Super League: Wigan Warriors 28-12 Widnes Vikings
|Betfred Super League|
|Wigan Warriors (16) 28|
|Tries: O'Loughlin, Clubb, Tierney, Burgess 2 Goals: Williams 4|
|Widnes Vikings (6) 12|
|Tries: White 2 Goals: White 2|
Tony Clubb scored a try on his return from having a kidney removed to help Wigan end an eight-match winless Super League run with victory over Widnes.
Clubb came off the bench in the 23rd minute for his first appearance since undergoing surgery 58 days ago.
His try came in between Sean O'Loughlin and Lewis Tierney scores for Wigan, while Lloyd White responded for Widnes to make it 16-6 at the break.
White pulled another try back before two Joe Burgess tries sealed victory.
Defeat ended Widnes' slim hopes of avoiding a bottom-four finish and having to fight for their top-flight status via the qualifiers.
Wigan's win takes them seventh in the table, above Huddersfield who were beaten 36-20 by Salford Red Devils in Sunday's other Super League match.
- MATCH REPORT: Salford beat Huddersfield to go second
- READ MORE: Wane pride in Clubb's return from kidney removal
Clubb's comeback for the Warriors was not the only milestone moment for Shaun Wane's side as England full-back Sam Tomkins started a home match for the first time in 2017, having spent nine months out with a broken foot.
Tomkins played a crucial part in two tries, with a fine-cut out pass sending Burgess over for the first of two decisive late tries.
Winger Burgess' double came after he made a crucial tackle to deny Stefan Marsh a try and Widnes an equaliser with 19 minutes remaining of a pulsating match at the DW Stadium.
Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane:
"I'm happy with the win but I'm frustrated with some of the errors.
"If we keep hold of the ball and stop the unforced errors we could have won by a bigger margin. That's what we need to do, we need to be a bit more ruthless and we weren't that today.
"Our defence was much improved, they got two tries from poor defensive errors, but apart from that we defended really well. We have made massive improvements, but we can't mask over it."
Widnes Vikings coach Denis Betts:
"We played all right. At 16-12 with 10 minutes to go it's a pretty tight game.
"We have come back into it. If you look at the first two tries, Clubb's isn't a try and O'Loughlin's is a bit of magic and Danny Craven is out of position because he's only played two games at full-back.
"We defended our goal-line well, we've got to complete a bit better and be smarter with the ball, but other than that we didn't look out of our depth.
"I thought we had a chance to win that game but we didn't have enough composure or cutting edge to be able to do that."
Wigan Warriors: S Tomkins; Tierney, Gelling, Gildart, Burgess; Williams, Leuluai; Nuuausala, McIlorum, Sutton, Bateman, Farrell, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Clubb, Powell, Wells, Isa.
Widnes Vikings: Craven; Marsh, Bridge, Runciman, Thompson; Mellor, Gilmore; Dudson, White, Buchanan, Whitley, Houston, Cahill.
Replacements: O'Carroll, Gerrard, Olbison, Heremaia.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.