Wigan Warriors came from behind to beat Widnes Vikings in what really was a game of two halves.
Shaun Wane made one change to his Wigan side that lost at Warrington last week. Joe Burgess came in to replace Liam Marshall.
Denis Betts made four changes to his Widnes outfit that beat Leeds last time out. Charly Runciman, Greg Burke, Alex Gerrard and MacGraff Leuluai replaced Krisnan Inu, Jay Chapelhow, Wellington Albert and Chris Dean.
Widnes started the game well after winning a penalty inside the Wigan half in their second set of the game. Matt Whitley opened the scoring as he latched onto a neat Tom Gilmore grubber. Gilmore’s conversion made the score 6-0 after six minutes.
The visitors extended their lead in the 11th minute after Ben Flower was alleged to have had a second effort in the tackle. Gilmore added the penalty goal to extend his sides lead.
And Gilmore added another two-pointer just a couple of moments later. Sam Tomkins had knocked-on and threw the ball away, conceding a penalty as a result. Widnes were 10-0 to the good.
Betts’ men were playing a very good game – simple but effective. They scored again on the half hour mark as they opened up the Wigan defence. Joe Mellor spread the ball down the line to Stefan Marsh who scored against his former club. Gilmore’s boot made the score 16-0 in favour of the away side.
Wigan pulled a try back on the verge of the half time hooter sounding. George Williams threw a fine cut-out pass to Joe Burgess who finished excellently. Sam Tomkins couldn’t convert but they trailed 16-4 at the break.
In the 53rd minute, Ryan Sutton went on a barnstorming run to barge over the line for the Warriors. Morgan Escaré converted and Wigan were only behind by six points.
It was all Wigan in the second half. Tommy Leuluai sold Widnes a dummy and scooted over the line to score. The conversion was missed but the Warriors were only two points behind after an hour.
Wigan’s confidence rocketed and they took the lead just a couple of minutes later. Liam Farrell ran a superb line to burst through the Vikings defence and dive over. Sam Tomkins converted to put Wigan into a 20-16 advantage.
The Cherry and Whites were really racing away with it towards the end of the game. A chip from Gilmore fell into the hands of Sam Tomkins who then raced 60 metres to score in front of the roaring South Stand. He converted his own try, Wigan 26-16 Widnes.
Tom Davies put the cherry on top at the death as he finished tremendously in the corner. Sam Tomkins’ conversion from the touchline sealed a 32-16 victory for Wigan in their first game at the DW Stadium this season.
Wigan: 1 S Tomkins; 2 Davies, 14 Bateman, 4 Gildart, 5 Burgess; 6 Williams, 7 Powell; 8 Clubb, 9 T Leuluai, 10 Flower, 11 J Tomkins, 12 Farrell, 13 O’Loughlin. Subs: 15 Sutton, 17 Tautai, 19 Isa, 20 Escaré.
Widnes: 1 Hanbury; 24 Chamberlain, 15 Craven, 4 Runciman, 2 Marsh; 6 Mellor, 7, Gilmore; 19 Burke, 33 Heremaia, 10 Gerrard, 17 Wilde, 12 Whitley, 16 Olbison. Subs: 23 D Walker, 26 T Chapelhow, 13 Cahill, 20 M Leuluai.
Starman: Sam Tomkins