Widnes 24-32 Wigan: Stunning comeback from Warriors denies hosts
Last Updated: 28/04/18 9:42am
Wigan staged a magnificent second-half recovery to overturn a 14-point half-time deficit and beat Widnes 32-24.
The Vikings looked on their way to a shock win and their first in five Super League games after deservedly building an 18-4 lead at the break thanks to well-worked tries from Tom Olbison, Jay Chapelhow and Ryan Ince.
But the Warriors stormed back after the interval, hitting the home side with three quickfire tries to get back into the match before late scores from Ryan Sutton and Taulima Tautai sealed the victory,
Wigan rested in-form full-back Sam Tomkins and boss Shaun Wane may have started to regret that call as his side lacked a cutting edge in the first half before finally snapping into gear after the break.
The visitors landed the first blow as Oliver Gildart burst onto a short ball from George Williams to score after 13 minutes.
That advantage was to be short-lived, however, as Widnes struck through Olbison after he was fed the ball on the Wigan line.
Denis Betts' side went close again as Greg Burke bounced the ball inches short of the whitewash and then Tom Gilmore was held up over the line.
They finally got the breakthrough they were searching for when substitute Jordan Johnstone was introduced and his up-tempo impact helped Widnes' score twice more before half-time, with Chapelhow powering over before Ed Chamberlain
sent in Ince.
Sandwiched in between those tries was Tommy Leuluai's yellow card for obstruction on a key Widnes attack.
Wigan used the break to regroup and they dragged themselves back in it with an opportunist score out wide from Joe Burgess.
That put them within 10 points before they hit Widnes with a huge sucker punch as they scored twice in as many minutes.
The first was a masterful solo effort from Morgan Escare, who danced around four Widnes tacklers for a world-class try, and then former Viking Willie Isa bulldozed his way through to score.
Sam Powell's boot edged Wigan ahead at 20-18 before Gilmore levelled it up with a penalty.
Wigan would not be denied, however, and they went ahead again with less than 10 minutes to go when Sutton crossed following a powerful drive.
Widnes were still not done and Ince raced over in the corner to give Gilmore a shot to level it, but the kick was skewed wide and Tautai had the final say with Wigan's fifth try of the half a minute from the final hooter.