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Bradford 38 Widnes 26: Bulls boost play-off credentials by mauling Warriors

Bradford 38 Widnes 26: Bulls boost play-off credentials after mauling Warriors

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UPDATED:

16:53 GMT, 5 August 2012

Battling Bradford gave warning that they have not given up on a top eight place in the Stobart Super League with a 38-26 victory over struggling Widnes.

The cash-strapped Bulls recently suffered a triple blow to their play-off hopes through back-to-back defeats against Leeds and Warrington either side of a six-point deduction by the Rugby Football League for entering administration.

But, having put together three wins on the trot immediately before that, the seven tries to five success over the Vikings keeps alive the Yorkshire side's hopes of reaching the end of season shoot-out for the first time in four years.

Widnes, who had won two of their previous four games while pushing St Helens and Hull KR close, remain second from bottom of the table, just two points above basement club London Broncos.

As torrential rain swept down on Odsal the Bulls were forced to dig deep and come from 16-4 down midway through the first half.

The visitors made a strong start with two tries, both converted by Rhys Hanbury, in the opening 10 minutes.

Former Bradford winger Patrick Ah Van latched onto a long pass from Cameron Phelps and dived into the corner to put the visitors ahead.

Hep Cahill then sent Ben Davies charging through the middle and his momentum, on the rain soaked turf, took him over the whitewash to score.

Bradford hit back almost immediately with some swift handling freeing Michael Platt up to cross, although Luke Gale failed to emulate his opposite number with the conversion.

Danny Craven capitalised on a Bulls handling error and dummied his way to the line to restore Widnes' 12-point advantage before three tries in 12 minutes put the Bulls ahead for the first time.

Brett Kearney, Shaun Ainscough and Ben Jeffries – his 100th touchdown in club rugby – all crossed to leave the Bulls with a 22-16 lead.

But there was still time in a frenetic first half for Hanbury to twist his way over but the Vikings' half back's attempt to level things going into the break failed as he struck the near upright with his subsequent kick.

After registering 42 points in better than even time before the interval it took a further 18 minutes for the scoreboard to be called into action again.

Bulls skipper Heath L'Estrange finally broke the deadlock, forcing his way over from dummy half for his first try of the season.

L'Estrange was also involved as Michael Platt extended the hosts' lead four to 12 points shortly afterwards but Ah Van gave Widnes hope with a second try near the corner flag, taking over the kicking to convert his own score and reduce the deficit to 32-26.

Jeffries had a drop-goal charged down and Kearney saw a try disallowed for offside, following another attempt at a one-pointer from Gale, before Ainscough's second try secured the win and two vital league points, Gale finishing with five goals from seven attempts.

Widnes Vikings 26 Hull KR 32

Widnes Vikings 26 Hull KR 32: KR Losing streak over as Vikings are slain

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UPDATED:

16:54 GMT, 29 July 2012

Hull KR justified the changes made by coach Craig Sandercock by ending their four-match losing run with victory in a pulsating 11-try Stobart Super League encounter at Widnes.

Rovers fell behind to a Joe Mellor try after 90 seconds but recovered to lead 18-8 at the interval through scores from Michael Dobson, Ryan O'Hara and David Hodgson before Stefan Marsh crossed for the hosts to round off the first-half scoring.

Kurt Haggerty and Danny Craven added second-half tries for Widnes, but they were cancelled out by Ben Galea and Graeme Horne and then Louis Sheriff's late try put the result beyond doubt after Rhys Hanbury's converted try had got the Vikings to within two points of the Robins.

Widnes were without former Wigan and Hull prop Eamon O'Carroll, who broke an arm on his third appearance for the club in last Friday's win over Salford.

He joined skipper Jon Clarke and vice-captain Shaun Briscoe on the sidelines, with Jack Owens having his third outing of the season in place of Cameron Phelps at full-back.

Chris Heil and sub George Griffin made their Super League debuts in a much-changed Rovers line-up after their 32-18 home derby defeat by Hull.

