Super League: Kevin Brown hat-trick lifts Widnes Vikings over Hull KR
Kevin Brown scored a hat-trick as Widnes Vikings overcame a mid-game collapse to seal a late 34-29 success over Hull KR.
Last Updated: 04/05/14 5:37pm
The Vikings started the better of the teams and had led 18-6 in the first half before Craig Sandercock's men fought back with vengeance to lead 29-22 with only eight minutes remaining.
However, the Vikings held their nerve thanks to tries from Jon Clarke and Brown, his third of the match, both were converted by Danny Tickle to leave head coach Denis Betts a relieved man.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 11th minute after MacGraff Leuluai broke down the middle and was only prevented from scoring by Ben Cockayne's excellent ankle tap tackle.
But seconds later, Brown's long cut out pass allowed Jack Owens to score in the left hand corner. Danny Tickle converted for a 6-0 lead.
Michael Weyman cancelled out that try when he took Neville Costigan's excellent offload at pace to slide over the line for his fourth try in four games. Travis Burns added the extras to make it 6-6 after 16 minutes.
Widnes capitalised on a James Green error on Rovers' 20 metre line by creating a chance for Dave Allen. Brown was again the architect of the try giving the scoring pass for Allen to go through easily. Tickle converted for a 12-6 lead.
Rovers gifted Widnes possession and territory for the Vikings to extend their lead.
Burns kicked out on the full from the halfway line before Jonathan Walker was penalised for a high tackle.
With a short field to work with Brown backed himself to score from close range after sending Weyman the wrong way with a dummy. Tickle once again made no mistake with the easy conversion to give the visitors an 18-6 lead in the 22nd minute.
With five minutes to go until half-time, Rovers clicked into gear to score twice.
Kris Welham and Craig Hall combined well down the left hand touchline for Welham to score his fourth try of the season.
Burns missed the difficult conversion, but he made amends three minutes later, converting Rhys Lovegrove's try.
It was the best try of the half after Kris Keating brilliantly collected Burns' offload to break clear. With Lovegrove supporting it was an easy decision for Keating to send Lovegrove over from 20 metres.
The second half did not take long to explode into life. With Widnes attacking the Rovers line, Kevin Brown tried an offload but Cockayne intercepted and ran it home from 90 metres with a string of Vikings chasing him. Burns converted to give Rovers a 22-18 lead, their first lead of the game.
Back came the visitors with Brown's second try of the game. Lloyd White provided the pass as Rovers questioned Robert Hicks' decision to give Widnes possession after Craig Hall looked to take a Brown kick with his foot on the touchline. Tickle missed his first goal to leave the scores level at 22-22 after 51 minutes.
Rovers regained the lead in the 61st minute when Graeme Horne made the most of Rovers' extra numbers on the right hand side by sending Ade Gardner over for one of the easiest tries of his career. Burns converted for a 28-22 lead.
Burns, who had a great game for the Robins, added a drop goal in the 67th minute to leave the Vikings needing to score twice.
But they managed to do just that. First Jon Clarke took Cameron Phelps' pass to score from 30 metres, before Chris Dean gathered his own kick to send Brown over for his third try. Tickle converted both for a 34-29 lead which they held on to for the final minutes.