Widnes tame toothless Tigers

Widnes stunned Castleford, with a fantastic 44-20 victory away from home, this evening.

A crowd of 6,007 watched on as the Tigers' 100% record, disappeared into thin darkness, while Widnes now move clear at the top of the table.

In truth, the scoreline was a fair reflection of the game, with both sides tussling, but with Widnes edging it in all quarters.

It took just five minutes for Widnes to break the Widnes ranks – a superbly placed kick into the corner turned Cas winger Michael Wainwright around, only to be beaten to the ball by Widnes' speedy winger Gavin Dodd.

Six minutes later and the game got further away from the Tigers grasp, when Mark Smith, finished off a sweet move under the posts. Mick Nanyn converted.

The Tigers failed to put a stamp on the game, and their talent of late diminished, with Cas rarely excelling in attack – Danny Brough having a particularly torrid time.

But it was Brough's quick thinking which got the Tigers back into the game, when Widnes, penalised for offside from a scrumdown, were caught napping by Brough who fired out a long pass for Richard Owen to skip onto and cross.

That was to be the final try of the first half, and last points, savour for a penalty goal from 45 metres out right in front of the posts from Nanyn, to give Widnes a 12-4 advantage going into half-time.

The second half got worse for Castleford, as their defence became leakier still, shipping a total of six tries.

Ryan Boyle had a try disallowed from referee Peter Taberner for a knock on, however replays seem to suggest that that could have been a potentially wrong decision on the official's part.

And five minutes later, Widnes took control of the game when Jordan James powered over, closely followed by Ian Webster's classy try, after a fantastic break from the Vikings.

From there-on it was a one sided match, with Widnes scoring further tries, from ex-Castleford winger Damien Blanch, and Mark Smith, to give the Vikings a 30-4 lead, which wasn't going to be lost.

The Tigers did rally, through Stuart Donlan's darting run to score, and then Danny Brough's acrobatic footwork to work a hole to dive over, to bring the score to a more respectable 30-16

But Widnes did not want to allow their closest rivals a luxury of winning a bonus point, and pushed themselves right for the full eighty minutes – not that they needed to – with further scores from Bob Beswick and Blanch.

Donlan crossed for his second right on the siren, but it was a case of too little too late for a disappointing performance for the Tigers.

Widnes will be in a jubilant mood after a near-exemplary performance, even though it all boils down to one match.

Full time score from The Jungle: Castleford 22-40 Widnes Vikings.

Produced with permission from Mark Fullilove [RugbyLeagueForums.co.uk]

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