Four Pointers: Widnes 24-20 Huddersfield

A first win in nine!

Sunday’s result saw Widnes claim their first win in the league since March 17th – a victory which will hugely lift the confidence of the Vikings. Their only wins previous to yesterday had come in the Challenge Cup, and this one took them four points clear of the bottom four.

The passion the players showed seemed alien to that of recent weeks and unlike in previous games, the players seemed willing to put everything into running the ball in, Gil Dudson a prime example, who gave everything when running at the Huddersfield line.

A return of the same good play…

As I was watching on Sunday, certain moments gave me brief reminders of the game Widnes played towards the start of the season. Although the earlier form seems a long way away from the current performances, it certainly reminded me of what Widnes were capable of. For one, Corey Thompson was back in the tries, helping secure victory with a brace. But it was his first score, set up by Kevin Brown’s long, looping pass out wide to find the winger in space, that showed the most similarities to the earlier games.

The pass showed an eagerness to spread the play, and within the previous eight successive defeats, Widnes have often been afraid to venture out wide, sticking to the basic ‘5 drives and a kick’. Speaking of the kicking game, Kevin Brown’s grubbers into touch deep in Huddersfield territory slowed the game down and kept Widnes in control, an aspect of the play that has been sorely missed at the Select Security Stadium.

A lot of things to work on…

Despite Widnes securing their first win in nine, which tells its own story, the first half-performance from the Vikings left a lot to be desired, as had the previous eight games. Simple handling errors and silly penalties meant that, yet again, Widnes would get close to scoring but would throw it away in a lack of composure and confidence.

But the biggest lack of composure came as Setaimata Sa literally played the ball to no-one, allowing Danny Brough to pick up and race away unopposed. It’s that sort of play that epitomises Widnes’ recent performances.

Key Giants back in the tries…

One major positive for Huddersfield was that their key first-team players were back scoring. In fact, they helped put Huddersfield in control during the first half, as Danny Brough and Joe Wardle tallied individual scores, along with Nathan Mason’s effort, to take Huddersfield into the ascendancy at 16-0.

The absence of players like Wardle and Brough towards the start of the season was possibly their biggest downfall, but since their respective returns, along with Paul Anderson’s other key men, the team has started to gel once more, resulting in recent victories such as the thrashing of St Helens at the Magic Weekend.

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