Widnes RLFC

13th Mar 2015 - St.Helens (H)

13th Mar 2015 (Season: 2015)
St.Helens (H)
O'Carroll Ah Van Heremaia
Tickle Marsh 3
Drop Goals: 

Match Report

St Helens needed a supercharged second half show to maintain their 100 per cent First Utility Super League record with a 30-20 win at Widnes.

Both sides were without several key players but Widnes deserved their 14-6 interval lead before the champions ran in 24 second-half points.

Lance Hohaia crossed for two of the visitors' five tries, with others from the outstanding Atelea Vea, Luke Thompson and Jordan Turner. Travis Burns kicked five goals.

Widnes led at the break thanks to tries from Eamon O'Carroll and Patrick Ah Van in front of 7,772 fans.

The hosts were missing skipper Kevin Brown, Cameron Phelps, Lloyd White, Manase Manuokafoa and Hep Cahill with Danny Craven, Stefan Marsh, Grant Gore and Macgraff Leuluai back after last week's defeat at Huddersfield.

St Helens, without James Roby and banned Kyle Amor, were strengthened by the return of Burns from suspension, while Paul Wellens reverted to his old full-back spot in the absence of injured Jonny Lomax.

Josh Jones and Andre Savelio replaced injured Mark Percival and Mark Flanagan, who were also injured in the win at Wakefield with Luke Walsh still missing.

Widnes notched their first home win over Saints for 20 years last season and made a flying start with O'Carroll charging over from short range after Danny Tickle was held short.

Tickle had no problem with the straightforward conversion to fire his side into a 6-0 lead.

Alex Walmsley almost forced his way over for Saints but was bundled into touch by determined tackling.

The Vikings defence was not as impressive after 15 minutes with Hohaia scampering over from dummy half, with Burns adding the goal to level at 6-6.

Saints continued to pile on the pressure before Widnes were only denied on the break by a try saving tackle from Tommy Makinson on Joe Mellor before a thundering midfield burst by Ah Van.

Makinson was forced to quit injured with Widnes regaining the lead with Rhys Hanbury's pass putting Ah Van over in the corner and Marsh booting the touchline conversion with Tickle having gone off.

Marsh struck a penalty five minutes before the interval to make it 14-6 and Saints could have no complaints after sloppy handling.

Paddy Flynn failed to collect the restart and Widnes paid the price with Ah Van fumbling a Jon Wilkin kick - Vea pounced and Burns converted to cut the gap to 14-12.

The Vikings lost Chris Dean with a rib injury and were forced to drop out twice in quick succession from under their own posts as Saints stepped up the tempo.

The pressure told with teenage forward Thompson forcing his way over to give Saints the lead for the first time after 53 minutes with Burns' kick edging them ahead 18-14.

Saints put daylight between the sides four minutes later after a thundering burst from Vea with Wellens in support to send Turner over and make it 24-14.

Hohaia wriggled over for his second try to add to the Vikings' woes on the hour and stretch the lead to 30-14.

Danny Craven looked certain to notch a third try for Widnes after a long range break but stumbled and was stopped by Matt Dawson.

Widnes managed a late try from Aaron Heremaia but paid the price for their poor start to the second half.

Keiron Cunningham felt his St Helens side were "virtually untouchable" as they came back from a 14-6 interval deficit at Widnes to win 30-20 and maintain their 100 per cent Super League record this season.

Both sides were without several key players but Widnes deserved their interval lead before the champions ran in 24 second half points.

Lance Hohaia crossed for two of the Saints five tries with others from the outstanding Atelea Vea, Luke Thompson and Jordan Turner with Travis Burns booting five goals.

The Saints boss said: "We looked a bit jaded in the first half but I was immensely pleased with our second half show. We set high standards at this club and were virtually untouchable at times."

"Atelea Vea was absolutely brilliant and is playing well with Joe Greenwood in the second row.

"Travis Burns has also fitted into our system really well and all the kids are doing a big job which is promising for the club."

Cunningham also praised Hohaia, switched to hooker for the injured James Roby.

"Lance hasn't played many minutes this season but is a good competitor," he added.

"He's a very good utility player and he's made it tough for me not to play him next week."

Saints lost Tommy Makinson with concussion after a try saving tackle on Joe Mellor with Widnes centre Chris Dean suffering a broken rib against his old club.

Widnes led at the break tries from Eamon O'Carroll and Patrick Ah Van in front of 7,772 fans before managing a late Aaron Heremaia try.

Coach Denis Betts was pleased with the application from his side.

"It was a wholehearted effort but we were dumb at times," he said.

"We conceded three tries from dummy half and that's criminal.

"It was frustrating making some stupid errors and we ran out of energy at a crucial time.

"Grant Gore was really good for us but you have to give St Helens credit. They have the culture of knowing how to win."

Source: Sporting Life


5.Ah Van