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26th July 2003: Wigan 18 Widnes 22
Wigan Warriors v Widnes Vikings Tetley's Super League VIII Round 20
Saturday 26th July 2003. Kick Off 6:00pm at JJB Stadium.
CherryandWhite.co.uk Match Report by Rebecca Smith
Vikings get first ever win at JJB

Stuart Raper said that Craig Smith was the only Wigan player who could be proud of his performance after Widnes picked up their first ever victory at the JJB stadium.

It was a damning indictement of the rest of his team given the tough Kiwi prop staggered off the field in the first half after taking a heavy blow to the head, which left him dazed but able to return in the second half.

Widnes surged into a 10-0 lead inside the opening 10 minutes with tries from Deon Bird and Andy Hay and added two further tries before half-time through Shane Millard and Dan Potter.

More impressive than the Vikings attack, spearheaded by former Wiganner Jules O'Neill, was their heroic defence, which frustrated the Wigan team.

But it could all have been so very different if Adrian Lam's second minute try had not been disallowed. The video referee ruled it out for ball stealing in a two-man tackle. And the replay confirmed Nick Graham did touch Daniel Frame just as Lam pinched the ball.

The Cherry and White army were given hope when David Hodgson, a vulnerable looking last minute replacement for Shaun Briscoe, scored within 90 seconds of the restart. But the Warriors had left themselves too much to do in the second half.

Scores from Luke Robinson and Kevin Brown in the last five minutes made the score look more respectable but the result was never in doubt and the better team won.

Raper, who last week announced he would be returning to Australia at the end of the season, looked disappointed and frustrated and admitted he had given the team a piece of his mind at half-time.

He said: 'We gave ourselves an enormous task after a very poor first half. Our defence was soft and Widnes just played a good, strong game and capitalised on that.' 'We will have some soul-searching and also some physical stuff to do this week to get us right.'

Team Sheets





14 David Hodgson Full Back 19 Paul Atcheson
5 Brian Carney Wing 20 Dan Potter
18 Martin Aspinwall Centre 5 Jason Demetriou
15 Sean O'Loughlin Centre 4 Adam Hughes
25 Kevin Brown Wing 2 Paul Devlin
28 Nick Graham Stand Off 26 Julian O'Neill
7 Adrian Lam Scrum Half 7 Ryan Sheridan
8 Terry O'Connor Prop 8 Robbie Relf
9 Terry Newton Hooker 9 Shane Millard
10 Craig Smith Prop 10 Julian O'Neill
11 Mick Cassidy 2nd Row 11 Andy Hay
12 Danny Tickle 2nd Row 13 Daniel Frame
13 Andy Farrell L.Forward 3 Deon Bird
19 Stephen Wild Sub 12 Steve McCurrie
20 Luke Robinson Sub 17 Anthony Farrell
23 Gareth Hock Sub 22 Phil Cantillon
30 Quentin Pongia Sub 25 Simon Finnigan
Score Sheet
Wigan Warriors 18-22 Widnes Vikings

David Hodgson (42)
Luke Robinson (76)
Kevin Brown (80)

Deon Bird (5)
Andy Hay (10)
Shane Millard (27)
Dan Potter (34)

Andy Farrell 3

Julian O'Neill (26) 3
Match Info

Half Time: 0-22 Widnes
Match Attendance: 8,600
Referee: Ian Smith (Oldham)
Cherry and White.co.uk Star Man: Craig Smith

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