Vikings conquer Warriors
Sub White the hero for the hosts with match-winning drop goal
Last Updated: 11/03/12 6:13pm
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.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves