Official Match Report
Widnes Vikings did neighbours St Helens a favour by sending Catalans Dragons crashing to their sixth defeat in a row with a 32-4 win at the Select Security Stadium.
The result means Saints now finish fourth at the end of the regular First Utility Super League season thanks to their run of five successive league wins, with the French outfit having to settle for fifth spot and an extra away match in the Super 8s.
Scrum-half Joe Mellor turned in a man-of-the-match display for Widnes on his 100th Super League appearance.
The Vikings led 14-4 at the break with tries from Corey Thompson, who also booted three goals, and Patrick Ah Van.
The Dragons could only reply with a Dave Taylor touchdown and Widnes sealed an emphatic victory as Mellor, Aaron Heremaia and Stefan Marsh, who also landed three conversions, all crossed in the second half.
Denis Betts hailed Widnes' defensive effort after the win, saying: "Defensively we were really good and we were also clinical in attack.
"It was a hard-fought win and the pack were outstanding. Kev Brown was really smart going for penalties to keep the scoreboard ticking over in the first half.
"We have not been out of the eight all year and we are now looking forward to playing the top teams.
"We are only three and four wins behind Catalan and St Helens and we are setting realistic goals to push ourselves into a higher position."
Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous added: "It was very disappointing. I was happy with the first 20 or 25 minutes but then we didn't respect the ball enough and conceded some soft tries.
"It's frustrating but we have two weeks now to regroup and make sure we reach our objective."
|5||Patrick Ah Van||1||-||-|
|16||Alrix Da Costa||-||-||-|