Super League: Widnes Vikings start season with big win against London Broncos
Last Updated: 16/02/14 6:15pm
Kevin Brown: Widnes captain led the way with a hat-trick
Danny Tickle piled up 24 points on his debut as Widnes Vikings romped to an 11-try, 64-10 victory over London Broncos in their Super League opener.
Tickle, signed from Hull, scored a try and booted 10 goals after the Broncos had swept into an early lead.
Widnes led 30-6 at half-time with skipper Kevin Brown and half back partner Joe Mellor also in top form.
Man of the match Brown grabbed a hat-trick of tries with Mellor also crossing as Widnes stormed to the top of the Super League with Stefan Marsh and Chris Dean notching a brace apiece.
London, who have moved home from the Stoop to the Hive in Barnet this season, paraded nine newcomers including prop Carl Forster - on loan from St Helens.
Widnes also gave a start to another new signing in Danny Galea with Paul Johnson on the bench.
The Vikings won the opening clash last season 28-14 at the Stoop and were expected to win by a more comfortable margin after the Broncos' close-season upheaval.
But the Broncos stunned Widnes by sweeping into a fifth-minute lead with a try from centre Mason Caton-Brown on their first attack, with Tony Gigot converting.
Widnes did not take long to storm back with a surging run from Paddy Flynn setting up the chance for Brown to send Jack Owens over with a long pass.
Tickle tagged on the conversion off the touchline to notch his 2,000th career point.
There was no stopping Tickle who leapt high to collect Mellor's teasing kick and touch down after 17 minutes to fire his new club into the lead for the first time with his converted try.
Brown then dummied his way past ex-Widnes hooker Scott Moore to make it 18-6 with a Jordan Atkins fumble from Mellor's kick gifting a try to Marsh.
Tickle converted both and had no trouble adding the extras to Brown's second try after a quick tap penalty by Rhys Hanbury caught London napping.
It was proving a baptism of fire for the newcomers in the Broncos line-up and Widnes would have bagged a sixth try had Dean been able to hang on to Brown's pass but the Vikings were full value for their 30-6 interval lead.
It took only two minutes after the restart for Widnes to extend their lead with Flynn going over after smart handling by Mellor, Tickle and Marsh, with ironic boos greeting Tickle's first goal miss.
Dean added the seventh Vikings try after 48 minutes to make it 40-6 and a breathtaking run by Hanbury should have brought another touchdown.
It was proving a damage-limitation exercise for London but their defence was breached again on the hour by Mellor with Tickle stretching the advantage to 46-6.
Brown completed his hat-trick after a slick move with Hanbury to add to the Broncos' woes.
London did manage a second try through the determined Caton-Brown 10 minutes from time but Marsh replied for Widnes after another Flynn burst.
The Vikings still were not finished as Dean bagged his second try and Tickle added his 10th goal.