Pictures Eddie Whitham
WARRINGTON Wolves came from behind to open The Qualifiers with a 28-14 win over Widnes.
Trailing 12-6 at the break, Warrington fell a further two points behind but turned it around thanks in part to Peta Hiku and Stefan Ratchford to beat Widnes for the second successive game.
For periods of the game, Warrington were worried at the prospect of starting the unknown with a defeat against Super League’s bottom club.
Former Widnes captain Kevin Brown was widely booed once again, but again he had the answers on the pitch, putting Jack Hughes over for the first try of the game.
But the rest of the first half belonged to the home side. On 14 minutes, Jack Buchanan crashed over from first receiver off Lloyd White’s sharp pass.
A reverse ball by Joe Mellor then sent White through a gap, and return ball to Mellor had Widnes 12-6 up.
A last ditch tackle by Jack Hughes denied Charly Runciman and in the end, Warrington will have been the happier of the two sides to only be trailing 12-6 at half time.
As was the case a fortnight ago, the Wolves had work to do in the second half.
They fell further behind when White kicked a penalty after Mike Cooper was pegged for offside.
But on 50 minutes, they were right back in the game when they took advantage of an attacking error by Widnes, to go in at the other end through Tom Lineham in the corner.
A brilliant break by Ratchford ended in a penalty when Gil Dudson took Morgan Smith without the ball, and from the resulting set, Dec Patton danced around Dudson to go over under the sticks and give the Wolves a 16-14 lead.
The next score was crucial, and it went to the Wire 12 minutes from time as Ratchford and Hiku linked up to send Matty Russell over.
That broke Widnes, and Patton’s penalty gave Warrington a double digit lead and they rounded off the victory through Hiku late on.
Warrington are in action next week at home to Catalans Dragons.