FLYING FLYNN LANDS KR KO; Betts: I was worried for most of the second half Paddy crosses twice to set up Widnes win - but late lapse makes for nervy ending.
Two tries in the last quarter left the home side sweating at the Select Security Stadium, but some last-ditch defence ensured the Rovers fightback fell just short.
Betts said: "I was worried for most of the second half.
"We kept inviting them back in the game. In the first half we had enough ball, enough field position and enough opportunities to take the game away from them.
"But we know they've got players that can do something out of nothing.
"I thought Aaron Heremaia was outstanding. His energy and enthusiasm has been great for us."
Widnes led 20-4 at one point thanks to two Paddy Flynn tries and one from Danny Galea, while Jack Owens kicked four goals.
The visitors' tries came courtesy of Cockayne, Ken Sio and Kris Welham, the latter two's scores setting up the tense finish.
Rovers head coach Chris Chester was philosophical in defeat.
He said: "I thought the effort was there, but I don't think we deserved to get anything out of the game.
"Our first-half performance was a long way off and we got our just rewards. But we didn't really get any field position.
"Our effort to get back in the game when we went 20-4 behind was fantastic."
WIDNES VIKINGS 20 Hull K R 16 WIDNES had to survive a tense finish before taking the spoils 20-16 against Hull KR at the Select Security Stadium.
Two tries in the last quarter got Rovers within touching distance but the Vikings' last-ditch defence enabled them to hold onto the two points.
Paddy Flynn (two) and Danny Galea touched down for the hosts, with the visitors' tries scored by Ben Cockayne, Ken Sio and Kris Welham.
After a couple of cautious sets, the Vikings got the scoreboard ticking when Joe Mellor and Stefan Marsh combined to create the space for right winger Flynn to cut inside two defenders on his way to the line. Jack Owens' conversion made it 6-0. It took Rovers a while to establish any kind of bridgehead in Vikings territory but when they did a smart short grubberkick from half-back Albert Kelly allowed full-back Cockayne to touch down wide out for a four-pointer.
Both winger Ken Sio and second row Maurice Blair went close for the Robins but a couple of penalties piggy-backed Widnes to the other end of the field where Mellor sent Galea crashing in to make it 12-4 in the home side's favour on the half-hour.
Rovers had a half-chance three minutes before the break but Flynn muscled up to prevent opposite number Josh Mantellato going over and when the Yorkshiremen were penalised for raking the ball out in the tackle, Owens was on target with a 35-metre kick to send Widnes in at half-time 14-4 to the good.
The start of the second half was a mirror image of the first with safety-first play the order of the day.
The Vikings thought they had increased their lead when Owens went crashing towards the corner flag but the officials ruled he had been bundled into touch and then a long Owens break set up a chance for opposite winger Flynn, but the result was the same.
Hull KR had their own hard-luck story when Mantellato had a try chalked off for a forward pass and from the resulting scrum Flynn broke clear for the Vikings and raced 90 metres for a dramatic score, goaled by Owens, to make it 20-4. A clean break by Cockayne got Rovers back on the front foot and they hit back in the 62nd minute when Sio jumped highest to snatch a Terry Campese crosskick out of the air and slam the ball down. Mantellato's conversion got his side back within 10 points.
Just three minutes later, a penalty conceded on the last tackle of a set proved costly for Widnes as their opponents swept upfield and Welham crossed for a converted try to set up a nervous last 15 minutes.
Speedster Sio appeared to have an opportunity up the right but was bundled into touch by Owens and a 40/20 attempt by Campese came up short.
| Widnes Vikings' Danny | |Galea celebrates with Manase Manuokafoa after scoring their second try and (inste below) Paddy Flynn touches down