Widnes Vikings 0 Salford City Reds 36
WIDNES’S problematic pre-season ended with a comprehensive home defeat to Salford City Reds.
The Greater Manchester side became the second Super League outfit to turn over the hosts inside a week after St Helens had run out winners at the Stobart Stadium Halton on Tuesday evening.
Head coach Paul Cullen will take comfort from the fact that his new Vikings squad will not have to play teams of Salford’s quality every week once the season gets underway for real on Sunday against Gateshead Thunder in the Northern Rail Cup (ko 3pm).
Cullen said: “Salford were very good and you have to take into account the opposition here and that they are in Super League.
“We had a number of key players missing, but it's a trial game and the real work starts next week.”
Widnes struggled to cope with the ability of a strong-Salford line-up, who ran in seven tries including efforts from former Vikings Ste Tyrer (2), Karl Fitzpatrick (2) and Adam Sidlow.
Referee James Child played his part in a match which Vikings fans will want to forget quickly.
In a game that had been billed as a friendly, he dismissed Fitzpatrick for striking Thomas Coyle after the hooker had caught him with a loose high tackle, Coyle was also given his marching orders for his part in the altercation.