
Wigan too strong for Vikings
Widnes moved a step nearer to relegation from the engage Super League after a 48-24 home defeat at the hands of Wigan.
The Vikings, with former Warriors Terry O?Connor, Mick Cassidy, Gary Connolly, Mark Smith, Jules O?Neill and Jon Whittle in their ranks, battled gamely and raced into a ten-point lead early on.
But a spurt of four tries in 10 first-half minutes turned the game in Wigan?s favour and keeps Ian Millward?s men in the hunt for the play-offs.
Widnes, though, remain in deep trouble in 11th spot, and they now have to win at least three of their last four matches to have any chance of avoiding the drop.
The Warriors took the lead with only three minutes on the clock, Danny Tickle booting over a penalty after a Widnes indiscretion in front of their own posts.
The Vikings hit back within four minutes, though, after Wigan hooker Terry Newton was sent to the sin-bin for a late tackle on Widnes stand off Stephen Myler.
The home side took a quick tap 15 metres out and Keiran Kerr darted over under the posts for a try which Myler converted for a 6-2 lead.
Ten minutes later Myler added the second try himself by barging his way over from close range, the easy conversion extending the lead to 12-2.
The Warriors reduced the arrears midway through the half, when Brian Carney palmed back a bomb from Dennis Moran for Kevin Brown to score in the right-hand corner.
Newton then re-emerged from his 10-minute breather and duly laid the second Warriors score within two minutes with a beautiful short ball that Danny Sculthorpe charged onto and, from three yards out, the prop was never going to be stopped.
Tickle?s conversion levelled the scores at 12-12, and the Warriors immediately went in front with their third try in the space of just six minutes.
Fantastic hands from Newton, Brown and Moran enabled Stephen Wild to cross the whitewash, and Tickle?s goal opened up a six-point lead for the visitors.
Two minutes later Wigan were in again, after Moran?s kick downfield on the last tackle rebounded off Mick Cassidy into the grateful arms of debutant Daryl Goulding, who drew full-back Watts for Dave Allen to scamper over against his hometown team.
Tickle again converted, but Widnes hit back with a length-of-the-field score to Adam Hughes, who picked up a loose ball to run 95 metres for the touchdown despite a spirited chase from second-rower Wild.
Myler?s conversion brought Widnes to within six points of the Warriors, but Wigan went further ahead six minutes after the restart when Moran mesmerised the home defence with some fantastic footwork and James Coyle won the race to his little grubber kick leaving Tickle with an easy goal.
Watts? second try of the afternoon late on, with Myler?s fourth goal, was barely a consolation.
Widnes: Watts, Hughes, Connolly, Whittle, Viane, Myler, Kerr, O?Connor, Smith, J. O?Neill, Cassidy, Nash, Finnigan. Replacements: J. O?Neill, Hulse, Mills, Alcock.
Wigan: Dallas, Carney, Brown, Goulding, Aspinwall, Coyle, Moran, Seu Seu, Newton, Hargreaves, Wild, Tomkins, Tickle. Replacements: Hansen, Sculthorpe, Allen, Beswick.
Widnes (18) 24. Tries: Kerr, Myler, Hughes, Watts. Goals: Myler 4.
Wigan (24) 48. Tries: Brown, Sculthorpe, Wild, Allen, Coyle, Newton, Hansen, Beswick, Moran. Goals: Tickle 6. Referee: Ian Smith (Oldham)
Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for the above review