Warrington maintained their unbeaten start to the season as they defeated derby rivals Widnes 28-10. Tony Smith’s men now lead the First Utility Super League after securing seven wins from seven.
It was the away side who stormed into a 10-0 lead early on, as Tom Gilmore, who replaced Kevin Brown in his absence, crossed after recovering a loose ball that the Wolves were unable to pounce on.
Rhys Hanbury sent Denis Betts’ men further in front, racing clear and touching down before converting his own effort.
But two tries in two minutes saw Warrington claw their way back into the game – Chris Sandow reduced the deficit, before winger Tom Lineham came up with a trademark diving finish in the corner. Kurt Gidley also added a late penalty kick to send the sides into the dressing rooms at ten-a-piece.
The game went away from the Vikings in the second half, after the away side spent as many as five tiring sets camped on the Warrington line, unable to find a way through the stonewall defence. The Widnes attack looked unorganised and narrow, forcing Gil Dudson and Manase Manuokafoa to take multiple drives in.
The absence of Kevin Brown left the away side without a telling spark – illustrated by the lack of involvement in the game by Super League’s top try scorer, Corey Thompson.
But the result cannot be blamed on the absence of key players, because Warrington had them in abundance. Kurt Gidley contributed another six points, before Ryan Atkins leaped above a lethargic Widnes defender to pluck the ball from the air and put down.
The contest was finished six minutes from time when Ben Currie crashed over, moving Tony Smith’s men to the top of Super League.
The Easter Monday ties for both sides see Warrington travel to Hull FC, who produced a magnificent comeback against bitter rivals Hull KR, while Widnes host St Helens in what could be a record attendance at the Select Security Stadium.
Warrington 28 (10)
Tries: Chris Sandow (x1), Kurt Gidley (x1), Ben Currie (x1), Tom Lineham (x1), Ryan Atkins (x1)
Goals: Kurt Gidley (x4)
Widnes 10 (10)
Tries: Tom Gilmore (x1), Rhys Hanbury (x1)
Goals: Rhys Hanbury (x1)