Widnes reach Super League play-offs for first time

Widnes secured their place in the Super League play-offs for the first time with a 32-12 win over Bradford.

The Vikings outscored their opponents seven tries to two at Odsal, only managing two conversions, to give them an unassailable lead over the chasing pack with a game to play.

It marks another year of progress for Widnes, who are in only their third season back in the top flight, and their seventh Super League season since its inception in 1996.

Head Coach Denis Betts told the club’s official website: “It’s a fantastic feeling knowing that we have achieved what we set out to achieve at the start of the season.

“We want to achieve better though and we’ll keep working hard to improve. At the start of the season some, externally, tipped us to be in or around the bottom 2 or 3 but to grow as a team, a team that’s not had massive changes to it and finish this strong is a credit to the group.

“Last year was the first time in 13 years that we won here (at Odsal) and to do that again is real testament to the players and how they applied themselves not just in this game but all year. I’m very proud.”

Widnes led 8-0 in as many minutes thanks to two tries by Paddy Flynn down the right hand side.

The Bulls went in to the break 12-8 in front after Tom Olbison and Chev Walker touched down, but they were blown away in the second half.

The visitors added two more tries down the right, this time through centre Stefan Marsh, to lead 16-12 on the hour, and Marsh then claimed a hat-trick with 10 minutes to play.

Danny Tickle failed to convert any of the Vikings’ first five tries, but in his absence late on, Cameron Phelps tagged on conversions to late tries scored by Patrick Ah Van, against his former club, and Lloyd White.

Widnes become the 16th team in Super League history to reach the end of season play-offs.

Catalan also secured their play-off place on Sunday with a 32-14 win over Hull KR.

 

They join St Helens, Castleford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Warrington and Wigan in the eight-team play-offs.

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