Four Pointers: Widnes Vikings 12 Wakefield Trinity 34
The two teams kicked off the Magic Weekend in Newcastle, both coming into the match off the back of some bad form. They opened the curtain on the prestigious event and it led the way for a successful first day in the North East of England.
It was a scoreless opening 15 minutes as both teams struggled to find a breakthrough. Wakefield spent the majority of those 15 minutes inside Widnes territory but strong defence from the Vikings kept Wakefield at bay.
Widnes found themselves inside their opponents half on 17 minutes as they looked to cause some problems, but Rangi Chase on Widnes debut passed the ball straight into the arms of Ben Jones-Bishop who raced towards the Widnes goal line. BJB was tackled just short but in the follow up Scott Grix went over to get the first of the game. It was only a few minutes later, as Widnes invited some pressure when Wakefield bagged their second. Finn showed quick hands to Miller who fed Lyne to cross through a big gap in the defence, putting Trinity 10-0 to the good.
Widnes tried hard to stage a comeback as they spent some good time close to the Wakefield try line. First winning a goal line drop out and a series of penalties, but they couldn’t turn their possession into points and a Hanbury knock-on brought the pressure to an end.
Wakefield were basking in their rugby as Grix added a second to his personal tally on 33 minutes. Chamberlain pitched the perfect pass to Grix who added the legs to go over, a conversion from Finn took Wakefield to 16-0.
Widnes almost got one back on the stroke of half-time, despite being a man down after White’s sin-binning, but Wakefield were resilient as they held Chase up, before forcing Johnson into touch.
Wakefield certainly didn’t lie down on their lead in the second period as they scored right from the off. Manuokafoa spilled the ball from kick-off and Trinity added some great team play to see Ben Jones-Bishop flying over at the corner to take the score to 22-0.
Widnes soon picked themselves up with a 46th minute try, three youngsters combining. Johnson and Chamberlain combined before feeding Ince who raced around to get Widnes back in the game, Wakefield still 22-6 to the good.
An interference in the play allowed Finn to add a penalty goal for Wakefield. Before a fantastic team move took them way out of sight. Grix raced away, before offloading to Caton-Brown. The young lad is tackled but the ball is fired out wide for Ben Jones-Bishop to confirm a brace.
Wakefield sealed the game as a lay pass from Chase was unnoticed by the Widnes players, who were too slow, allowing Ashurst to pounce and score possibly the easiest try of his career. Widnes did get one back as Hep Cahill barged over, but it was all too late for Widnes.
CHASE OFF DAY
Rangi Chase made his Widnes debut, wearing his self-selected number 40 shirt. Chase is a man who likes to tease and chip away at the opposition defence, but he found it tough to do that in the opening forty against Wakefield as his side struggled to get out of their own half. On the occasions that they did, Chase found himself creating problems for his own side, handing the first try to Wakefield with a wayward pass straight into the grasp of Ben Jones-Bishop.
Despite a few flashes of class from Rangi Chase, it was a real bad day at the office for Widnes’ newest recruit. After handing Wakefield a try in the first half, he also gifted them one in the second. He peeled a pass backwards but his peers were too slow to react and Ashurst was quickest to pick up the stray pass to score an easy touch down between the sticks.
Chase had only trained with the squad for a matter of hours before the game, which may owe to his performance. Rest assured this won’t be the last of Rangi Chase.
GRIX GOING GOOD
Scott Grix was on the top of his game on Saturday afternoon as he caused havoc against his former club.
He wriggled away from the Widnes defence on a few occasions, and bagged a first-half brace. First following up Ben Jones-Bishop fine intercepting run and getting his second by spotting a big gap to help himself to a try.
He then added an assist to his game day tally from the restart as he popped up a pass right on the edge for Ben Jones-Bishop to finish.
He was a leader throughout, his name mentioned on almost every set because of his involvement, he really set the tone for Wakefield today to lead them to a win.
After three defeats in a row prior to the Magic Weekend, Wakefield really turned on the heat against Widnes. They never took their foot off the gas and really put it to their opponents.
Despite being slightly off par in the second period, it never really showed as Trinity looked the likeliest of winners throughout, they dominated the match for great periods and had outstanding defence to keep Widnes from getting anywhere.
TROUBLE FOR WIDNES
It was a game that left Widnes feeling a bit depleted. They showed some courage early in the first half to keep Wakefield at bay, but once Trinity struck once, Widnes found it harder to contain them.
The Vikings still remain bottom of the table after the loss, and it should be some worrying signs for Denis Betts if something doesn’t change soon.
Widnes are well known for their home form on the illustrious “i-pitch” but even that record isn’t holding out for much this year, their new recruits might be the help they need once they are allowed time to settle into the team, but today’s performance didn’t look too positive for Widnes.
Widnes Vikings (0) 12
Tries: Ince, Cahill
Goals: Chamberlain 2/2
Wakefield Trinity (16) 34
Tries: Grix 2, Lyne, Jones-Bishop 2, Ashurst
Goals: Finn 5/7
Man of the Match: Scott Grix
POST MATCH MEDIA
David Fifita, Wakefield Player : “Thanks to the coaches for that, we do defence all week. It’s something we’ve worked on hard, and that showed today so we’ve got to take that on board.”
Chris Chester, Wakefield Coach: “I was particularly pleased with effort off the ball and the resilience we showed.”
“I Didn’t think we were good in the second half but the win was important.”
“We wanted to come here get the two points and we have done that, I’m happy.”
Denis Betts, Widnes Coach: “We made some mistakes and gave some stupid penalties away.”
“I was proud of some of the effort out there, but I thought Wakefield played really well.”
Referee: Chis Kendall
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle
Date/Time: Saturday 20th May 2017 – 14:30pm GMT