Widnes Vikings 22-34 Wigan Warriors

Match #11 | 03/05/2002 | Halton Stadium | (Super League)
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Widnes Vikings paid for some comical defensive errors and slipped to a fourth defeat of the season. Early in the second half Andy Farrell got a vital try to put to bed Widnes’ hopes of an upset.Four days before, Widnes had beat Leeds 14-10 at Headingley with a great defensive display but it wasn’t up to scratch tonight. The way Julian O’Neill grabbed two tries at the end for the Warriors proved that the Widnes tackling needs to be improved. Attacking wise they looked useful though, Phil Cantillon the dictator of many of Widnes’ fine moves scored his first try in four games.

Wigan’s Andy Farrell scored a penalty for the first points of the game and when he converted Brett Dallas’ opening try it looked ominous for Widnes. They fought back though through Dan Potter who scored a great try after catching Steve Carter’s kick to the corner. Barry Eaton, who had missed two early penalties, converted for his first points of the game. 8-6 would be a great half time score for Widnes. It wasn’t to be as Wigan, first from Gary Connolly and then from Brian Carney, scored two tries in the last three minutes of the first half. So instead of 8-6 to Wigan it was 20-8 at half time to Wigan, Barry Eaton scoring a penalty for the Vikings.

In the second half Widnes opened the scoring thanks to a penalty from Eaton yet again and it looked as if they had clawed their way back into the game as Cantillon drove over from four metres out. Unfortunately, Widnes’ defence let them down and Julian O’Neill, the former Widnes stand-off, scored two tries adding to Andy Farrell’s try moments before. Farrell managed to convert his own try and one of O’Neill’s to make it 34-16. Widnes gave their fans something to cheer about at the end with a delightful try from winger Jason Demetriou. Cantillon picked it up and passed it across to Eaton. Eaton missed out two Widnes forwards and took two Wigan players out of the game as well with a tremendously flighted pass to Demetriou who ran over in the corner. Eaton scored the kick of the game from over on the right touchline. Final score at the Halton Stadium was Widnes Vikings 22, Wigan Warriors 34.

Widnes: Stuart Spruce 8, Jason Demetriou 6, Dan Potter 6, Adam Hughes 6, Chris Percival 5, Steve Carter 7, Barry Eaton 7, Robert Relf 8, Phil Cantillon 9, Ryan MacDonald 7, Steve McCurrie 9, Daniel Frame 9, David Mills 5, Julian O’Neill 5, Sean Richardson 6, Troy Stone 6.

Wigan: Kris Radlinski 9, Brian Carney 7, Jamie Ainscough 9, Gary Connolly 7, David Hodgson 6, Brett Dallas 6, Julian O’Neill 9, Adrian Lam 9, Craig Smith 6, Terry Newton 6, Terry O’Connor 6, Ricky Bibey 6, Harvey Howard 5, Stephen Wild 5.

Tries: Widnes: Potter, Cantillon, Demetriou. Wigan: Dallas, Carney, Farrell, Connolly, O’Neill (2)

Goals: Widnes: Barry Eaton (3 cons, 2 pens) Wigan: Andy Farrell (4 cons, 1 pen)

Sin Bins: Widnes: None. Wigan: Stephen Wild (Interference)

Officials: Referee: Mr Russell Smith. Touch Judges: Mr R J Stokes and Mr P Brooks.

Attendance: 7,581.