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Super League: Jack Owens helps Widnes do double over Warrington
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Warrington saw their hopes of finishing the regular season on top of the table suffer a serious blow as they lost 16-6 to Widnes in a feisty local derby.
Jack Owens was the hero for the Vikings at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, scoring two tries and kicking a pair of goals to help the underdogs upset the odds.
Their victory was even more impressive considering they played the entire second half with only 12 men, Hep Cahill seeing red for a high shot on Brett Hodgson that left the Warrington skipper badly concussed.
Despite their numerical disadvantage the visitors managed to score 12 points without reply after the break, in the process ending the Wolves' nine-match winning run in Super League.
The result not only stops the hosts from overtaking Huddersfield in the standings but also means Widnes have done the double over their near-neighbours for the first time since 2004.
Things had seemed to be going with the form book when Simon Grix grabbed the 50th try of his career after 15 minutes, finishing off a nicely-worked Warrington move down the left to break the deadlock.
Widnes suffered a further blow when they lost Grant Gore to injury, the youngster's first Super League start ending with him sadly being stretchered off with a serious-looking knee injury.
Some last-ditch defending denied Joel Monaghan from grounding the ball after claiming an up-and-under aimed at his right flank before Owens got his opening try of the night, impressively gathering in Kevin Brown's beautifully-weighted kick over the head of Chris Riley.
The missed conversion meant the Vikings trailed by two at the break - they were also down by one in terms of men on the field after Cahill was shown a straight red by referee Phil Bentham for flattening Hodgson.
Yet somehow, despite only have 12 men, a team that had conceded 114 points in their last two outings not only managed to hold Warrington's star-studded line-up scoreless but also touched down twice themselves.
Patrick Ah Van put the visitors in front for the first time when he scampered in at the left corner, rewarding the brave decision from the touchline made by coach Denis Betts not to go for goal after being awarded a penalty.
Owens then crossed on the other flank just six minutes later, Joe Mellor's kick off the outside of his right boot setting up his team-mate for an easy finish.
The winger added both conversions from tough positions to open up a 10-point gap with around a quarter of the game remaining; he was, though, unable to add a long-range penalty to his tally.
Still, Warrington's inability to retain possession meant the miss wasn't costly. Widnes were able to see out the clock and record just their third league win in their last 12 outings and surely their best of the 2013 campaign.
It was not only a good night for them but also the Giants, who know a win over rock-bottom London Broncos on Saturday would see them move three points clear at the summit with just two rounds of the competition remaining.Super League. Click here to bet.
First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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