Widnes beat Halifax to keep Super League survival hopes alive

Drew Darbyshire

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Widnes have a slight chance of staying in Super League thanks to a hard-fought victory over Halifax in The Qualifiers.

Widnes won their first game since April 21 as they beat Halifax 22-12 at the Halton Stadium on Sunday.

The Vikings now face trips to Toronto Wolfpack and Hull Kingston Rovers. Halifax will all but remain a Championship side next year.

Widnes interim coach Francis Cummins named an unchanged side to the one that lost to Leeds Rhinos last week. Aaron Heremaia and Matt Whitley were the two players to miss out of the squad.

Richard Marshall also named an unchanged Halifax team to the one that lost to Hull KR last time out. Kieren Moss and Simon Grix were the players left out of the 19-man squad.

Halifax thought they had scored in the third minute through Shane Grady as he got on the end of Dan Fleming’s kick which bounced off the crossbar. It was ruled out by the video referee though due to Joe Mellor being tackled off the ball.

Widnes opened the scoring though. Joe Lyons slipped Weller Hauraki through a gap to score. Krisnan Inu converted to give his side a 6-0 lead.

The Vikings got another in quick succession. Inu went through a gap in the Halifax defence to reach over the line from close.

James Woodburn-Hall pulled one back for Halifax late on in the first half. The club’s reserve product raced onto an inside pass from Scott Murrell to score. Grady converted and they only trailed 10-6 at the break.

Widnes extended their lead shortly after the restart. The ball went through quick hands down the line to Patrick Ah Van who scored out wide. Inu added the conversion, Widnes 16-6 Halifax.

Cummins’ were in again on the hour mark. Inu got his second as he had plenty of space to score near the touchline. He converted his own try.

Fax stuck in the game throughout and battled back with six minutes to go. It went down the line to James Saltonstall who scored. Murrell successfully converted but they were still 10 points behind.

Widnes had the last say on the game as Ah Van got his second with just over a minute remaining to secure a 26-12 victory for the Vikings.

Widnes: Mellor; Ah Van, Inu, Runciman, Buckley; Lyons, Finn; Gubb, White, Houston, Hauraki, Hansen, Leuluai. Subs: D Walker, J Chapelhow, Olbison, Wilde.

Halifax: Sharp; Saltonstall, Heaton, Butler, Woodburn-Hall; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Fairbank, Tangata, Grady, Davies. Subs: Jones, Moore, Cooper, Maher.

Starman: Krisnan Inu was the standout in the game by some distance. He looked a class above with some quick bursts and sharp edge play.

Attendance: 3,372