Widnes 16-48 Warrington

Stefan Ratchford

Stefan Ratchford scored the last two of Warrington’s eight tries at Widnes

Warrington responded to back-to-back Super League defeats by beating Widnes to reclaim top spot in the table.

Wolves, beaten by St Helens and bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield in their last two games, never looked like losing again as they led 30-6 at half-time.

Kevin Penny, Joe Westerman and Stefan Ratchford all scored twice as Wolves went above Wigan on points difference.

Kurt Gidley and Ben Westwood also crossed, with Joe Mellor, Stefan Marsh and Corey Thompson replying for Widnes.

Gidley also landed seven goals and Ratchford one as Warrington converted all eight of their tries.

The Vikings had won their last three home games against Tony Smith’s side but never looked like making it four in a row as Warrington completed the double over their local rivals after winning the reverse fixture 28-10 last month.

That victory on Good Friday was Warrington’s seventh in a row in a perfect start to the season, but they have wobbled since with three defeats in four games before this convincing win.

Widnes also started the season well, winning six of their first seven games but have slipped into mid-table after five successive league defeats.

Denis Betts’ side were soon behind as Gidley sped past Chris Dean and Penny scored in the corner. Mellor cut the deficit only for Warrington to ease clear as Westerman touched down either side of Westwood stretching for the line.

Thompson went in at the corner after the restart to give Widnes hope, but Penny darted over before Ratchford grabbed a late brace either side of Marsh’s consolation.

Warrington coach Tony Smith: “We were flat last week and this was a very good response.

“We had no energy last week but we did tonight. We started well, controlled the game and were full of energy.

“The players wanted to respond and they did it emphatically. Widnes defended strongly in patches and I don’t think their effort reflected the scoreline.”

Widnes coach Denis Betts: “We were poor and gave them too many opportunities.

“We lost the game because we couldn’t tackle or defend and I don’t know where our confidence has gone.

“Joe Mellor and Chris Houston worked their socks off but this is a tough one to take.

“Warrington were very good but we allowed them to be very good. We lacked energy and Kurt Gidley did just what he wanted.”

Widnes: Hanbury, Thompson, Bridge, Runciman, Marsh, Mellor, Brown, O’Carroll, White, Dudson, Dean, Houston, Cahill.

Replacements: Heremaia, Manuokafoa, Sa, Leuluai.

Warrington: Russell, Penny, R. Evans, Atkins, Johnson, Gidley, Ratchford, Hill, Clark, Sims, Hughes, Currie, Westerman.

Replacements: G. King, Cox, Jullien, Westwood.

Referee: Robert Hicks (RFL)

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