Match Report

Thursday 17th March 2016, 20:00
Super League - Round: 6

Wigan Warriors

(8) 12

Wigan Warriors
VS.

Widnes Vikings

18 (0)

Widnes Vikings

3 Tries

Liam Farrell, Josh Charnley 2,

TRIES

Tries 3

Matt Whitley, Stefan Marsh, Charly Runciman,

0 Goals

 

GOALS

Goals 3

Rhys Hanbury 3,

0 D Goals

 

D. GOALS

D Goals 0

 

Attendance: 11,773  Official: R Silverwood  Venue: DW Stadium

Full Time Report

Widnes Vikings demonstrated their table-topping feat is no fluke as they condemned Wigan Warriors to their first defeat of the season and a first home loss in First Utility Super League for 21 months.

The Vikings overturned an 8-0 half-time deficit to secure a tense 18-12 victory and open up a two-point lead after making their best ever start to a Super League campaign.

With both teams scoring three tries, the outcome came down to goalkicking, with Matty Smith missing all his three attempts for the Warriors and Rhys Hanbury kicking three from four for the visitors.

But the Vikings were good value for their sixth win of 2016, which was especially sweet for skipper Kevin Brown, who was on the losing Wigan side when Widnes last triumphed at the DW Stadium in 2003.

Liam Farrell's interception try opened the scoring and Wigan went into the break with an eight-point cushion courtesy of Josh Charnley's finish out wide.

Matt Whitley crashed over five minutes into the second half to get Widnes on the board but Charnley crossed again after Sean O'Loughlin's high kick caused chaos.   

Boosted by a third missed conversion from Smith, the Vikings came storming back and scored two tries in three minutes around the hour mark to go in front for the first time.

Charly Runciman worked his winger Stefan Marsh over at the corner for his ninth try of the season and then supported a break by full-back Hanbury to touch down himself.

Hanbury kicked a second conversion to make it 16-12 and extended the lead with a 72nd-minute penalty, which proved to be the last score as Widnes held off a determined last-ditch bid by their hosts to snatch a draw.

Coach Denis Betts hailed Widnes' team spirit, saying: "It's hard not to say it's a fantastic night for the club and the players. We've had some tough days here.

"But we came here today with real purpose, we had a confidence about ourselves. We looked a bit uncomfortable at times but we rode that and showed a lot of character and belief.  

"It was an emotional day for us - there are a lot of ex-Wigan players in the group. Emotion burns energy very quickly and we looked shot after 20 minutes.

"But when we came in at half-time we tried to take the emotion out of the game and our composure was better in the second half."

Wigan coach Shaun Wane admitted: "They were good for the win. They're the best team in the comp and if you make defensive errors and give them field position, they're going to burn you.

"They stayed with us a long time and I knew eight points were not going to be enough.

"We went away from our system, which is disappointing. We had a good record here and that's gone, and in a cheap way. It's hard to take.

"Their last plays were better than ours but we fixed it a bit in the second half and if we had been a bit smarter, we would have got the game. But in the end the best team won."