A LATE Patrick Ah Van try handed Widnes a 16-14 victory over a jaded looking Saints on Friday night.
Tries from Theo Fages and Matty Smith overturned the host’s advantage at the break but despite the weight of possession in the second half, the visitors couldn’t punch it home.
Saints couldn’t match the intensity of their Easter expolits from the off and they were made to rue missed opportunities throughout.
The Vikings had all the possession and it took a solid tackle from Regan Grace on Corey Thompson to stop them taking the lead early doors.
But in the 14th minute, a break down the right saw the ball come inside, hit Zeb Taia and bounce kindly for Joe Mellor to touch down.
Saints hit back within two minutes as Fages juggled a fast pass and shot between two defenders close to the line.
But Ah Van restored the host’s advantage on the quarter game mark as he flew in on the far side.
Saints then defended three sets on their own line as the home side turned the screw but Matty Smith scored a crucial four-pointer right on the stroke of half time.
The scrum half working his way along the line before darting down low and putting down under pressure for 12-12 at the break.
Saints began the second half on the front foot and registered a penalty three minutes in.
They then had the chance to go for more but handling cost them at the crucial moment – as it did at key times throughout the game.
Defence was again on song for the visitors as Widnes responded, before Luke Thompson had one chalked off by the video referee – coming in a period of dominance for the Saints.
But they never turned that into points – and with 10 minutes to go Widnes delivered the killer blow.
After forcing a drop out, Patrick Ah Van worked it at dummy half to power over.
Saints threw it around in the final stages to find a winner but were called for a forward pass as Amor looked to go clear to end a frustrating evening.
Tries: Mellor, Ah Van (2),
Goals: Gilmore (2 from 4)
Tries: Fages, Smith
Goals: Percival (3 from 3)
REF: C Kendall
1. Rhys Hanbury; 2. Corey Thompson,17. Stefan Marsh, 4. Charly Runciman, 5. Patrick Ah Van; 6. Joe Mellor, 7. Tom Gilmore; 15. Gil Dudson, 31. Jordan Johnstone, 10. Jack Buchanan, 11. Chris Houston, 14. Chris Dean, 16. Alex Gerrard.
Subs: 12. Matt Whitley, 18. Greg Burke, 23. Jay Chapelhow, 35. Danny Walker.
25. Ricky Bailey; 5. Adam Swift, 22. Matty Fleming, 4. Mark Percival, 28. Regan Grace; 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith; 19. Greg Richards, 17. Tommy Lee, 10. Kyle Amor, 36. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 16. Luke Thompson.
Subs: 8. Alex Walmsley, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles.