Vikings hold firm as Robins launch late onslaught.
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, Liam Salter and Kris Welham.
The Vikings got the scoreboard ticking when Joe Mellor and Stefan Marsh combined to create the space for right winger Flynn. 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 kick from half-back Albert Kelly allowed full-back Cockayne to touch down wide out. Next Mellor sent Galea crashing in to make it 12-4 in the home side's favour on the half-hour.
Just before the break Owens was on target with a 35-metre penalty kick to send Widnes in at half-time 14-4 to the good.
Hull KR 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 cross-kick 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 up-field 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.
In desperation with the clock ticking down, Rovers threw everything at the Widnes line but the Vikings held firm.
Paddy Flynn scores the Vikings' |first try