Widnes Vikings are through to the third round of the Challenge Cup after an impressive 34-10 win over Whitehaven in an all-Championship encounter, live on The Sportsman.
They had to come from behind as Haven had the better of the opening stages and got their rewards early on. Conor Holiday caught the Widnes players napping to break through in midfield and laid the ball off to Connor Phillips who put the away side into the lead, but after a testing start, Simon Finnigan’s side fought back in style to safely book their place in round three.
Steven Tyrer got over the line from close range after a powerful drive to bring the hosts back into the game, before Danny Craven put Widnes into the lead with some clever footwork and a smart dummy that fooled the Whitehaven backline.
Haven forward Lachlan Walmsley was the centre of attention midway through the first half as he was subject to a biting allegation on Connor Dwyer, with the incident placed on report. Still on the field, Walmsley then should’ve put the away side back level but fumbled when he had the chance to cross and then before the break, Connor Dwyer and Lewis Else combined brilliantly to make him pay, and put Widnes 16-6 up at half-time.
It was a superb individual effort by Vikings captain Jack Owen after the break that took the tie away from Gary Charlton’s side, who just couldn’t match the home team in the second half. Widnes’ desire to win was typified in the second period as a phenomenal piece of defending from the entire team forced Whitehaven to give up possession.
It was a special day for Will Tilleke, who got his first senior try for Widnes as he powered through the Whitehaven defence to extend the lead, before Else got his second try off the day to put the gloss on an impressive display for Finnigan’s team.
So Widnes put their name in the hat for the third round of the Challenge Cup and they’ll find out who they will face tomorrow morning, with the draw live on The Sportsman at 9:35am. That draw will include 12 Super League teams who join the competition for the first time, as Leeds Rhinos look to defend the crown they won last season.