Widnes Vikings 12 Toulouse Olympique 28

WIDNES produced a sub-par performance before going down 28-12 to Toulouse Olympique at Halton Stadium.

Vikings boss Kieron Purtill made several changes to the side that lost at Sheffield eight days earlier but to no avail.

Rain before kick-off made the conditions slippery and both teams struggled with their handling early on.

Toulouse got the first real chance in the opposition ‘20’ and powerful centre Junior Vaivai burrowed over from dummy-half with Mark Kheirallah converting.

On 12 minutes it looked like the visitors had given the ball up on the last tackle but an altercation between Keanan Brand and Toulouse scrum-half Stan Robin resulted in a penalty for the Frenchmen allowing Kheirallah to add two points to his team’s score from 30 metres out.

Widnes had opportunities to cut the deficit but couldn’t find the right pass at the right time and with the help of a few soft penalties Toulouse managed to hang on to an 8-0 interval lead.

Things got worse for the Vikings seven minutes into the second half when a penalty for dissent gave Toulouse an extra set on the home line and and Con Mika found a hole to add four points to his team lead.

A Jaydon Hatton break up the left wing established some field-position for Widnes and they finally crossed the whitewash as Gilmore's inside ball sent Jack Owens crashing in for a self-converted try to make it 16-6 on 51 minutes.

The Vikings threatened again and Gelling was held up over the try line but it proved to be a false dawn.

Just after the hour, second row Joe Bretherton found an embarrassingly large gap in the Widnes defence to coast over from 15 metres with the goal making it 22-6.

Widnes were now looking a dispirited bunch and conceded a further try when substitute forward Jordan Dezaria exploited some more soft defence and give his side an unassailable 28-6 lead.

Hep Cahill’s late converted score for the Vikings was of little consolation.

Widnes will have to up their game in the coming weeks if they want to have a chance of success at Wembley in the 1895 Cup final and keep themselves clear of relegation.

Widnes: Owens; Ince, Gelling, Roby, Hatton; Craven, Gie; J Chapelhow, Johnstone, Norman, Wilde, Robson, Cahill. Subs: Leuluai, Dugdale, T Chapelhow, Hansen.

Toulouse: Kheirallah; Marguerite, Jussaume, Vaivai, Bergal; Ford, Robin; P Vaivai, Marion, Evans, Mika, Bretherton, Bell. Subs: Parata, Dezaria, Hepi, Sangare.

Half-Time: 0-8

Referee: James Child

Attendance: 3,643