Widnes 10-19 Warrington: Wolves secure first away win
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 14/04/17 11:48am
Warrington Wolves secured their first away win of the season with a 19-10 victory over Widnes Vikings at the Select Security Stadium on Thursday.
The pressure was on both sides and both coaches, Denis Betts and Tony Smith, after the two teams had only registered three points from their previous eight fixtures.
However, it was Warrington boss Smith who was much the happier afterwards with his side holding on for a 19-10 victory after dominating most of the opening period.
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Widnes made an electric start with Stefan Marsh sprinting over in the corner after only four minutes of play after the Wolves had coughed up the ball on their 30-metre line.
The conversion was missed by Chris Bridge, though, and that was as good as it got for the Vikings in the first period as Warrington sprang into shape.
Three unanswered tries soon followed. The first came down the Vikings' left-hand side as the impressive Stefan Ratchford created a neat opening for powerful winger Tom Lineham to squeeze over in the corner.
The traffic came careering down the same flank five minutes later, yielding another Warrington four pointer as Kurt Gidley's short ball to the on-rushing Jack Hughes put the Wolves in front and in charge.
Young half-back Declan Patton knocked over the conversion to inch the visitors ahead before being in the thick of it himself in a series of video referee calls as Warrington turned the screw on shell-shocked Widnes.
The first video decision came after England man Ratchford delivered a superb pass to centre Ryan Atkins who looked to have scored, but the try was ruled out for a double movement.
The officials were involved a minute later as Joe Philbin charged over the whitewash. The Vikings felt the burly back-rower had planted the ball short, but television footage showed the ball had hit the line and the try was given.
Patton, who showed no signs of nervousness stepping in for star signing and ex-Widnes skipper Kevin Brown - who was ruled out with concussion, added the extras before almost scoring a try of his own after a chip and chase.
However, Widnes' Bridge had just done enough to connect his left boot to the ball as Patton tried to put his finger tips on it.
The Warrington scrum-half continued to be a threat, however, and he hit a clever one-pointer just before the break to give Smith's side a decent buffer.
The Vikings plugged away and were never out of the contest as the returning Joe Mellor started to click with full-back Rhys Hanbury, and a product of those efforts came with 20 minutes left when Charly Runciman touched down.
Widnes threw the ball to Hanbury who put a well-weighted grubber through Warrington's defensive line, which Runciman got on the end of.
Bridge's goal put the Vikings seven points adrift and they had opportunities to get even closer but fluffed their lines in good positions.
The hosts dominated the final quarter but could not find the killer pass to put them within touching distance, and Patton had the final say with a 77th-minute penalty goal.