Widnes Vikings 24-34 Barrow Raiders: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

Round five in the Betfred Championship ended on an exciting note as Barrow Raiders made it four wins from four with a brilliant 34-24 away win at Widnes Vikings. The result also condemned the Vikings to their first league defeat of 2022 as they were unable to bounce back from their Challenge Cup exit last week.

Highlights:

Lloyd Roby’s Try & Three Assists

A player who did not deserve to be on the losing side had to be Widnes’ Lloyd Roby. The 23-year-old finished off a superb ball handling move for his try and provided direct assists for the other three on the night. He proved to be a constant threat throughout but his side were unable to hold off a fightback and remain unbeaten.

Hakim Miloudi Try & Two Assists

Moving on to the official Player of the Match Hakim Miloudi. The French international scored a try and provided two outstanding assists for winger Tee Ritson during the first half. Both in carbon copy fashion, the dancing centre utilised his twinkle toes to perfection as he was able to generate enough space for Ritson to score a brace, the second just before half-time that arguably proved to be the game breaker.

Luke Cresswell’s Controversial Try

Or was this the game breaker? The Raiders led 22-18 just after the hour mark before they produced a power play that was heavily controversial. A long pass from half-back Jake Carter to Ryan Shaw looked to have drifted forwards but the officials waved play on. This was before Shaw released Shane Toal down the wing, who collected his own grubber kick before his inside pass was helped on again by Carter to full-back Luke Cresswell, who touched down to extend the Raiders’ lead, much to the annoyance of the Widnes supporters.

Major Talking Points:

Barrow the unlikely dark horses?

Let’s face it, who gave Barrow a chance to be play-off contenders this season? Okay, there’s a long way to go but the Cumbrian side produced a magnificent performance to maintain their 100% start in all competitions. They scored some scintillating tries too and overturned an early 12-0 deficit to record a memorable win. Their early form is certainly raising more than a few eyebrows.

Vikings humbled

Widnes started superbly and looked to have resumed normal service in the league with another comfortable win but of course, Barrow had other ideas. Roby was a shining light in the defeat, who has a bright future ahead of him and could well attract interest from the league above. Nevertheless, the defeat may be a reality check for Widnes that a game does last 80 minutes and they cannot afford to let other clubs back after running into what looked like a healthy lead.

The Betfred Championship is seriously underrated

Other journalists have spoken on this matter and after this match, who can blame them? These two certainly produced the most entertaining match on Premier Sports so far in 2022, perhaps the best game of British rugby league across all competitions for a neutral. It was end-to-end, ten tries scored, plenty of near misses, controversy surrounding a try or two and another sin-bin as well. An excellent advert for rugby league and hopefully there’s plenty more to follow for the remainder of the season!

Player Ratings:

Widnes Vikings
20. Lloyd Roby – 8
5. Ryan Ince – 7
18. Matty Fleming – 7
4. Steve Tyrer – 7
25. Brad Holroyd – 7
7. Matty Smith – 7
14. Joe Lyons – 7
16. Tyler Dupree – 7
9. Matty Fozard – 7
10. Shane Grady – 7
19. Olly Davies – 6
11. Sam Wilde – 7
15. Aaron Brown – 7
Substitutes
12. Adam Lawton – 7
21. Dec Gregory – 7
23. Will Telleke – 6
27. Eribe Doro – 7

Barrow Raiders
1. Luke Cresswell – 7
2. Tee Ritson – 8
4. Hakim Miloudi – 9
26. Ryan Shaw – 8
5. Shane Toal – 7
14. Jake Carter – 7
6. Jarrod Sammut – 9
10. Carl Forster – 8
22. Josh Wood – 8
21. Ellis Gillam – 7
16. Tom Hopkins – 7
12. Jarrad Stack – 7
24. Anton Iaria – 7
Substitutes
8. Jack Wells – 7
9. Nathan Mossop – 7
15. Dan Toal – 7
33. Josh Johnson – 7

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