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Third placed Widnes Vikings were hoping for a large points win over a mid-table Doncaster side as they met in a round seven encounter for which the bookies had made the home side clear favourites with a fourteen point handicap on the coupon.

Both sides came into the game on the back on wins last weekend, Widnes scraping past the Bradford Bulls by a single point but Doncaster with a much more confident win over the league bottom club Dewsbury.

A thirty-six-point victory would put Widnes second, depending on the afternoons other scores a big win could put Doncaster as high as fifth.

The opening stages were frequently punctuated by the referees’ whistle with penalty after penalty, and several injuries requiring the attention of the on-field medics.

It took twenty minutes for Doncaster to get the first points when a ball came free in the tackle on Suaia Matagi and was picked up and passed wide right to Sam Smeaton to go over as the Widnes players appealed for a knock on. Craig Hall smashed his kick between the uprights for a 6-0 lead.

On twenty-four Luke Briscoe crossed to score but play was pulled back by the referee for a forward pass.

Doncaster kicked the penalty through the boot of Hall after a tip tackle on thirty-five minutes to extend the lead to 8-0 heading towards the break.

Widnes got themselves back into the game with a couple of minutes remaining after a nice passing move saw Lyons, Owen and Nesbitt put Mike Butt over in the corner. The Tom Gilmore conversion attempt was wide of the sticks, Widnes still four points adrift.

Right on the hooter a cross field kick was spilled by Briscoe and collected by Gilmore who improved the angle a little as he ran towards the sticks in-goal. He added the conversion to his own try to give Widnes the lead for the first time in the game.

A short pass from Gilmore put Sam Wilde through a gap for the third Widnes try, just to the side of the posts giving Gilmore an easy conversion for an eight-point lead.

Good Doncaster pressure on seventy carved the opportunity for Hall to walk in for a simple try to get his side back within striking range of Widnes. Connor Robinson added the conversion to narrow the margin to just two points.

Doncaster weren’t going to die wondering as they threw everything that they had at the Widnes defence in the closing minutes bur that defence held strong for a two-point Widnes victory which lifts them level in second place with the Sheffield Eagles. A purple patch of three tries either side of half time sealed the win for the Vikings but they will need to play like that for the full eighty if they are to be true contenders for the top spot. A great game with a nailbiting finish.

Widnes Vikings: Owens, Butt (T), Nisbet, Edge, Ince, Lyons, Gilmore (T, 2/3 G), Kirk, Johnstone, Murray, Lloyd, Wilde (T), Field.  Subs: Fozard, Brooks, Roberts, Bent. 18th: Walker.

Doncaster: Hall (T, 2/2 G), Briscoe, Hey, Tali, Taulapapa, Johnston, Boas, Knowles, Burns, Matagi, Pauli, Ferres, McConnell. Subs: Robinson (1/1 G), Smeaton (T), Lovodua, Hepi. 18th Man: Holdstock. 

Half-Time: 10-8.

Full-Time: 16-14.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-8, 4-8, 8-8, 10-8 : HT: 14-8, 16-8, 16-12, 16-14 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Doncaster – Square - Widnes.

Referee:  Ryan Cox.

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 5th May 2024 4:47 PM | Views : 4011 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES