Widnes 76 – 12 York

The Stobart Stadium Halton was in party mood and Widnes obliged to send the majority of the 4,087 home happy.

It was a day of celebration for the Vikings who wore a specially commissioned green kit to signal that it is now all systems go for the club following their successful Super League license application.

In total the hosts scored thirteen tries with eight coming during a one sided second half. Scoring honours went to Steve Tyrer as the centre amassed 36 points with a first half hat-trick and twelve goals.

The game started in positive fashion for the visitors who were forced into a late team change with Dave Sutton pulling out of the team as the bus left York. That meant a debut for 17 year old Kristian Brining and despite the heavy score, he acquitted himself well at dummy half in the third quarter of the game.

York had a couple of early half chances with Castleford loan man Jordan Thompson amost slipping the net and Jon Presley chipping over while in John Davies, the visitors had one of the most effective runners on the pitch.

Widnes created their first chance after eight minutes when MacGraff Leuluai broke down the left but a ball meant for Dean Gaskell was intercepted by Matt Garside.

Duane Straugheir was held up in-goal after eleven minutes for York and Widnes then cut loose with three quickfire tries.

Another thunderous Leuluai run set the position for Thomas Coyle and Chris Gerrard to move the ball right. Tangi Ropati then sucked the defence in and offloaded for Paddy Flynn to burrow in at the corner. Tyrer missed his only kick of the game but was soon having kicking practice from all angles.

Ben Kavanagh charged upfield and as Chaz I’Anson kicked to the corner, Gaskell swept the ball up and quickly offloaded inside for Tyrer to speed to the posts and convert. With 21 minutes elasped, the Vikings came up with a third try and the combination worked again – I’Anson kick, Gaskell collection, Tyrer try.

It was too easy for Widnes at this stage and only a good tackle from Steve Lewis cut down Coyle as he looked to menace down the left. Simon Finnegan saw the ball trickle away in front of him from another inviting I’Anson kick but Davies when Davies lost the ball, Widnes spotted their chance with I’Anson and Danny Craven sending the ball down the left only for Tyrer to return the pass for Craven to sail over.

With Garside struggling in defence, Widnes kept pushing play his way before Anthony Thackeray had a try disallowed for offside.

York continued to battle away and despite losing Chris Thorman to injury when he hobbled off in the closing stages of the first half, the City Knights scored. First Presley cleverly created an opening for Davies and only good defence by Flynn stopped the second row from touching down, then when Straugheir won a penalty, York moved play right where former Gateshead man Matt Barron crashed through for Lee Waterman to goal.

22-6 looked a likely half-time score but when Tom Bush spilled the ball, Tyrer scooped up and his reactions took him to the line for his hat-trick and his fourth goal made it 28-6 at the break.

York needed something at the start of the second half, but despite graft from Garside, Barron and Davies, they could not find a way through. At the other end Widnes did. After simple carries Thackeray split the line and Leuluai supported to touch down. At that instant, a brawl erupted on the twenty metre line with several punches thrown. Referee Craig Halloran dispatched Finnegan and Barron to the sinbin before awarding the try and Widnes revelled in the extra space.

As in the first half tries came quickly for Richard Varkulis and youngster Chris Lunt and even though both sinbinned players returned, Coyle found a hole in the defence and Thackeray motored to the line.

Barron then limped off for York and he was soon followed by Rhys Clarke, but only after Flynn spilled an innocuous kick and Davies grabbed his 6th try of the season on the hour. Mark Barlow goaled but that was as good as it got for York.

Widnes stirred into action again with Steve Pickersgill notching a quick double and there was more to come when Finnegan supported Thackeray and Widnes claimed their thirteenth and final try three minutes from the end when Thackeray latched onto I’Anson’s kick and Tyrer booted his 12th goal.

Widnes Vikings
Danny Craven
Paddy Flynn
23 Tangi Ropati
4  Steve Tyrer
Dean Gaskell
15 Chris Gerrard
7  Chaz I’Anson
Steve Pickersgill
14 Thomas Coyle
17 Ben Kavanagh
11 Dave Allen
16 MacGraff Leuluai
13 Simon Finnegan
Subs (All Used)
Richard Varkulis
Anthony Thackeray
25 Chris Lunt
42 Danny Sculthorpe

Tries: Flynn (15), Tyrer (17, 21, 40), Craven (26), Leuluai (45), Varkulis (49), Lunt (54), Thackeray (56, 76), Pickersgill (65, 69), Finnegan (73).
Goals: Tyrer 12/13.

Sinbinned: Finnegan (45).

York City Knights
30 Jordan Thompson
4  Lee Waterman
Duane Straugheir
19 Matt Garside
20 Tom Bush
Chris Thorman
Jon Presley
33 Nathan Massey
24 Mark Barlow
10 Alex Benson
31 John Davies
25 Steve Lewis
11 Rhys Clarke
Subs (All Used)
12 Matt Barron
14 Jack Stearman
28 Kris Brining
Nathan Freer

Tries: Barron (37), Davies (60).
Goals: Waterman 1/1, Barlow 1/1.

Sinbinned: Barron (45).

Referee: Craig Halloran
Attendance: 4,087

Halftime: 28-6 to Widnes.  

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