THE positives certainly outweighed the negatives as Widnes went down 30-16 to Hull Kingston Rovers in their first pre-season game played at Featherstone’s LD Nutrition Stadium.

The Vikings led for much of the first half and showed some nice touches on attack.

And although they were sometimes exposed defensively by their Super League opponents, it was a good base to work from as the season proper approaches.

Widnes named a 25-man squad for the fixture with Rovers slightly more conservative with 24 names on their teamsheet.

Amongst those on the bench for the Vikings was trialist Dom Speakman. Notable absentees included club skipper Hep Cahill and fullback Olly Ashall-Bott.

New signings Liam Hood and Adam Tangata made their respective debuts at hooker and loose forward.

A rain shower just before kick-off thankfully relented leaving behind a cool but dry day and reasonable underfoot conditions for mid-January.

Widnes got off to a great start when they marched Rovers downfield and prop Jay Chapelhow went under the posts from close range with Jack Owens converting.

After the Vikings had successfully repelled a couple of attacks, Rovers hit back when a left to right shift allowed centre Ben Crooks to coast in to make it 6-4 on eleven minutes.

Widnes increased their lead when a set move allowed second row Harrison Hansen to sail through a huge hole to make it 12-4.

The gap was narrowed to 12-8 when winger Ryan Shaw crossed for the ‘home’ side on 26 minutes after a spell of concerted pressure.

Widnes were put on a team warning for persistent offending and ex-Viking Weller Hauraki crashed in for a converted score to level things up at 12-12 with ten first half minutes remaining.

Hull KR hit the front for the first time when a Mitch Garbutt offload freed Kane Linnett to cross with Shaw adding the extras.

However, with the last play of the first period, Hansen scored his second try from half-back Jack Owens’ well-timed pass to make the score 18-16.

Wellington Albert thought he’d put Widnes back in front early in the second half but was deemed to be offside as he followed up a grubber kick.

Instead it was the Yorkshiremen who increased their lead when Junior Vaivai spun over from close range with the goal making it 24-16.

Rovers began to look comfortable on 54 minutes when Joel Tomkins bulldozed over from dummy-half for another six-pointer but to their credit Kieron Purtill’s side dug in.

Widnes had their moments in the final quarter of the match but neither side added to their totals in a hard fought contest.

Hull KR: Atkin; Shaw, Crooks, Keinhorst, Hall; McGuire, Drinkwater; Mulhern, Lee, Garbutt, Tomkins, Linnett, Hauraki. Subs: Addy, Dagger, Greenwood, Johnson, Rooks, Vaivai, Lannon, Lawler, Masoe, Oakes, Lewis.

Widnes: Roby; Buckley, Brand, Dean, Ince; Owens, Lyons; J Chapelhow, Hood, T Chapelhow, Wilde, Hansen, Tangata. Subs: Albert, Johnstone, Farnworth, Leuluai, Speakman, Freeman, Walker, Walsh, Else, Edge, Davies, Brookes.

Half-Time: 18-16

Referee: Mr T Grant