29th October 2018, 12:45 | Widnes
Widnes Vikings came up short over the 2018 Super League season, finding themselves wanting for quality throughout the year, as the drift towards relegation set in. A stint in the Championship is probably justified for a side that went on a 16-match winless run leading to the end of their seven year stay in the top flight.
Best Moment: In a season of few great moments, late tries from Greg Burke and Aaron Heremaia secured a fabulous victory over Salford at the Select Security Stadium.
Best Win (Widnes Vikings 23-6 Leeds Rhinos): A victory over the Champions was a highlight in an otherwise depressing season for the Chemics. A double for Krisnan Inu rose the Vikings to third in the Super League table.
Best Player (Oliver Ashall-Bott): Despite only playing 5 games in 2018, Ashall-Bott was a shining light in an otherwise disappointing year and gave the Vikings hope for the future. His performance against London, although ultimately futile, showed the way to success through youth in future years.
Record Breakers: Matt Whitley and Aaron Heremaia made their 100thappearance for the Vikings, while Tom Olbison made his 250thcareer appearance in 2018.
Worst Loss (Widnes Vikings 20-21 London Broncos): Beaten by the side that ultimately replaced the Vikings in the top flight, a last-minute drop-goal from Jarrod Sammut is one of the seasons great crossroads – where would the Vikings be now if they’d have been able to snatch the two points for themselves?
Best Quote: “We’re like an accident and emergency at the minute” – former coach Denis Betts on the health of his squad in April.
2019 Outlook: With the club in a rebuilding phase and the club looking forward to a year in the Championship, a congested top five race; with Bradford, Toronto, Toulouse, Halifax, Featherstone and the Vikings pushing for the coveted Super League spot, might mean that Widnes may have to wait a little longer to return to the top flight.