Warrington 28-10 Widnes

Chris Sandow

Scrum-half Chris Sandow has run in seven tries in as many appearances for Warrington this season

Warrington had to come from behind as they won the top-of-the-table battle with Super League local rivals Widnes.

Widnes led 10-0 after 23 minutes following tries from deputy scrum-half Tom Gilmore and full-back Rhys Hanbury.

But two tries in as many minutes from scrum-half Chris Sandow and winger Tom Lineham, helped by a Kurt Gidley penalty, made it 10-10 at the break.

Gidley, Ryan Atkins and Ben Currie then all scored after the break to help Wire displace neighbours Widnes at the top.

Two of the tries came in the final 12 minutes to give Warrington a flattering winning margin in front of a record 15,008 crowd at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Gidley landed all three second-half conversions to complete a 12-point individual haul as the Wolves stretched their 100% record this season to seven games – Wire’s best start to a season since 1950.

Widnes, missing captain Kevin Brown as well as centre Charly Runciman and forward Hep Cahill, suffered only their second defeat in eight matches.

But Brown’s replacement Gilmore, a 22-year-old livewire former footballer who once had trials with Liverpool, twice had a hand in the Vikings’ opening try after five minutes, including the decisive final touch.

After allowing Warrington to level it by the interval, Widnes made a strong start to the second period, but Warrington’s defence held firm.

Such was Widnes’s confidence that they declined a kickable penalty but that proved costly when Wire hit back through Gidley to take the lead for the first time.

Atkins then outjumped Corey Thompson to claim Sandow’s kick and touch down 12 minutes from time before Currie’s eighth try of the season sealed victory.

Warrington coach Tony Smith:

“It is a nice position to be in, I can’t deny that, but we don’t spend a lot of time focusing on where we are in the table because we know how far there is to go. But it has been a nice start for us.

“We probably weren’t at our best in the first half, we were a little bit flat, but in the second half we were very committed. We showed that on our own tryline defensively.

“We felt if we kept grinding away we would come home pretty strong and it turned out that way. But I thought Widnes tried really hard. They fought hard and made a real contest of it.”

Widnes coach Denis Betts:

“We just lacked a little bit of composure, a little bit of initiative. We just tried to fall over the line. It wasn’t for the lack of effort. I am really proud of the players.

“We had all this possession, all this territory, all the opportunities – but they came out with points. They went the length of the field. That drains your energy but that is the mark of a good side.

“We’re a bit filthy about the scoreline but it was a great game. It was a tough, physical encounter and it was tight for a large part of the game.”

Warrington: Russell; Penny, R Evans, Atkins, Lineham; Gidley, Sandow; Hill, Clark, Sims, Currie, Hughes, Westerman.

Interchanges: Ratchford, G King, Westwood, Cox.

Widnes: Hanbury; Thompson, Dean, Marsh, Ah Van; Mellor, Gilmore; O’Carroll, White, Dudson, Sa, Houston, Leuluai.

Interchanges: Manuokafoa, Gerrard, Heremaia, Whitley.

Attendance: 15,008.

Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL).

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