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Vikings conquer Warriors
Sub White the hero for the hosts with match-winning drop goal
Wigan missed the chance to take over at the Stobart Super League summit as they suffered a shock 37-36 defeat at the hands of Widnes.
Lloyd White's drop goal with 10 minutes to play ended up settling a see-saw battle between the competition's basement boys and a Warriors side that were looking to leapfrog leaders Warrington in the table.
Questions will be asked of visiting coach Shaun Wane after he opted to rest five regulars for the clash on the 'i-pitch' at the Stobart Stadium.
Still, there was little suggestion that Widnes were capable of causing an upset after they'd endured a tough baptism back in the top flight. In their five defeats they had leaked over 200 points - Wigan, in contrast, had only conceded 58.
The hosts handed debuts to ex-Warriors full-back Cameron Phelps, Sione Kite and half-back Gareth O'Brien, though the bigger selection news was the names missing from the visiting team list.
Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards, Thomas Leuluai, Liam Farrell and Sean O'Loughlin were all absent, with Logan Tomkins, younger brother of Sam, making his debut alongside Matthew Russell, Joe Mellor and Anthony Gelling.
It seemed the big guns wouldn't be missed when Wigan swept ahead after only three minutes, Gareth Hock crashing over after neat work by Michael McIlorum and Brett Finch.
Stand-in kicker Josh Charnley booted the conversion and also added the extras to Harrison Hansen's try in the sixth minute, making it 12-0.
It looked as though Widnes were going to be in for a tough afternoon but they recovered from the early onslaught and responded with their first try after 20 minutes, Paddy Flynn picking up a loose Sean Briscoe pass to go over.
They did concede again on the half-hour, Russell shrugging off a couple of defenders to score a try on debut, but efforts from Stefan Marsh, who is on loan from Wigan, and then Briscoe meant it was 18-18 at the break.
But, just like in the opening half, Wigan started the second by blitzing their opponents, seemingly putting themselves on course for a fifth win in six outings this year.
Finch, Mellor and Russell all went over for the Cherry and Whites in a frantic five-minute spell, with Charnley tagging on all the goals to make it 36-18.
After such a tough start to 2012 even the most ardent of Widnes fan must've been fearing the worst, yet Denis Betts' beleaguered side rallied in incredible fashion to break their duck.
Sub White began the revival by going over, Briscoe bagged his second try and then Frank Winterstein battered his way through, O'Brien knocking over the extras on each occasion to drag the hosts back onto level terms again.
They finally took the lead for the first time when Welshman White knocked over a one-pointer from 30 metres out and must have realised it was going to be their day when Charnley missed a late penalty for Wigan.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||25||21|
|12||Salford Red Devils||25||19|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||25||8|
|Friday 29th August|
|Widnes 24 - 10 Wigan|
|Thursday 14th August|
|Hull K R 14 - 14 Wigan|
|Thursday 31st July|
|Wigan 45 - 4 Salford|
|Sunday 27th July|
|Bradford 16 - 8 Wigan|
|Friday 18th July|
|Wigan 56 - 10 Hull|
|Saturday 12th July|
|Catalan Dragons 16 - 37 Wigan|
|Saturday 5th July|
|London Broncos 6 - 58 Wigan|
|Friday 27th June|
|Wigan 12 - 16 St Helens|
|Sunday 22nd June|
|Wakefield 36 - 28 Wigan|
|Wednesday 18th June|
|Wigan 48 - 4 Widnes|
|Friday 13th June|
|Wigan 46 - 6 Castleford|
|Saturday 7th June|
|Tetleys Challenge Cup|
|Wigan 4 - 16 Castleford|
|Thursday 29th May|
|Huddersfield 31 - 22 Wigan|
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