Friday 10th February 2017, 20:00
Super League - Round: 1
Charly Runciman, Stefan Marsh, Rhys Hanbury,
Jermaine McGillvary 2, Lee Gaskell, Tom Symonds, Aaron Murphy, Leroy Cudjoe,
Rhys Hanbury 2,
Danny Brough 2,
Attendance: 5,031 Official: J Smith Venue: Select Security Stadium Halton
Betfred Super League XX11 Round 1
Teams: Widnes Vikings: Hanbury; Thompson, Armstrong, Runciman, Marsh; Bridge, Gilmore; Dudson, White, J Chapelhow, Whitley, Houston, Leuluai
Interchanges: Heremaia, Cahill, Olbison, T Chapelhow
Giants: Gaskell; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Mellor, Murphy; Brough, Brierley; Ikahihifo, Hinchcliffe, Ta’ai, Symonds, Ferguson, Lawrence
Interchanges: Wakeman, Leeming, Roberts, Clough
Referee: J Smith
Half time score: Widnes Vikings 6 Giants 20
Full time score: Widnes Vikings 16 Giants 28
Scorers: WidnesVikings: Tries: Runciman, Marsh, Hanbury
Goals: Hanbury (2)
Giants: Tries: McGillvary (2), Gaskell, Symonds, Murphy, Cudjoe
Goals: Brough (2)
Giants Man of the Match: Lee Gaskell
Penalties conceded: Widnes Vikings 7 Giants 6
Goal line drop outs conceded: Widnes Vikings 1 Giants 2
Weather: Dry, cold
The Giants started the 2017 Super League season with a trip to the Select Security Stadium Widnes with 4 players Lee Gaskell, Shannon Wakeman, Paul Clough and Alex Mellor making their first appearances and Dale Ferguson returning after a spell at the Bradford Bulls on a very cold evening. Giants supporters had travelled in good numbers looking for a much better start than last year and were rewarded with a much improved display overall though the early momentum was with the home side who took a 5th minute lead through Charly Runciman’s try on the left improved by Rhys Hanbury. On the 13th minute the Giants hit back following a penalty, Brough and Cudjoe combining to put Jermaine McGillvary over in the right corner, Danny Brough missed the conversion but 5 minutes later the Giants took the lead. Danny Brough’s high kick caused confusion in the Vikings defence and when the ball broke free Brough put Lee Gaskell over for his first Giants try, Danny Brough adding the extras. The Giants were now dominating the encounter and on 25 minutes they went further ahead; an attack on the right culminated with Leroy Cudjoe’s astute grubber being touched down by Jermaine McGillvary for his second try of the evening, Danny Brough missing the conversion. A brief Vikings rally was repelled by the Giants and before the half time hooter the lead was stretched to 14 points with a Tom Symonds try from a Danny Brough pass, the architect also adding the extras.
After the first 5 minutes the Giants had controlled the match and with a little more composure might well have registered 2 more tries.
The early play of t he second half was a replica of the start of the match with the Vikings dominating field position but without being able to breach the Giants defence. Eventually the Giants began to reassert themselves and on 55 minutes swift accurate passing to the left saw Dale Ferguson put Aaron Murphy over in the left hand corner after the attack on the right had been repelled some 5 metres out. Ryan Brierley’s conversion attempt was wide but the result was now not in real doubt and although the Vikings registered 2 late tries through Stefan Marsh and Rhys Hanbury, the latter after what appeared to be 2 knock-ons ,the Giants regained their composure and scored the last try of the evening. Rhys Hanbury had converted his own try but was unable to hold back Giants skipper Leroy Cudjoe’s drive to the line in the last minute. Danny Brough’s touchline conversion attempt was wide and the final margin of 12 points did not accurately reflect the overall dominance which the Giants had exerted on the match.
The Giants forwards had out muscled the Vikings pack and set up the platform for the 6 tries which the Giants had registered. The Vikings had been better in the second half but they never looked like overturning the first half deficit.
More of the same will be required for the first home game of the season on Thursday 16 February when Salford Red Devils are the opposition kick off 8.00pm.
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