WIDNES Vikings three game winning run was brought to an end as they went down 22-4 to high-flying Featherstone Rovers at the LD Nutrition Stadium.

Missing out on two league points was bad enough as the Vikings as they try to pull away from the relegation zone, but they will be perhaps even more concerned about injuries sustained by stand-off Danny Craven and hooker Jordan Johnstone.

Widnes boss Kieron Purtill selected the same seventeen that got the better of Barrow Raiders seven days earlier.

He made just one change to the starting line-up with Macgraff Leuluai starting at loose forward and Brad Walker coming off the bench.

A torrential downpour greeted the players as they made their way out of the tunnel and clearly had an effect on the way the two sides approached the game.

The early exchanges were nip and tuck with a liberal sprinkling of handling errors in difficult conditions.

Featherstone broke the deadlock on nine minutes when Dane Chisholm’s well-weighted kick into the in-goal area was pounced on by centre Alex Sutcliffe with Chisholm’s goal making it 6-0.

The Vikings created some chances of their own but right winger Jayden Hatton couldn’t quite catch up with a Joe Lyons kick to the corner and Sam Wilde found too many home players in attendance.

Anthony Gelling sliced clean through up the middle but was halted just short and from the next play Josh Ganson grubbered through for himself but was just beaten to the ball by Ash Golding.

A Chisholm 40/20 kick put Rovers back on the front foot and a penalty for interference at the tackle allowed Chisholm to knock over a simple goal to make it 8-0 at the break.

Widnes came out for the second half without both Craven and Johnstone and it was Rovers who started strongly.

Ryan Carr’s men increased their lead to 12-0 when a booming long pass found winger Conor Casey in acres of space to cross wide out.

The Vikings did well to repel another couple of raids on their own line and finally sprung to life themselves when a long Owens break set up the position and it was the same player’s cut-out pass that sent Ryan Ince diving in at the left corner to pull four points back.

Featherstone were starting to look a bit wobbly but Widnes couldn’t capitalise.

On 71 minutes, having been invited into the Widnes ‘20’ by mistakes and penalties, Rovers made it 16-4 when half-back Tom Holmes wriggled from close range.

The last eight minutes saw Widnes constantly battering on the Featherstone tryline but they couldn’t find the killer touch.

The game ended in a somewhat farcical manner as Gelling and Keenan Brand’s attempt to keep the ball alive after the hooter only succeeded in gifting a second converted try to Sutcliffe.

Featherstone: Golding; Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Hardcastle, Carey; Holmes, Chisholm; Wheeldon, King, Ferguson, Day, Walters, Lockwood. Subs: Cooper, Harrison, Makatoa, Ormondroyd.

Widnes: Owens; Hatton, Gelling, Brand, Roby; Craven, Lyons; Cahill, Johnstone, J Chapelhow, Wilde, Dean, Leuluai. Subs: T Chapelhow, Ganson, Walker, Norman.

Half-Time: 8-0

Referee: Mr M Mannifield

Attendance: 2,380