Super League: Bradford Bulls 12-32 Widnes Vikings

Stefan Marsh
Widnes Vikings' Stefan Marsh has scored 10 Super League tries so far this season
Bradford Bulls (12) 12
Tries: Olbison, Walker
Goals: Gale 2
Widnes Vikings (8) 32
Tries: Flynn 2, Marsh 3, Ah Van, White
Goals: Phelps 2

Three second-half Stefan Marsh tries saw Widnes Vikings secure a place in the Super League play-offs with an away victory at relegated Bradford Bulls.

The visitors started brightly with two unconverted Paddy Flynn tries but Tom Olbison and Chev Walker both went over to give Bulls a 12-8 half-time lead.

Marsh's hat-trick put Widnes ahead but the scoreline remained close as Danny Tickle missed further kicks.

Patrick Ah Van and Lloyd White both added late scores as the hosts tired.

The result means that Widnes will feature in the end-of-season play-offs for the first time in the Super League era.

Steady improvement for Widnes
Widnes will appear in the Super League play-offs for the first time later this month, having finished 14th and 10th since returning to the top flight in 2012.

Flynn was on the scoresheet as early as the second minute, taking full advantage of a knock-on by Bradford, and he doubled Vikings' lead just six minutes later, racing into the corner.

Lee Gaskell set up Olbison on 11 minutes for Bradford's first try of the afternoon, which was duly converted by Luke Gale, and the hosts looked the stronger for the rest of the first half, Walker muscling the ball over on his return from injury and Gale converting again for a four-point half-time lead.

Marsh touched down twice in quick succession after the break but Tickle struck the upright with both conversions.

There was further frustration for Tickle as he kicked wide after Marsh's third, but Widnes were good value for for their eight-point lead, having scored five tries to Bradford's two.

Ah Van then made the victory safe after Rhys Hanbury's neat offload and this time Cameron Phelps was successful with the conversion.

With just two minutes remaining, Danny Galea broke and found White, who ran in from almost 40 metres to secure Widnes' first away win since June.

Bradford Bulls coach James Lowes:

"We made too many errors. We made some great opportunities but bombed the chances.

"Our error rate was too high and the second half was a result of us dropping too much ball in the first half.

"We had enough opportunities to score and take the game away from Widnes but our execution was poor."

Widnes Vikings coach Denis Betts:

"It's a fantastic achievement for the team to be certain of being in the top eight and in charge of our own destiny.

"It was a tight game today because I need to find a goal-kicker and I've just told Danny Tickle that!

"Bradford are a dangerous beast and our defence was outstanding, especially in the second half when we didn't let them get over our line.

"I'd like to wish the Bulls well next year and hope they can get back into the Super League as it needs this place."

Bradford: Kearney; Henry, Adams, Walker, Williams; Gaskell, Gale; Manuokafoa, O'Brien, Sidlow, Olbison, Pitts, Addy.

Replacements: Arundel, Blythe, Fakir, Donaldson.

Widnes: Hanbury; Flynn, Marsh, Phelps, Ah Van; Brown, Mellor; O'Carroll, Clarke, Johnson, Galea, Tickle, Cahill.

Replacements: White, Leuluai, Joseph, Dean.

Referee: Robert Hicks

Attendance: 7,438

Top Stories