Warrington Wolves opened their Qualifiers campaign with a 28-14 victory over Widnes Vikings to cap off a miserable week after Rangi Chase was suspended on Thursday for the use of cocaine.
Before the game the north stand of the Select Security Stadium was renamed after super fan Pat Price who sadly passed away in 2014.
Wire opened the scoring early in the half when a short ball from ex-Viking stand-off Kevin Brown meant Jack Hughes glided through the Widnes defence.
Tom Lineham was then penalised for moving off the mark ten metres out from his own line. Widnes capitalised on this when Jack Buchanan barged over from close range to level the score at 6-6.
Widnes went into the lead for the first time in the game after Lloyd White went down the short side and stepped the Wire defence, giving the ball to the supporting Joe Mellor. White added the extras to make it 12-6.
They finished the half the better side as they continued to threaten with the majority of possession and territory but could not further their lead.
After the break, Lloyd White extended the lead with a penalty from 30 metres out to make it 14-6 following Mike Cooper being penalised for being offside after Danny Craven’s kick hit Peta Hiku.
Warrington responded straight away with a dubious score. Lineham dived over the line in acrobatic fashion but he there was a question mark whether he dropped the ball over the line. Declan Patton failed to convert.
Lineham then looked certain to score his second but a last ditch challenge from Mellor forced him into touch.
Back to back penalties put Warrington in a strong position. Patton took the ball to the line and his footwork created space to score.
Widnes almost replied straight away as Joe Mellor was once again involved as he set Stefan Marsh away down the touchline only to be tackled by the covering defence 10 metres from the line.
Ratchford ran the ball on the last tackle and opened up space for Peta Hiku who then gave it to Matty Russell to put Warrington two scores ahead with 10 minutes to go
Patton then added a penalty to make it 24-14.
Victory was confirmed when Hiku showed his International class with a show and go to score in the corner as the game ended 28-14.
Report by Sam Taylor