Widnes win as Hull draw blank
Widnes made it four wins from their first five Super League fixtures of the season as they kept Hull FC scoreless to claim a remarkable 7-0 victory at the KC Stadium.
In a game largely dominated by driving rain and handling errors, the solitary try and penalty from Patrick Ah Van, combined with a debut drop goal for Tom Gilmore, gave Widnes a rather bizarre victory against a Hull side that were plagued with errors and limp attacking play.
The only try of the contest arrived in the very first minute, off the back of an appalling error from Jordan Rankin. The Hull full-back spilled the ball on his first carry of the match, and Ah Van picked the ball up and charged over the line to put the Vikings into an early 4-0 lead - Danny Tickle missing the conversion.
Those would prove the only points of a strange first period as driving wind and rain took control of the clash, instead of the players.
Hull spent long periods camped on the Widnes line throughout the remainder of the first half, but just could not keep hold of the ball in the tricky conditions.
That was perhaps best emphasised by replacement Jordan Thompson who, minutes after coming on from the bench, burst through the Widnes line with a great run. However, he inexplicably spilled the ball in the act of scoring to see another chance wasted for Lee Radford's men.
For all Hull's dominance in attack though, the likes of Phil Joseph and former Hull man Tickle were having remarkable games in defence, as they showed great resilience in the face of extreme pressure.
That was enough to see Widnes keep out the Black and Whites for the entirety of the first half, as it remained 4-0 at the break.
The spate of handling errors continued on the restart, too. Widnes spilled the ball inside their own half, and Hull had a huge overlap on the following play. The opportunity went begging, though, as Kirk Yeaman managed to drop the ball with virtually no Widnes defenders around him.
With the game hanging delicately in the balance, discipline was becoming more and more crucial to both sides - that was underlined when back-to-back penalties for Widnes finally produced some points. It was not via a try, though, Ah Van's kick from in front of the posts nudged Widnes' lead out to six.
Ah Van then had a trickier opportunity to put another two points on the board - but he could not find the distance or the accuracy with his second attempt at goal. However, the victory was secured four minutes from time, as the Vikings struck with a drop-goal.
Yet more errors from the home side enabled the Vikings to break into the Hull half and Gilmore stepped up to land a one-pointer which confirmed Widnes' first points on the road in 2014.