Widnes Vikings were beaten 10-32 by a strong Featherstone side in Round 13 of the Betfred Championship, despite second-half tries from Kenny Baker and Deon Cross.
Lewis Hulme came in to make his first start since re-joining the club, replacing Lewis Else who was ruled out with a head knock he suffered in last week’s defeat at Halifax Panthers.
It was a scrappy first half, with a high penalty count and several knock-ons disrupting the Vikings’ rhythm.
The visitors forged ahead on the 15-minute mark as Nu Brown found a hole in the Widnes defence after some sustained pressure on the home line and some last-ditch defending from the Vikings.
Rovers then added a penalty goal after Widnes were penalised for a high tackle on the home 10 to make it 0-8.
Featherstone got their second try of the game just after the half-hour mark after Lloyd Roby knocked on at the play-the-ball inside his own 20, allowing the visitors to find a way through when Connor Jones jumped from dummy-half under the sticks for a half-time score of 0-14.
The Vikings pulled one back early in the second half after Featherstone were penalised on their own 30 for a push on the marker and lost another 10 for dissent. Widnes capitalised on the double-penalty as Kenny Baker went under the sticks for the try.
Widnes had their second try just four minutes later, as Featherstone were penalised again for a lift tackle on Deon Cross before the winger was found by Adam Lawton out wide to put the ball down and reduce the deficit to four.
Featherstone extended their lead ten minutes later, however, when Nu Brown got under the sticks again after Roby was penalised for knocking the ball down on the Widnes 30.
Nu Brown added another with just under ten minutes to go, after Featherstone had forced a goal-line drop-out as Ste Tyrer was grounded in his in-goal area under high pressure from the visitors’ line.
Featherstone took advantage of a tiring Widnes side as they added another with three minutes left, Gareth Gale getting over after a carry from Josh Hardcastle to conclude the contest at 10-32.
Widnes Vikings: Jack Owens, Jayden Hatton, Ste Tyrer, Lloyd Roby, Deon Cross, Danny Craven, Joe Lyons, Shane Grady, Lewis Hulme, Kenny Baker, Josh Wilde, Adam Lawton, Matty Smith.
Interchanges: Matt Cook, Will Tilleke, Daniel Hill, Ollie Brookes.
Tries: Kenny Baker, Deon Cross. Goals: Tyrer (1/2)
Featherstone Rovers: Will Dagger, Gareth Gale, Josh Hardcastle, John Davies, Harvey Spence, Nu Brown, Dane Chisholm, Craig Kopczak, Connor Jones, James Harrison, Junior Moors, Brett Ferres, Lou McConnell.
Interchanges: Jake Sweeting, Callum Field, Luke Cooper, James Beckett.
Tries: Nu Brown (3), Connor Jones, Gareth Gale. Goals: Dane Chisholm (5/5). Penalty goal: Dane Chisholm.