Injuries ruled out Shannon McDonnell and Con Mika, who was also suspended, with Sam Latus and Scott Taylor dropped. In came winger Liam Salter, loose forward Dave Petersen and full-back Sheriff.

Widnes, hammered 36-0 at Craven Park in March, were in confident mood after wins over Castleford and Salford in their last three matches – sandwiched by a one-point loss against St Helens.

The Vikings made a flying start after Joel Clinton conceded an early penalty for a high tackle, and Mellor took Marsh's pass to surge over.

But Rovers hit back immediately, with Dobson working the blind-side to take a return pass from Hodgson and crossing to fire his side into a 6-4 lead.

Widnes lost Ben Cross and try-scorer Mellor with injuries in the first 12 minutes and Rovers grabbed their second try when O'Hara crashed over from Galea's pass to score near the posts.

Josh Hodgson added to the Vikings' problems by going over close to the line after 26 minutes, with Dobson's third conversion making it 18-4.

It would have been worse for Widnes had Marsh raced back to catch David Hodgson after the Rovers winger intercepted a stray pass and looked a certain scorer.

Dobson and Blake Green created havoc for the Vikings' defence but Widnes kept themselves in the hunt when Owens cleverly worked a pass to Marsh, who went over in the corner to cut the interval gap to 18-8.

Hull KR lost the influential Green at half-time and then Sheriff gifted Widnes a try four minutes after the restart when his wild pass was snapped up by Haggerty.

The Widnes substitute gleefully waltzed over under the posts and Hanbury landed his first conversion after two earlier misses.

Rovers skipper Galea halted the Widnes fightback by notching their fourth try to make it 22-14, but Widnes – with David Allen outstanding – cut the gap to two points when Craven collected Willie Isa's speculative kick on the last tackle and Hanbury booted the touchline conversion.

Dobson's 40-20 set up the chance for Horne to respond for Hull KR, who led 28-20 after 62 minutes.

Widnes refused to concede defeat and were back in contention when Hanbury chased Patrick Ah Van's clever kick to win the race to score and convert his own try to reduce the arrears back to two points with seven minutes left.

But Rovers could finally breathe easy when Sheriff went over three minutes from time to settle the contest.

Salford 8 Widnes 46: Hanbury on song as Vikings stun Reds

Salford 8 Widnes 46: Hanbury on song as Vikings stun Reds

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UPDATED:

21:45 GMT, 20 July 2012

Salford's hopes of a top eight finish
in Super League suffered a massive setback as Widnes ran in eight tries
in an emphatic win.

Scrum-half Rhys Hanbury was the star
of the show with two tries and eight goals, while Patrick Ah Van and
Cameron Phelps also bagged two tries each for the rampant Vikings.

Widnes, hammered 38-18 at home by Salford in February, went into the clash in confident mood after a resounding 40-10 win over Castleford and a narrow one-point defeat by St Helens.

However, the Vikings were without skipper Jon Clarke, Paddy Flynn and Shaun Briscoe although Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor and Ah Van had all recovered from knocks.

The Reds were also buoyed by successive victories against Warrington and Hull KR and decided to delay the debut of 35-year-old assistant coach Sean Long, who was registered as a player with the club this week.

Youngster Mark Sneyd continued at scrum-half alongside Exiles star Daniel Holdsworth after Matty Smith's move to Wigan, with Sean Gleeson back in the centre.

Ashley Gibson kept his place after the late withdrawal of Joel Moon and the Reds clearly missed his power in midfield.

Widnes had an early Hep Cahill try disallowed by referee James Child for an infringement in the build-up and then Paul McShane was held up over the line.

It was a bright start by the Vikings but Salford should have scored when Hanbury lost possession and Vinnie Anderson and Holdsworth broke clear.

A niggly opening kept the officials busy with desperate Salford defence again denying Marsh when he looked a certain scorer.

