Sunday 3rd February 2013, 15:00 - Round:1
|Kieran Dixon 2, Chris Melling,||T||Stefan Marsh 2, Jon Clarke, Dave Allen, Frankie Winterstein,|
Rhys Hanbury 4,
Attendance: 2,856 Official: T Roby Venue: Twickenham Stoop Stadium
Stefan Marsh guided Widnes to an impressive 28-14 victory over the London Broncos as the Vikings got their Super League campaign off to the perfect start.
Marsh scored two of the visitors’ five tries and was an impressive presence throughout as Denis Betts’ men triumphed in the capital.
The Vikings were forced to make do without two of their big-name signings, Gareth Hock and Kevin Brown, due to injury and installed former London loanee Joe Mellor at stand-off.
The Broncos elected to give a debut start to centre Alex Hurst, a close-season signing from Swinton Lions.
Last season’s clash between the pair went right to the wire, with the hosts eventually prevailing thanks to a last-gasp Antonio Kaufusi try.
The visitors set about putting that right straight from the off, grabbing an early lead when Marsh took Jon Clarke’s pass, cut inside and muscled over from close range.
London really should have levelled things up moments later, but Jamie O’Callaghan was bundled into touch by a posse of Widnes defenders when he looked certain to score.
It was no-frills stuff from the Vikings, but their aggressive approach was certainly putting the Broncos on the back foot.
And that energetic start was so nearly converted into more points on 16 minutes when Willie Isa was inches from grounding a teasing kick through.
The home side were showing precious little creativity, with loose kicks and passes into touch peppering their attacking play.
But London were fronting up defensively, with the end result being both sides cancelling each other out for much of the opening half.
It was Widnes who were to move further clear on the half-hour, though, Clarke engineering space and romping over after neat hands from the Vikings backs.
And the away side moved into a commanding position before the break, Dave Allen cashing in with a third try after the Broncos spilled an aimless kick on the last tackle.
With skipper Craig Gower departing due to injury, London were forced into a second-half reshuffle, Chris Melling and new signing Tommy Lee entering the fray.
The Broncos had the perfect chance to grab a lifeline midway through the half, only for Will Lovell to somehow spill the ball in the act of grounding with the line at his mercy.
Tony Rea’s men finally got on the board on 64 minutes, profiting from a loose pass that went to ground with Kieran Dixon scooping up and skidding home.
Further late scores saw Frank Winterstein rumble home for the visitors and Melling and Dixon burst over late on for the Broncos before Marsh rounded off the scoring.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals
Clean Breaks: 3