Sheffield 16 – 44 Widnes

A hat-trick from substitute Dave Allen and 20-point contribution from Steve Tyrer were the highlights of Widnes Vikings first Championship win of 2011.

The Vikings dominated possession in the first ten minutes of the game at Bramall Lane and only good defence kept them at bay with Peter Green and Andrew Henderson working overtime. Former Vikings winger Danny Mills twice conceded drop outs while only good positioning from Jamie Cottle denied Anthony Thakeray and a keen chase team.

Eventually this welter of possession told and Tyrer plunged in for the first of his two tries. The Eagles responded positively and a thunderous charge from Alex Szostak won a penalty. From the position Joe Hirst twisted in the tackle for Dane McDonald and he claimed his third try of the season. Simon Brown levelled the game up before Sheffield were undone by a show and go from Thomas Coyle who linked with Simon Finnigan for the former Super League man to romp to the posts. This sparked a golden period of the game for Widnes and as Sheffield contributed to their predicament, the Super League hopefuls ran in a further two tries.

First Allen and Thackeray were instrumental in Tyrer’s ninth try of an ever improving season and then Kirk Netherton plundered a score from dummy half after Danny Sculthorpe had been held out.

Trailing 22-6, Sheffield responded and scored a second try when Brown changed the point of attack and Alex Rowe scattered the defence to cross for his first try of the season.

It was at this point that new signing Quentin Laulu-Togagae made his long awaited debut for the home side and immediately he was in the action with a startling 30 metre break that brought a tackle from fullback Danny Craven.

As Sheffield flooded forward they got to the line a third time when Tim Bergin and Corey Hanson contested a Brown cross field kick and Hanson touched down only to be ruled offside.

Within seconds of the start of the second half Sheffield fumbled possession and Widnes moved into attack mode with Allen forcing his way over for his first try.

Sheffield tried to respond but Mills was held out and the Eagles big forwards were repelled. Widnes responded in the 59th minute when the ball came loose in a tackle and former Sheffield favourite James Ford ran 60 metres and turned the defence inside and out before Bergin clamped him. From dummy half, the ball moved infield and Finnigan collected to score his second.

A third Eagles try followed when a lovely pass from Brown to Mitch Stringer stretched the defence and a further offload found Hanson with enough room to score.

Almost immediately Widnes stepped up their game and Allen claimed his second off Netherton. By this stage the game was out of Sheffield’s reach and it was left to Allen to complete their try tally with a short burst from Coyle’s pass. Tyrer completed his haul with his sixth goal to send the Vikings home happy.

Sheffield: Cottle, Mills, Hanson, Hirst, Bergin; McDonald, Brown; Howieson, Henderson, Higgins, Szostak, Stringer, Green. Subs: Hepworth, Rowe, Laulu-Togagae, Turnbull.

Tries: McDonald (13), Rowe (32), Hanson (63).
Goals: Brown 2/3.

Widnes: Craven, Gaskell, Ford, Tyrer, Gardner; Thackeray, Coyle; Kavanagh, Netherton, Heckinberg, Grady, Haggerty, Finnigan. Subs: I’Anson, Pickersgill, Allen, Sculthorpe.

Tries: Tyrer (7, 26), Finnigan (22, 59), Netherton (29), Allen (41, 65, 74).
Goals: Tyrer 6/8.

Referee: Mr J Leahy

Attendance: 1,831

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