Widnes were rewarded for their perseverance when John Kite's charge set up the chance for Hanbury to send Phelps bursting through Lee Jewitt's tackle after 24 minutes.

Hanbury booted the conversion and Widnes went further ahead three minutes later when Phelps' pass took a deflection from a defender before Ah Van touched down in the corner.

Hanbury kicked the goal off the touchline to make it 12-0 as Salford struggled to reproduce recent form.

The Vikings added a third try four minutes before the break when Ah Van latched on to a McShane kick to cross, with Hanbury's conversion stretching the lead to 18-0.

Hanbury then piled on the agony for Salford with a scorching burst to score, and his fourth goal made it 24-0 at the interval.

Salford were hammered 10-3 in the first-half penalty count but should have scored early in the second half before Jordan James threw away a chance after a strong burst by Iafeta Paleaasesina.

It was no surprise when McShane burrowed over from dummy half to extend the lead to 30-0.

The Vikings suffered a blow with the departure of Eamon Carroll with an arm injury but Widnes were ripping apart Salford in midfield and another Hanbury burst sent Phelps over for his second try.

Hanbury bagged his second touchdown with another sizzling effort to stretch the advantage to 40-0.

Gibson went over for Salford after 58 minutes before Danny Williams took his try tally to seven in four games to give the home fans something to cheer.

However, Danny Craven sealed the win for the Vikings by intercepting a Sneyd pass to record the eighth try six minutes from time.

Widnes 23 St Helens 24: Josh Jones secures late win

Widnes 23 St Helens 24: Last-gasp Jones try secures win for Saints

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UPDATED:

16:40 GMT, 8 July 2012

St Helens snatched a stunning last-gasp victory over Widnes to climb back to third place in the Stobart Super League table as they stretched their unbeaten run to five matches.

But it needed a 79th-minute try from Josh Jones and a touchline conversion from Lee Gaskell with the last kick of a thrilling encounter to earn Saints both points.

Super League strugglers Widnes, who had a hat-trick of tries from Patrick Ah Van, had looked set for a famous victory when they led 23-18 until Jones struck.

Diving for the line: Micheal Shenton scores a second half try against the Widnes Vikings for St Helens

Diving for the line: Micheal Shenton scores a second half try against the Widnes Vikings for St Helens

Widnes kept the side which thrashed Castleford 40-10 to climb above London at the foot of the table.

Saints were missing Jonny Lomax with a rib injury with Lance Hohaia returning at scrum half to partner Gaskell with Andrew Dixon in for Mark Flanagan.

Saints had run in a century of points in their two meetings against Widnes this season with a 40-38 cup win at the Stobart Stadium in April followed a week later by a 62-0 league hammering at Langtree Park.

Widnes were forced on the defensive from the start and it needed a crucial tackle by skipper Jon Clarke to stop Paul Wellens crossing for his 16th try of the season.

Saints missed another chance with a forward pass from Anthony Laffranchi after a darting burst from dummy half by James Roby.

But the Vikings were not overawed and Stefan Marsh went close from a kick and then Frank Winterstein was held short.

Saints thought they had gone ahead after Hohaia danced through but referee Robert Hicks ruled the Kiwi failed to ground the ball correctly – much to Saints fury.

But it was Hohaia's teasing kick which was fumbled by Rhys Hanbury which gifted sub Sol Soliola a try after 33 minutes and Gaskell tagged on the conversion.

Hanbury made amends two minutes later when his high kick bounced awkwardly for Tom Makinson and Ah Van pounced to race over in the corner.

Hanbury levelled the scores with a touchline conversion the teams went into half-time tied at 6-6.

Saints regained the lead almost straight from the restart when Widnes conceded a penalty on the sixth tackle and Jon Wilkin forced his way over from Roby's pass to help make it 12-6.

Widnes hit back with Hanbury's perfectly-timed pass sending Chris Dean racing over against his old club.

Hanbury and the Widnes fans thought the conversion had gone over but the touch judges ruled the kick had failed.

