Weller Hauraki, Krisnan Inu 2, Patrick Ah Van 2,
Krisnan Inu 3,
James Woodburn-Hall, James Saltonstall,
Shane Grady, Scott Murrell,
By Jacob Kilbride
Halifax RLFC suffered a fifth consecutive Betfred Super 8s Qualifiers defeat after they were beaten 26-12 by Widnes Vikings at the Select Security Stadium.
Halifax were in the contest for large periods and narrowly trailed 10-6 at the break. But two tries from Patrick Ah Van and a second from Krisnan Inu secured a crucial victory for the home side.
It looked like a dream start for Halifax when Shane Grady touched down after just three minutes when a Dan Fleming kick remarkably twice bounced off the crossbar into the path of the second rower.
But, the try was ruled out due to an off the ball tackle and it remained scoreless.
After two tries in the space of four minutes for Widnes, the Vikings looked on course for a convincing victory
Weller Hauraki was the first on the scoresheet after finding a gap from some quick hands across the line.
Krisnan Inu converted and added a try to this name shortly after when he barged over in the right corner, having palmed away a couple of defenders. He pulled short the conversion this time.
Halifax proved resolute in defence thereafter - with James Woodburn-Hall twice making try-saving tackles in the corner - and forced themselves back into the contest with a late try.
Woodburn-Hall proved equally as important going forward and took a Scott Murell inside pass to score.
Shane Grady’s conversion cut the deficit to just four points at the break.
Halifax couldn’t take their late second-half momentum into the second period though and it was Widnes who scored first after the restart.
Inu played through Patrick Ah Van in the right corner and the centre then added the extras to regain Widnes’ ten-point lead.
At the mid-point in the second period, Ah Van thought he had a second try when he finished a flicked pass from Harrison Hansen, but the couch judge ruled out the try after the winger was adjudged to have had a foot in touch.
The Vikings continued to probe down the right flank and eventually broke through.
Former Fax half-back Liam Finn kicked the ball wide and Ah Van touched it back inside for Inu who rounded a defender to find the corner.
The centre converted from the sideline to increase the advantage.
Chances were few and far between thereafter, with penalties in far greater supply.
The sides did exchange tries late on, as some clever hands put James Saltonstall over for a try in the corner for Halifax.
With Grady off the field, Murrell took the kicking duties and the captain nailed his first goal of the season with a brilliant touchline effort.
In the final minute, Hauraki kicked the ball to the right corner and Ah Van spectacularly dived on the ball to scorre. Inu’s conversion was wide.
Widnes Vikings: Mellor, Ah Van, Inu, Runciman, Buckley; Lyons, Finn; Gubb, White, Houston; Hauraki, Hansen, Leuluai
Interchanges: Walker, Chapelhow, Olbison, Wilde
Tries: Hauraki (10'), Inu (14’, 62’), Ah Van (48’, 80’)
Goals: Inu (3/5)
Halifax RLFC: Sharp, Saltonstall, Heaton, Butler, Woodburn-Hall; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Fairbank, Tangata, Grady, Connor Davies
Interchanges: Jones, Moore, Cooper, Maher
Tries: Woodburn-Hall (35’), Saltonstall (75’)
Goals: Grady (1/1), Murrell (1/1)