Dramatic Phelps try sees Widnes shock Huddersfield
A dramatic last-minute try from full-back Cameron Phelps gave Widnes a shock victory over Huddersfield to end their eight-match losing run.by NRL
A dramatic last-minute try from full-back Cameron Phelps gave Widnes a shock victory over Huddersfield to end their eight-match losing run.
Widnes had led from the third minute of the game after a three-try opening blast in the first 11 minutes to lead 16-0, but fell behind for the first time in the match at 22-20 with just five minutes remaining.
Yet in the dying seconds Rhys Hanbury's kick hit the post and Phelps dived on the loose ball for the match-winning try to which Patrick Ah Van added the conversion to seal a memorable win.
Widnes gave a debut to hooker Paul McShane, signed on loan from Leeds Rhinos for the rest of the season, replacing Vikings captain Jon Clarke who was serving his one-match suspension picked up for a dangerous tackle during the Magic Weekend defeat by Warrington Wolves. The home side also welcomed back Dave Allen at loose forward after injury.
A one-match suspension ruled out Huddersfield captain Kevin Brown, while Joe Wardle and David Faiumu were left out of the squad defeated 38-34 by Salford City Reds at the Etihad Stadium.
Lee Gilmour, Aaron Murphy and Larne Patrick were all recalled by coach Nathan Brown after missing the Magic Weekend defeat, while prop forward Eorl Crabtree made his 300th appearance for the Giants.
Widnes started the game in explosive fashion and the bottom side in Stobart Super League found themselves 16-0 ahead after just 11 minutes following an opening three-try salvo.
The home side were ahead after just two minutes when, following an initial midfield break by Hanbury, winger Ah Van crashed over in the corner.
Five minutes later Widnes increased their lead when Joe Mellor's inch-perfect kick was pounced on by Hanbury for his side's second try which Ah Van converted to make it 10-0.
And it got even better for the Vikings when, on 11 minutes, McShane's grubber kick through was dived on by prop forward Ben Cross for the 33-year-old's first professional try. Ah Van was once again on target with the conversion to give Widnes a surprising 16-0 lead.
Huddersfield finally got on the scoreboard on the half-hour mark when second row forward Dale Ferguson crashed over from close range and Danny Brough converted.
Then, six minutes before half -time, Widnes were reduced to 12 men when referee George Stokes sent substitute Steve Pickersgill to the sin bin when he was penalised for holding down Greg Eden as the Giants looked to break from deep.
And the visitors immediately made their extra man tell as David Fa'alogo took Brough's pass to score under the posts and Brough again converted to reduce the deficit to just four points at 16-12 at half-time.
A high tackle by Michael Lawrence on Hanbury allowed Ah Van to kick a simple penalty two minutes after the restart to edge Widnes further in front at 18-12 and he repeated the feat soon after to stretch the lead to eight points before the Giants set up a stirring finale.
Scott Grix crossed for a try in the 67th minute and a Brough conversion and two penalties edged the Giants in front five minutes from time before Phelps' dramatic last-gasp winner.
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