TWO tries from Anthony Gelling helped Widnes start their Betfred Championship away campaign with a 36-24 win in Toulouse.

It was a dominant second half showing by the Vikings after they had trailed 18-16 at the break.

Whatever head coach Kieron Purtill said to his troops at half-time seemed to do the trick as they restricted their opponents to just one further score while running in three more tries of their own.

Purtill selected the same seventeen that did the job six days previously against Halifax.

A dry, sunny day greeted the players as they came out of the dressing rooms though the pitch was surprisingly heavy underfoot.

An early Toulouse error gave the Vikings the first attacking opportunity of the match but Danny Craven’s last tackle kick came to nothing.

A sweeping move up the left saw Olly Ashall-Bott break free and when the ball was moved across to the opposite side, Joe Lyons’ grubber kick was pounced on by hooker Liam Hood to open the scoring. Jack Owens goal made it 6-0 on seven minutes.

The home side went close to replying but had a try ruled out for a knock-on over the tryline.

On 15 minutes, Olympique did level things up when dummy-half Dean Parata caught the Vikings napping as he surged under the posts.

Toulouse hit the front when Jonathan Ford’s delayed pass sent half-back partner Stan Robin over to give his team a 12-6 advantage.

The French side’s failure to deal with a Craven bomb cost them dear when substitute forward Ted Chapelhow rumbled over to put Widnes back on level terms on 24 minutes.

The see-saw scoring continued as Robin crossed for his second try after following up winger Paul Marcon’s intelligent cross-kick with Mark Keeirallah’s third goal putting his side 18-12 ahead.

With four minutes of the first half remaining, back-to-back sets on the Toulouse tryline eventually paid dividends when Gelling stretched over in the right corner to reduce the deficit to just two points.

Widnes missed a chance to regain the lead with the last play of the half when Ashall-Bott’s long inside pass went to ground.

A Gelling break and kick early in the second period led to a penalty for obstruction and Owens levelled matters once more with a simple goal.

On 46 minutes, a searing Ashall-Bott break put Widnes back on the front foot from where Craven sold an outrageous dummy to coast in from 30 metres for a six-pointer which put his team in front at 24-18.

Both sides squandered scoring chances before Owens pushed the Widnes lead out to eight points with a 64th minute penalty.

Just a minute later, Gelling’s superb offload sent Jordan Johnstone racing away and he found winger Ryan Ince in support who crossed for a superb score with Owens’ goal making it 32-18.

With six minutes remaining, Robin raced over for his third try of the game to keep Toulouse in the fight at 32-24.

However, Gelling had the last word when he caught an attempted short drop-out and sneaked up the touchline for an opportunist score which he celebrated in trademark style.

Toulouse: Kheirallah; Maurel, Ader, Marguerite, Marcon; Robin, Ford; Vaivai, Parata, Boyer, Mika, Dezaria, Santi. Subs: Marion, Evans, Bretherton, Sangare.

Widnes: Owens; Ince, Gelling, Brand, Ashall-Bott; Craven, Lyons; Tangata, Hood, Hansen, Wilde, Dean, Leuluai. Subs: T Chapelhow, Johnstone, Farnworth, Walker.

Half-Time: 18-16

Referee: Mr S Mikalauskas