Widnes Vikings put Halifax Panthers to the sword in massive win

On paper the Monday night Championship fixture was an even matchup with Halifax Panthers heading to the DCBL Stadium to take on Widnes Vikings.

Both sides had recorded two wins and a loss to start the season and both losses had come against elite teams with Fax going down to unbeaten Featherstone, whilst Widnes lost last week in late fashion to a Bradford side that has since beaten Toulouse.

Even the bookmakers couldn’t split the two sides, pricing the game up as a coin toss, but what came was sheer dominance from the home side.

It didn’t start out perfect for them either as the visitors went ahead inside 10 minutes via their elite try-scorer Lachlan Walmsley which granted them a 4-0 lead.

From that point onwards though it was all Widnes and the score eventually came in the 18th minute from winger Kieran Dixon, just a minute before Shane Grady scored another to make the game 10-4 within a matter of minutes.

Widnes’ ability to score on more or less back-to-back sets seemed to take the game away from Halifax completely and it was from that 20 minute mark onwards that the Panthers’ nightmare started.

Half-back Joe Keyes went off via a HIA, which he later failed, and what followed was a panicky display all evening with set completion and ball retention far below the levels that Simon Grix would desire.

Ryan Millar, Kieran Dixon and Danny Craven all scored before the break meaning the Vikings went from 10-4 to 28-4 at the half within a 15 minute period that effectively secured the two points.

Half-time didn’t help the Panthers with Jack Owens and Shane Grady both scoring within the first 15 minutes of the second-half, making it 38-4 and whilst a surprising score line, it was one that suited the way the game had been played.

With the game already decided the teams exchanged sets and Fax scored a consolation in the 70th minute with Walmsley scoring his second, but Jouffret was unable to convert again, something that summed the Panthers’ night up.

Widnes reached the 40 point mark when Joe Edge crossed over following a smart Jack Owens kick with less than five minutes to go, before a final Fax score from Matty Gee brought the scores closer again for a finish of 42-14.

It was an incredibly impressive win for Widnes but also just a night where Halifax weren’t at the races whatsoever.

The victory saw Widnes move into fourth in the table whilst Fax took a dent on their points difference and sit ninth.

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