VIKINGS 18-24 WILDCATS

posted on 9 May 2014

A Paul Sykes try with a minute remaining won a tense game for the Wildcats.

Paul Sykes scored the winning try.

The sides were locked at 18-18 for much of the second half after Trinity had opened up a first half lead through Chris Riley and Richard Moore before being pegged back by a Chris Hulme brace and a score for Flynn.

Harry Siejka levelled things up before Sykes won the game at the death after the sides had exchanged drop goal misses.

Richard Agar stuck with the same team that defeated Hull FC five days earlier after Paul McShane was cleared of a broken toe.

Trinity’s first score came less than 60 seconds after Widnes looked destined to open the scoring themselves.  Walshaw and Kirmond hauled down Leuluai with the line begging and when Brown lost the ball on the next play, Sammut picked up and raced 90 metres before handing the finishing duties to Riley who finally had his first try in the red, white and blue.

The score served to further energise the Wildcats who were putting in some fearsome shots in defence with Nick Scruton at the fore.  It was he and Moore who combined in a tackle to force an error 40 metres from the Widnes line and after a ricochet provided a repeat set, Moore ran across the Vikings defensive line before picking his moment to straighten and power his way to the line.

It was no more than Trinity deserved at 12-0 and it could have been better had Paul Sykes reeled in the pass from Paul McShane after smart work from Sammut.

It wasn’t to be and it was so the Vikings, unbeaten at home since August 2013 who worked their way back into the contest.  Hulme was the benefactor of an overlap on the left and he dived in at the corner on 22 minutes.

Harry Siejka came up with a try saving tackle on the same man before the Vikings struck on the stroke of half-time.  A run of penalties provided the hosts with the opportunity and Brown picked the pass from which Flynn cut in off his right wing and scored.

Tickle converted from the touchline but couldn’t do the same with a 50 metre penalty after Sammut had sent his restart out on the full so the sides were locked up at 12-12 at the break.

The second period couldn’t have got off to a worse start for the visitors as a loose Moore offload handed possession to Widnes who marched the Wildcats downfield and ended the set with a well measured kick from Danny Craven that saw the ball take a wicked high bounce from which Hulme leapt to gather and score his second.

Widnes had certainly come out with renewed vigour but the Wildcats weren’t going to let them have it their own way.  Sykes had gone close before Siejka took on the line and showed strength and determination to register his first try in the red, white and blue.

The sides were then locked in an arm wrestle, Widnes enjoying the better of field position but the Wildcats defence standing firm and going close themselves through Sykes and McShane.

The sides exchanged missed drop goal attempts and crucially Widnes came up with the error 90 seconds from time.  Sammut was pressurised but he kept his head to find Sykes who dummied, sprinted to the line and won the game.

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