Super League: Widnes Vikings 10-18 Warrington Wolves

Referee Phil Bentham receives treatment after his collision with Chris Houston
Referee Phil Bentham was knocked to the floor in the 54th minute as Chris Houston chased a Widnes kick, with his eyes appearing to be on the ball
Super League
Widnes Vikings (4) 10
Tries: Inu 2 Goal: Gilmore
Warrington Wolves (10) 18
Tries: Atkins 2, Ratchford Goals: Goodwin 3

Widnes Vikings forward Chris Houston was placed on report for a collision which forced referee Phil Bentham off injured in their defeat by Warrington.

Scott Mikalauskas took over from Bentham, then signalled that the second-half incident would be reviewed.

At the time, Warrington led 16-4 thanks a Stefan Ratchford try and efforts from Ryan Atkins either side of the break.

Krisnan Inu grabbed both Widnes tries, but it was not enough to deny Wolves, who ended the game with 12 men.

In a tense finish to the fiercely contested derby, Warrington had to do without Mike Cooper following his sin-binning for slowing down late on.

Atkins' finely taken try after a high ball from Ratchford early in the second half proved key in delivering boss Steve Price his first Super League win.

After a game in which tempers threatened to boil over, the key incident was the one which led to Bentham's exit.

The official was knocked to the ground by Houston - apparently inadvertently - as the forward chased a ball over the top.

A penalty soon after the bizarre collision allowed Bryson Goodwin to kick the visitors further ahead.

There was confusion, and video replays were needed to rule out a try for Jack Hughes after a melee broke out in the middle of the field.

Inu gave Widnes hope only for Ted Chapelhow to squander a glorious chance to further reduce the arrears, knocking on with the tryline beckoning.

Cooper's late yellow card added further drama but Widnes failed to exploit their numerical advantage.

Widnes boss Denis Betts:

"It was an old-fashioned game. There was bit of bish and bash and real feeling in there between the players.

"We stood up for ourselves. There were a few times where we were an inch away from getting the ball down and that's the difference.

"They scored two tries from kicks and their try (from Ratchford) could have been a forward pass. It's all ifs and buts though. We were just on the wrong side of the scoreboard. We just couldn't convert that effort and energy."

On referee Bentham's injury: "Chris has made contact with the referee and it's just unfortunate.

"His eyes are fixed on the ball and it's just a clip. Phil is OK. He has spoken to our doctor and he seems fine."

Warrington boss Steve Price:

"It was a good, gutsy win. They scored two tries off kicks which is a bit disappointing but it was all about the win.

"Our goal-line defence was fantastic and we showed a lot of resolve. We were playing with 12 men with nine minutes to go and we dug in.

"Widnes have been going really well. They were really unlucky against Cas last week.

"We hung tough and got the win - that was the most important thing. It was a great response and our season can now start. We can kick-on from here. There are a lot of good signs now going forward."

Widnes Vikings: Hanbury; Marsh, Inu, Whitley, Ashall; Mellor, Gilmore; J Chapelhow, Heremaia, Cahill, Dean, Wilde, Houston.

Replacements: D Walker, Burke, Craven, Olbison.

Warrington Wolves: Ratchford; Lineham, Goodwin, Atkins, Russell; K Brown, Patton; Hill, Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Westwood.

Replacements: Crosby, Smith, Murdoch-Masila, Philbin.

Sin-bin: Cooper.

Referee: Phil Bentham.

Top Stories

Explore the BBC