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After losing to London last week, Widnes travelled to Salford needing a win to keep their hopes of playing Super League in 2019 alive. And for a brief moment, it looked like they might secure the points.

With just two minutes gone, Charly Runciman went over in the corner after the Chemics kick to end their first set beat Ed Chamberlain – who spent most of this season in a Widnes shirt. Former Catalans player Krisnan Inu converted and at 6-0 the visitors looked good to kick-on and make a competitive game of it.

But any hope that that would happen proved forlorn. They spent the next quarter of an hour bringing the ball out from within 5m of there own line – when they did have it their hands. 

By the 10th minute of the game they had chalked up their third knock-on in their own half and it seemed only a matter of time before Salford would cross the whitewash.

The time in question came just five minutes later when Patrick Ah Van tackled Junior Sau without the ball to give a penalty away within his own 20m. Sau got onto the end of the next play and crashed over in the corner. Chamberlain’s conversion levelled the scores at 6-6.

Five minutes later, NRL exile Jackson Hastings made a telling break. He was tackled, but that only delayed matters as in the next passage of play a lovely delayed pass from the half-back sent Sau over for his second try. 

Chamberlain’s goal made it 12-6, a lead that Salford never seriously looked like losing, even after Joey Lussick was sin binned on 35 minutes.

And to make matters worse for Widness, Olly Ashall-Bott limped off the field in almost the last action of the half with a knee injury which kept him out for the rest of the match.

Lussick’s time in the bin included the first six minutes of the second half – but despite being a man down, it was the home team who opened the scoring in the second period.

Robert Lui dived under the posts, with three or four tacklers hanging on and grounded the ball under the dot. Chamberlain duly converted and the score was18-6 to Salford when Lussick returned.

A penalty to the side of the Widnes posts just 10m out, made it 20-6 minutes laster.

With the visitors notching up a completion rate of only just over 50%, there was just too much dropped ball – in what was a fairly scrappy game – for Widnes to find a way back from there.

Two more tries, from Niall Evalds and Mark Ferguson, both converted by the ever-reliable Chamberlain, saw a final score of 32-6.

Apparenty, no team has ever played in Super League the next season after losing their first two games in the qualifiers. It’s only the third time the Middle 8s have been played, and that statistic doesn’t mean the task is impossibe.

But if coach Francis Cummins is to secure top flight rugby for Widnes next year, this afternoon’s game made the task a lot harder.

Salford 32-6 Widnes

Salford Tries: Sau (2), Lui, Evalds, Flanagan; Goals: Chamberlain 6

Widnes Tries: Runciman; Goals: Inu

Salford: Evalds, Chamberlain, Welham, Sau, Olpherts, Lui, Hastings, Mossop, Wood, Tasi, Jones, Lannon, Flanagan. Replacements: Kopczak, Nakubuwai, Burke, Lussick.

Widnes: Ashal-Bott, Ah Van, Inu, Whitley, Runciman, Mellor, Finn, Hansen, Hermaia, Dudson, Dean, Houston, Hauraki. Replacements: White, Gerrard, Olbison, Leuluai.



Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 18th Aug 2018 5:55 PM | Views : 2627 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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