It was a tale of two Briscoes as Widnes belied their lowly league position to thump a woeful Hull FC side 42-16 at the Stobart Stadium.
Ex-Hull full back Shaun haunted his former employees while his namesake Tom will want to forget this evening in a hurry. Briscoe Jr, switched from the wing to full back in the midst of an injury crisis, didn’t look comfortable in his new position. Time and again the young starlet found himself out of position in defence and had a hard time when joining the three-quarter line in attack and was susceptible to handling errors all too often. His opposite number Shaun had a solid game in defence – even coming up with a try saving tackle on the current Hull man – and played a pivotal role in Widnes’ attack, scoring two tries and having a hand in three others.
Willie Isa also touched down twice – his first two tries of the season - while Flynn, Winterstein, Craven and Hanbury also crossed for the Vikings as they registered their sixth victory of the season, with Turner, Westerman and Heremaia registering for Hull FC.
Hull had a 10-8 lead in the closing stages of the first half but three Widnes tries in five minutes either side of the half-time hooter turned the entire momentum of the game and the hosts never looked back. Rhys Hanbury controlled proceedings for Widnes, his type dominant half-back display was severely missing from the Hull side who appeared to lack direction in attack.
St Helens-bound Jordan Turner opened the scoring for the visitors after Seymour and McGoldrick combined to shift the ball wide and use dummy runners to confuse the Widnes defence. McGoldrick found the young centre with a short ball to finish off the handling move with four points.
Widnes thought they had an immediate response when Willie Isa touched down in the corner, but the video referee ruled that Tom Lineham had done just enough to bundle him into touch before he grounded the ball.
The powerful Samoan international made no mistake just moments later when he notched his first try for Widnes. Rhys Hanbury’s bomb was lost in the Widnes sunshine and earned his side another set of six from Tom Briscoe’s knock on. Hanbury then took the line on and combined with Shaun Briscoe to put Isa away in the corner.
The Vikings made it two in as many minutes when Hull were penalised for offside at the kick off. From the gifted field position, Shaun Briscoe again ran from second receiver outside Hanbury and slipped a neat pass to put Paddy Flynn home for his 8th try of the season.
Former Hull man Shaun Briscoe then went from hero to zero when he spilled Jamie Foster’s hanging kick off. From the resulting set of six, Jordan Turner was held up over the line before Ryan McGoldrick put Joe Westerman through a half-gap with a short ball for the former Castleford back rower to crash over.
Both sides traded handling errors and missed chances before Widnes punished Hull’s ill-discipline with the ball with a quick-fire double just before half-time. A monstrous penalty kick from Hanbury found touch deep in FC territory before his pin-point grubber kick was grounded by Shaun Briscoe, after initially catching the ball between his legs in one of Super League’s more unconventional tries.
Frank Winterstein then touched down on the half-time hooter after Cameron Phelp’s neat kick through was collected by Isa who put the big back rower away to race home from 40 metres.
Danny Craven got the scoreboard ticking immediately after half-time when he kicked on Willie Manu’s spilled ball before pouncing for his fifth try of the campaign.
Willie Isa brought the home fans to their feet again when Phelps and Hanbury combined to create space down their left hand side; the Australian scrum half broke before finding the supporting winger who showed a clean pair of heels to grab his second of the game.
Aaron Heremaia jumped out of dummy half and fooled the Vikings’ defence with a dummy to crash over to muted celebrations from the Airlie Birds. Despite their being over 20 minutes left on the clock, the body language of the players in grey and black confirmed the try was mere consolation for Hull.
Shaun Briscoe capped off an impressive personal performance when he crashed onto Hanbury’s inside ball to bag his second of the game before Hanbury brought the curtain down on a thoroughly deserved victory for the Chemics when he broke the defensive line and raced in under the sticks from 40 metres.
Widnes: S Briscoe, Flynn, Marsh, Phelps, Isa, Craven, Hanbury, Davies, Clarke, Kite, Winterstein, Allen, Cahill
Replacements: Kavanagh, Haggerty, McShane, Gerrard
T: Isa 2, Flynn, Briscoe 2, Winterstein, Craven, Hanbury
G: Craven 2 McShane 3
Hull FC: T Briscoe, Lineham, Crooks, Turner, Foster, McGoldrick, Seymour, Watts, Houghton, Lynch, Manu, Westerman, Pitts
Replacements: Horne, O’Meley, Heremaia, Aspinwall
T: Turner, Westerman, Heremaia
G: Foster 2
Referee: Steve Ganson
RLFans Man of the Match: Rhys Hanbury (Widnes)