WIDNES Vikings began their Super League campaign with a bang, thrashing Catalans Dragons 40-12 at Halton Stadium.

There were eye-catching performances from two-try second row Chris Dean, livewire dummy-half Lloyd White and full-back Rhys Hanbury.

Papua New Guinea international Wellington Albert also showed up well in a couple of short spells on the field.

Catalans' discipline left a lot to be desired in the early stages with several penalties at the play-the-ball and prop Sam Moa sin-binned for a late hit on Joe Mellor.

After multiple sets on the visitors' line, Widnes opened the scoring when Dean showed great determination to crash over from ten metres with Gilmore adding the extras.


Having been restored back to a full complement by the return of Moa, the Dragons began to enjoy some good field-position.

A flat pass from Luke Walsh caught the Vikings on their heels and allowed fullback David Mead to cross for a six-pointer to level the scores on 19 minutes.

More Catalans pressure saw ex-Warrington back-rower Benjamin Jullien give his side a 12-6 lead when he reacted first after Charly Runciman had fumbled a Samisoni Langi cross-kick.

Albert came off the bench along with White and gave some pep to the Vikings going forward.

Five minutes before the interval, Dean's right foot step took him through the Dragons defence and he found Mellor on his shoulder to coast under the posts and level things up once more at 12-12.

A jinking Mellor run early in the second half was stopped by a high tackle from Mead. From the resulting pressue Krisnan Inu scored his first try for the Vikings when he snatched Gilmore's inch perfect kick out of the air with Gilmore's conversion making it 18-12.

Widnes rolled straight down the field from the restart and a fine run by White saw him win a penalty when he was held down in the tackle. Gilmore slotted over the two points.

On 55 minutes, a smart delayed pass from Mellor on the last tackle sent Dean over for his second try with the goal giving Widnes a 26-12 advantage.

Catalans were starting to look a little discouraged and Widnes were determined to take advantage.

With nine minutes remaining a lovely half-break and pass from Whitley saw him send Runciman away and the centre put winger Patrick Ah Van in on the left with Gilmore goalling superbly.

Three minutes later and after the Dragons had fluffed fielding a high kick, the ball moved through several pairs of hands before Runciman finished off.

With the last play of the game, Inu intercepted a Walsh pass in his own '20' and found Stefan Marsh in support to finish off with some aplomb.

Just the start the Vikings needed to their 2018 campaign.

Widnes: Hanbury; Marsh, Inu, Runciman, Ah Van; Mellor, Gilmore; J Chapelhow, Heremaia, Burke, Dean, Whitley, Houston. Subs: White, W Albert, Cahill, Olbison.

Catalans: Mead; Broughton, Thornley, Williame, Tierney; Langi, Walsh; Moa, McIlorum, Bousquet, Jullien, Garcia, Casty. Subs: Simon, Maria, Baitieri, Albert.

Half-Time: 12-12.

Attendance: 4,568.