The two sides which haven’t registered a single point in the Super Eights Qualifiers met at the Select Security Stadium as Widnes Vikings hosted Halifax in the deadest of dead rubbers. Neither side had any hope real hope of making the Million Pound game so there was just pride to play for, along with the first two points in the competition for one of the teams.
Widnes had lost their last twenty league matches but they came into the game as the favourites to overturn a Halifax side who have leaked an average of thirty-five points a game, while scoring an average of just over eight.
Halifax had a bizarre try, when the ball bounced twice off the crossbar, ruled out on three minutes for a push in the in goal area. Instead it was Widnes who scored the opening try on nine minutes when Weller Hauraki benefitted from a goal line drop-out when he received the ball in an acre of space and walked over. Krisnan Inu added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.
Four minutes later Inu threw the dummy and stretched for the line for the Vikings second. This time Inu was unable to add the extra two but at 10-0 the Vikings were delighted with their start.
Halifax opened their account on thirty-four when a gap opened for James Woodburn-Hall to spring through, scattering the Widnes tacklers, to get the ball down. Shane Grady slid his conversion over the crossbar to reduce the arrears to four points.
Halifax stemmed the early Widnes onslaught and fought back to get into the game before the interval, the closeness of the scoreline setting up an intrigueing second half.
Eight minutes into the second half the Widnes nerves were setted when Inu found Partick Ah Van with a neat pass to score in the corner. Inu converted from the touchline for 16-6.
A spectacular Inu one-handed effort, off an Ah Van pass, recorded the Vikings fourth try of the afternoon and put the result beyond a brave Halifax. Inu again kicked the extras for 22-6, Inu having got fourteen of them.
Ben Heaton provided James Saltonstall with a pass who juggled as he ran five metres to the line to score and bring up double figures for the visitors. Scott Murrell was able to add the touchline conversion for 22-12.
Seconds from the final hooter a diving Patrick Ah Van got his hand on a Hauraki grubber to the corner to give Widnes a 26-12 win as Inu missed the conversion from the touchline.
Widnes dug deep for the win but didn’t score enouhgh points to keep their hopes of the Million Pound game alive. Halifax are now out of chances and won’t be relishing the visit of the Leeds Rhinos next Sunday.
Vikings: Mellor, Ah Van (T), Inu (2T, 3G), Runciman. Buckley, Lyons, Finn, Houston, White, Gubb, Hansen, Hauraki (T), Leuluai. Subs: Olbison, Wilde, Walker, Chapelhow.
Halifax: Sharp, Saltonstall (T), Heaton, Butler, Woodburn-Hall (T), Murrell (G), Johnstone, Fleming, Kaye, Tangata, Davies, Grady (G), Fairbank. Subs: Moore, Maher, Jones, Cooper.
Referee: Gareth Hewer.