Owens boosts Vikings to victory


Published: Sunday 19th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Jack Owens scored 18 points to send Castleford crashing to a 46-16 defeat at Widnes.

The winger scored a try and kicked seven goals from eight attempts for Widnes, who romped into a 28-6 interval lead.

Patrick Ah Van and Rhys Hanbury each crossed for two of the Vikings’ eight tries.

Cas could only manage touchdowns from Ben Roberts, Oliver Holmes and skipper Michael Shenton as they struggled to find the recent form which had brought them four wins in five matches.

Widnes, who had slipped to 11th after successive defeats at Catalan Dragons and Hull, welcomed Willie Isa back to the bench after a two-month absence with a knee problem.

Joe Mellor was a late withdrawal through illness with Tom Gilmore drafted in at scrum half.

Danny Tickle, still needing one try for a career century, was out after groin surgery with centre Chris Dean switched to the second row.

Castleford, fresh from victories over Hull KR and Warrington in their last two matches, were without nine-try top scorer Justin Carney and they missed his power.

The blockbusting Aussie winger was sidelined with a dislocated elbow and James Clare took over with Jordan Tansey replacing injured Luke Dorn at full-back.

Ah Van did not take long to stroll over for a walk-in try after five minutes but the touchdown was created by clever passing from Kevin Brown and Hanbury.

Owens booted the touchline conversion with Hanbury’s elusive running causing Cas early problems.

But the Tigers levelled after 11 minutes with Roberts taking Andy Lynch’s offload to sidestep over with Liam Finn converting.

The try pepped up Cas with only desperate defending bundling Ashley Gibson into touch.

Widnes regained the lead thanks to Lloyd White’s 40-20 which set up the platform for Hanbury to crash over from Brown’s pass, and Owens landed another touchline conversion.

There was no stopping Hanbury with his long pass sending Owens racing over in the corner after 26 minutes and again the winger booted his third difficult conversion to make it 18-6.

The Tigers conceded a fourth try with Stefan Marsh crashing through from Gilmore’s pass with Owens forced to take his fourth kick from the touchline – but this time he was off target to be greeted with ironic cheers from the home fans.

Widnes made it 28-6 at the break with Ah Van crashing through a poor Gibson tackle attempt right on the half-time hooter and Owens landing his fourth goal.

Castleford gave Brown far too much room and the Vikings skipper exploited a yawning gap in their defensive wall early in the second half to stretch the advantage to 34-6.

It needed an electrifying break by Adam Milner to lift the spirits of the large army of travelling Cas fans with Holmes twisting over from close range for their second try.

More brilliance from Hanbury set up a try for Cameron Phelps with a bewildering touchline run followed by a precision kick for the centre to cross.

Owens made no mistake with another difficult kick to stretch the lead to 40-10 after an hour.

Cas did notch a third try with Shenton bursting onto a Roberts pass.

Only the post denied Aaron Heremaia another try as Widnes continued to pile on the pressure with Phelps spilling the ball over the line.

And it was no surprise when the Vikings added another try through Hanbury five minutes from time.

Published: Sunday 19th April 2015 by The News Editor

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