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Hull KR 29 Widnes 34
9:29am Monday 5th May 2014 in Sport
WIDNES gained their first win at Hull Kingston Rovers since 1993 with a Kevin Brown try six minutes from time securing the points.
Any thoughts that Rovers would be the fresher side after a week off proved wide of the mark as the Vikings came from behind to snatch a well-earned victory.
While it may seem churlish to single out one man after such a stirling team effort, Brown's indiviidual showing was truly outstanding.
He mesmerised the home defence with his incisive passing and running, was at the heart of most that was good about his team going forward and crossed for a hat-trick of tries of his own.
When Travis Burns dropped a goal to give Rovers a 29-22 lead with fifteen minutes remaining, the home crowd may have thought the game was in the bag.
Perhaps a more accurate reading was that the Yorkshiremen were hanging on for their lives.
With eight minutes remaining, veteran hooker Jon Clarke backed up a Cameron Phelps break to race fifty metres to the posts with no Rovers defender in sight.
Just two minutes later, centre Chris Dean took advantage of a lucky bounce from a kick to send Brown weaving to the posts for the crucial score.
It was no more than Widnes deserved.
The early stages of the match suggested the Vikings were in the mood.
They opened the scoring when Brown's long pass caught out the Robins' wide defence to send Jack Owens over with Danny Tickle converting from the touchline.
Rovers restored parity when prop Mick Weyman backed up a Neville Costigan break to finish powerfully.
Widnes seemed to have taken a stranglehold on proceedings midway through the half when first Dave Allen scythed through from a sharp Brown pass and then the Widnes stand-off himself sold an outrageous dummy before trotting under the posts to make it 18-6.
Another try at that stage may well have seen Rovers heads go down but Widnes couldn't make the most of the opportunities that came their way.
Five minutes before the interval, a break up the left by the home side saw ex-Vikinbg Craig Hall pass inside for Kris Welham to score.
And with the clock running down, Hull KR reduced the arrears to just two points when Rhys Lovegrove finished off a midfield break.
The Robins hit Widnes with a sucker punch early in the second half when a promising Vikings raid saw the ball fall into the hands of winger Ben Cockayne who raced 90 metres to score a six-pointer.
Brown levelled things up again at 22-22 with his second try after finding a huge gap in the home defence.
On the hour, quick hands from Rovers saw Ade Gardner score wide on the right with Burns converting before landing his drop-goal five minutes later.
His celebrations proved more than a little premature.
Hull KR: Cockayne; Gardner, Ulugia, Welham, Hall; Burns, Keating; Green, Hodgson, Weyman, Larroyer, Cox, Costigan. Subs: Langley, Walker, Horne, Lovegrove.
Widnes: Hanbury; Flynn, Dean, Phelps, Owens; Brown, Craven; Gerrard, Clarke, Johnson, Allen, Tickle, Leuluai. Subs: White, Isa, Clough, Kavanagh.
Referee: R Hicks Attendance: 7007