The Qualifiers: Widnes Vikings 8-12 Hull Kingston Rovers

Kris Welham
Kris Welham's best season was in 2011 when he scored 24 Super League tries
The Qualifiers
Widnes (0) 8
Tries: Runciman 2
Hull KR (6) 12
Tries: Welham, Lawler Goals: Mantellato 2

Challenge Cup finalists Hull KR pulled off victory at Widnes to keep up their 100 per cent start to The Qualifiers.

A try in each half did the job for a Rovers side who rested several players ahead of their Wembley date with Leeds.

It took 37 minutes for centre Kris Welham to open the scoring, Josh Mantellato converting.

Charly Runciman replied straight after the break but debutant George Lawler's converted try stretched the lead to 12-4 before Runciman's late second.

Widnes declined to take the conversion, with 14 seconds left on the clock, in the hope that they could score again from the game's final play.

Welham enjoys taking on Widnes
Kris Welham has scored in all three Super League meetings with Widnes, three of his season's haul of nine tries having come against the Vikings.
Josh Mantellato, who scored 14 tries and 70 goals during the regular season, is this year's top points scorer, having now added four more tries and 14 goals during The Qualifiers.

But, while the Vikings instead suffered their first defeat in The Qualifiers, Rovers can move on to Wembley in high spirits, having moved top of the Super 8s Qualifiers with a fourth straight victory.

Rovers' changes were chiefly in the pack, bringing in Matthew Marsh, Dane Tilse, Aaron Ollett, John Boudezba and giving Lawler his debut.

The Vikings were forced to draft in Danny Tickle and Chris Clarkson for injured duo Willie Isa and Macgraff Leuluai, but neither enjoyed the openings that were there during the thumping of Sheffield a week ago.

Widnes have announced, meanwhile, that Clarkson and Isa will leave at the end of the season after rejecting their offer of new deals.

Clarkson, 25, who has spent the 2015 season on loan from Leeds, has been linked with a move to Hull KR next year.

Isa, 26, who played in the NRL with Penrith and Melbourne, is in his fourth season at Widnes after starting his Super League career with Castleford.

Widnes coach Denis Betts told BBC Sport:

"I've got to give them credit. They came here with great energy and effort. They turned up and we didn't.

"We had 25-30 per cent completion rate in the first 30 minutes and it rattled us. Their two tries were bad ones from our point of view and we've not taken opportunities when we had them.

"We lacked composure. Opportunities were there but we just didn't take them. There were substandard performances throughout the team.

"Conditions killed the game from an attacking spectacle but it was the same for them. We are in a war now - a very tough place and we've got to do something about it."

Hull KR coach Chris Chester told BBC Sport:

Media playback is not supported on this device

Chester on Widnes v Hull KR

"We've hit a little bit of form - we've got four wins from four now. It takes the pressure off and now we can just concentrate on the cup final next week.

"It was a gritty performance. We kept on turning each up for each other. We were very physical and put them off their game. We were aggressive and punched holes through the Widnes line.

"We were very strong and have made a very good side like Widnes look silly at times. I'm proud of the efforts we've put in and we deserve the two points.

"There are going to be some sleepless nights as there've been some good performances. I'm not there with the Wembley 17 yet. I've got a really big headache now. "

Widnes: Hanbury; Flynn, Dean, Runciman, Marsh; Brown, Mellor; Gerrard, White, Dudson, Tickle, Galea, Cahill.

Replacements: Heremaia, Clarkson, Manuokafoa, Whitley.

Hull KR: Dixon; Cockayne, Salter, Welham, Mantellato; Marsh, Chisholm; Allgood, Boudebza, Tilse, Ollett, Blair, Burke.

Replacements: Lawler, Green, Greenwood, Donaldson.

Referee: Joe Cobb (RFL).

Get all the key scores as they happen by adding rugby league push alerts in the BBC Sport app on your mobile phone or tablet.

Top Stories