Widnes did not let the controversy upset their rhythm, though, with Dean putting Ah Van over for his second try four minutes later and, this time, Hanbury's conversion attempt was definitely wide to leave the Vikings ahead 14-12.

Saints regained the advantage when Michael Shenton shrugged off Ah Van to cross after 58 minutes with Gaskell's touchline conversion making it 18-14 to the visitors.

However, Ah Van completed his treble after intercepting Dixon's pass and racing 80 metres to cross after 63 minutes to draw Widnes level again.

Ah Van was forced off the field with a shoulder injury after scoring his long-range try and in a thrilling finale Wilkin was denied by outstanding defence after a missed drop goal attempt by Hohaia.

Hanbury then slotted over a one-pointer eight minutes from time.

The drama continued with Clarke and Dean combining for Cameron Phelps to squeeze over in the corner but crucially Stefan Marsh missed the goal.

Then Wellens put Jones over in the corner with Gaskell booting the conversion to give Saints a last-gasp win.

Castleford 36 Widnes 12

Castleford 36 Widnes 12: Three and easy for Youngquest as Tigers return to winning ways

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UPDATED:

15:50 GMT, 7 May 2012

Nick Youngquest scored a hat-trick of tries as Castleford returned to winning ways but rock-bottom Widnes' woes continued after another Stobart Super League loss at the PROBIZ Coliseum.

The Tigers had lost their last three matches, including a demoralising defeat to Featherstone in the Carnegie Challenge Cup, but they were the better side in a scrappy encounter on Monday afternoon.

On target: Castleford returned to winning ways

On target: Castleford returned to winning ways

The gap was just two points at the interval but second-half tries from Jordan Thompson, three from Nick Youngquest and Daryl Clark's second of the afternoon condemned the Vikings to their sixth consecutive defeat.

Widnes manager Denis Betts can take solace in the fact his side were competitive for large spells but their much-maligned defence was exploited several times.

Brett Ferres thought he had opened the scoring for Castleford after bursting past Stefan Marsh to touch down but referee Steve Ganson ruled the centre had been held up.

Widnes loose forward Simon Finnigan suffered a leg injury in the build-up and his afternoon was curtailed after he was stretchered off the field.

The Vikings, who had conceded 262 points in their last five matches, were showing signs of indiscipline, with the penalty count racking up early on, and Ben Cross gave away another for obstructing Ferres deep in his own territory.

Although Richie Owen was held up on the right, the ball was quickly spread back across the field for Ferres to cross in the left corner.

However, with their first real opportunity, the visitors levelled when Joe Mellor's short kick to the right was pouched by Paddy Flynn, who outjumped opposite number Youngquest to touch down, with Hanbury scoring the conversion.

Both sides had chances but Castleford slowly started to take the initiative and only a tremendous last-gasp tackle prevented Josh Griffin from scoring after Danny Orr had made the breakaway.

The ball was quickly passed to Clark on the left and although he crossed, the video referee ruled there had been a double movement.

Clark would not be denied a second time, however, and exploited a gap in the Widnes defence from dummy half for his side's second try.

Orr added the extras to give the Tigers a 10-6 lead but Widnes scrum-half Rhys Hanbury kicked a penalty on the stroke of half-time to narrow the gap to just two points.

A rather scrappy start to the second half ensued, with both sides guilty of committing several handling errors in key areas.

However, Thompson extended Castleford's lead by spinning away from two Widnes defenders before scampering over from 30 metres.

Widnes' situation was worsened when Hanbury's grubber fell to Ferres and he passed to Youngquest, who sprinted the length of the field to touch down, with Craig Huby adding the extras after Orr had left the field due to a back injury.

Youngquest added his second from Ferres' high cut-out pass and registered his hat-trick on the left to give Castleford a 30-8 lead as the Vikings threatened to completely capitulate.

Clark then added his second of the afternoon, bursting over unchallenged, and Griffin added the conversion before Marsh ended Widnes' woeful second half with a flourish after crossing on the right.