Widnes Vikings v Saints
A late Patrick Ah Van try handed Widnes a 16-14 victory over a jaded looking Saints on Friday night.
Tries from Theo Fages and Matty Smith overturned the host’s advantage at the break but despite the weight of possession in the second half, the visitors couldn’t punch it home.
Saints couldn’t match the intensity of their Easter expolits from the off and they were made to rue missed opportunities throughout.
The Vikings had all the possession and it took a solid tackle from Regan Grace on Corey Thompson to stop them taking the lead early doors.
But in the 14th minute, a break down the right saw the ball come inside, hit Zeb Taia and bounce kindly for Joe Mellor to touch down.
Saints hit back within two minutes as Fages juggled a fast pass and shot between two defenders close to the line.
But Ah Van restored the host’s advantage on the quarter game mark as he flew in on the far side.
Saints then defended three sets on their own line as the home side turned the screw but Matty Smith scored a crucial four-pointer right on the stroke of half time.
The scrum half working his way along the line before darting down low and putting down under pressure for 12-12 at the break.
Saints began the second half on the front foot and registered a penalty three minutes in.
They then had the chance to go for more but handling cost them at the crucial moment – as it did at key times throughout the game.
Defence was again on song for the visitors as Widnes responded, before Luke Thompson had one chalked off by the video referee – coming in a period of dominance for the Saints.
But they never turned that into points – and with 10 minutes to go Widnes delivered the killer blow.
After forcing a drop out, Patrick Ah Van worked it at dummy half to power over.
Saints threw it around in the final stages to find a winner but were called for a forward pass as Amor looked to go clear to end a frustrating evening.
Tries: Mellor, Ah Van (2),
Goals: Gilmore (2 from 4)
Tries: Fages, Smith
Goals: Percival (3 from 3)
REF: C Kendall
1. Rhys Hanbury; 2. Corey Thompson,17. Stefan Marsh, 4. Charly Runciman, 5. Patrick Ah Van; 6. Joe Mellor, 7. Tom Gilmore; 15. Gil Dudson, 31. Jordan Johnstone, 10. Jack Buchanan, 11. Chris Houston, 14. Chris Dean, 16. Alex Gerrard.
Subs: 12. Matt Whitley, 18. Greg Burke, 23. Jay Chapelhow, 35. Danny Walker.
25. Ricky Bailey; 5. Adam Swift, 22. Matty Fleming, 4. Mark Percival, 28. Regan Grace; 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith; 19. Greg Richards, 17. Tommy Lee, 10. Kyle Amor, 36. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 16. Luke Thompson.
Subs: 8. Alex Walmsley, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles.
Saints Line up
Widnes Vikings Line up
|5||Patrick Ah Van|
Last updated 17 May 17 17:28:51
Saints called for a forward pass.
Saints have the ball 10 yards off their own line. Big effort needed here x2!
6171 here tonight.
Saints have the ball 10 yards off their own line. Big effort needed here.
Not the place to lose the ball – Saints do on half way.
Gilmour hits the post.
Run around from dummy half on the last.
Widnes drop out.
Saints panic and try to force it to Grace, but he can’t haul it in.
And another… on the line. ten mins surely?
Penalty for Saints
Saints pass it on the last but Bailey can’t keep hold of the ball.
Saints force a drop out after Widnes give it some air in their own ingoal area – great skill from both teams there.
Widnes lose the ball on the last.
Going upstairs for a Thompson try
Widnes close to the line, clearly knock on and then Saints win a penalty.
Bailey drops a high kick – Widnes will have head and feed in a great position.
Nice kick from Matty Smith puts the ball into touch. Relieves the pressure.
But then Widnes take the wrong option on the last. Scrappy stuff from both teams.
Saints get the ball back but then push it on the first and it goes into touch. More defending to do.
But they lose the ball and then give a penalty away.
And defence is strong as Matty Fleming stops a Widnes attack down his side.
Saints working their way up the field in short bursts at the moment. Quick work around the ruck.
Penalty to Saints
High ball on the last… great take by Hanbury under pressure
Widnes get this one back underway
Little dart close to the line for the scrum half and it’s try time.
Heading upstairs for a Saints try…
Bailey knocks on in the tackle, apparently.
Swift alert to catch a bouncing ball kicked early in the tackle count.
Saints try a little inside ball from Fages to Knowles but it goes to ground.
Chip from Theo, easy take from Hanbury.
Kick on the last for Saints, Widnes right on their line.
Saints coming out of their own 20 again. Attacks have been few and far between so far.
Bailey makes an important ball collect as it is chipped through on the last – but he knocks on. From the scrum Widnes do the same.
Saints caught out on the far side and Ah Van shoots in.
Going upstairs for a Widnes try
Loose ball, Matty Fleming picks up. Saints on the attack
Fages with the kick on the last. Saints reply has silenced the crowd.
Shoots through a gap close to the line and somehow keeps hold of the ball after he juggled it.
Saints have a penalty and are on Widnes’ line.
Widnes break down the right hand side, ball thrown back, hits Taia and bounces nicely for Mellor to touch down.
And Taia loses the ball in the tackle.
Amor tries an impossible offload and Widnes have the ball back.
Saints penalty – Widnes caught offside.
Massive tackle from Grace stops a certain Thompson try.
Penalty to Widnes
More pressure from Widnes, Saints’ defend another kick through. All Widnes so far.
Knock on from Taia – Widnes have the ball around 30 metres out.
Chip through on the last and Saints defend it well.
Penalty to Widnes
Saints defend the first set, coming away from their 40.
Saints will get this one underway