Challenge Cup: Halifax 10-34 Widnes Vikings

Kevin Brown

Widnes progressed to round five of the Challenge Cup after a first-half scare against Championship side Halifax.

A blistering start from the home team saw the Vikings 10-0 behind after 20 minutes as Ryan Fieldhouse and Gareth Potts both touched down.

Captain Jon Clarke soon reduced the deficit with a converted try.

Widnes regrouped at half-time before showing their class with five tries from Paddy Flynn, Declan Hulme, Phil Joseph and two by Kevin Brown.

The pick of them saw half-back Brown sprint over from 80 metres after an interception.

Denis Betts's Vikings will travel to Salford Red Devils in the fifth round.

Halifax boss Karl Harrison:

"I'm reasonably pleased. We've got bigger games than that this season, but I thought we played well.

"I don't think a 24-point difference in the scoreline reflects how the game went out there, to be honest.

"We had to start the second half really well and we didn't.

"Defensively I thought we were a little bit soft in the middle, and they got a roll on. They turned their kicks into attacking kicks; they chased really well and they wore us down."

Widnes head coach Denis Betts:

"Conditions were tough and they gave it a go. We expected that, and it took a bit of a kick up the backside at half-time to get our focus back on track.

"In the second half we changed our attitude; we were behind on the scoreboard and we knew our completion rate was really poor.

"We needed to get back to what we do best, the first-half wasn't good enough and we survived through hard work and resilience.

"We needed to keep our desire high and we definitely did in that second period."

Sunday's line-ups

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Saxton, Tyrer, Cowling, Potts; Murrell, Brown; Ambler, Kaye, Bracek, Manning, Divorty, Adamson.

Replacements: Mennell, Tonks, Davies, C. Casey.

Widnes Vikings: Owens; Flynn, Dean, Lloyd, Hulme; Brown, White; Gerrard, Clarke, Joseph, Galea, Tickle, Cahill.

Replacements: Clough, Allen, Isa, O'Carroll.

Referee: Matthew Thomason

Attendance: 2,271