Rugby League: Widnes off the mark

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The Independent Online
Widnes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

Salford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

WIDNES finally got their season off to a stuttering start last night with a first win over a Salford side who could have hardly given them more help.

Widnes were marginally the better of two bad sides in the early stages, taking a quick lead when Steve McCurrie's long, looping pass allowed Adrian Hadley to get outside the defence of his old club.

A rare attack saw Salford take the lead when Mike Gregory picked up at the base of a scrum and Shaun Brown found the Widnes defence exposed.

Steven Blakeley's conversion put Salford in the lead and after Christian Tyrer's through-kick brought a converted try for Darren Wright, it was the Salford stand-off who put them ahead again. His penalty brought them within two points and his 50-yard try was the best thing in a disjointed half, even though Tyrer's penalty brought Widnes level just before the break.

Brown then conceded a penalty for interfering at the play-the-ball and although Christian Tyrer's effort dropped short, his namesake, the Salford full-back, Gary Tyrer, knocked on and Karle Hammond pounced to break the deadlock.

Widnes, at last finding some confidence, got a second try from Hammond with Paul Forber in the sin-bin, Paul Hulme providing the final pass and Tyrer the extra two points, plus a penalty six minutes from time.

As time ran out, Forber made some amends by crossing for Salford but this had been a desperately poor Wigan performance against a side still vulnerable and uncertain.

Widnes: C Tyrer; Green, Hammond, Wright, Hadley; Ruane, D Hulme (Thorniley, 70); Makin (Walker, h/t), McCurrie, Hansen, Collier, Myler, P Hulme.

Salford: G Tyrer; Critchley, Panapa, Naylor (Birkett, 73)), Ford; Blakeley, Brown; Young, Quigley, Eccles, Forber, Marsden, Gregory (Randall, h/t).

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).