Widnes Vikings 28
Tries: Owens, Dean, Mellor, Brown, Marsh, Hanbury
Goals: Tickle 2/4, Owens 0/2
Hull KR 10
Tries: Keating, Chan
Goals: Burns 1/2
Widnes Vikings all but secured their place in the top eight with a convincing 28-10 victory at the Select Security Stadium against play-off rivals Hull KR.
They are now three points clear of their closest rivals Hull KR with just four games remaining in the Super League before we reach the play-offs.
Kevin Brown orchestrated everything for the Vikings despite taking a heavy knock last week against St Helens and they will be looking to their talisman for another big performance in Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-final.
Widnes were on top from start to finish as they came up with one of their best performances of the season however the visitors were poor and never really got going as they slumped to a defeat which could effectively end their season.
Jack Owens returned for Widnes and it was the young local winger who opened the scoring when Kevin Brown caught the Hull defence off guard with a kick early in the tackle count and Owens read it perfectly to score out wide.
Both sides were exchanging blows in the middle of the park before Hull KR breached the Widnes defence when James Green made a half break and offloaded well to Keating to set him up for a score.
With the scores locked at 4-4 Greg Eden bombed a brilliant chance five minutes before half time when he looked to have beat Hanbury however, the fullback managed to somehow cause Eden to knock on with the line begging.
As half time approached Widnes went up the other end of the field to score thanks to great handling from Isa, Hanbury and Galea who all combined to send Chris Dean galloping down the wing for a converted try.
Hull started the second half disastrously as they conceded in the first set when Dave Allen’s barnstorming run gave Joe Mellor the chance to race under the posts and touchdown.
Three minutes later Kevin Brown sent Chris Dean down the Hull KR right edge and he handed the ball on to Jack Owens. The youngster raced down the wing before stepping back inside to provide a try for the outstanding Brown.
With Widnes in control Hull KR got themselves back in contention when Jason Chan reached over from a charging run despite the attentions of three Vikings defenders.
Tickle’s poor form with the boot meant Widnes, despite their dominance, only led by ten points going into the last half hour.
The game looked out of reach after 54 minutes though when Stefan Marsh benefited from Kevin Brown’s decision to run the ball on the last tackle as he stepped past the cover defence to score out wide.
Hull were desperate to get back into the game however it was desperate defence from Widnes which kept them out as they forced the visitors into touch twice when they looked likely to score.
Rhys Hanbury rounded off the scoring with a spectacular try from long range to seal a 28-10 victory and to send Widnes into their first Challenge Cup semi-final in 18 years with momentum and dreams of Wembley.