Whitehaven are still searching for their first Championship win after falling 40-16 against Widnes Vikings at the DCBL Stadium on Sunday.

Haven brought Sam Forrester, Sam Dowsett, Brett Phillips, Ethan Kelly and Tom Walker into the side following last week’s defeat to Toulouse.

Widnes made six changes for the clash with Joe Edge, Deon Cross, Matty Smith, Callum Wood, Owen Farnworth and Shane Grady all handed starts.

It was an enthusiastic start from the Cumbrian side, and it was they who broke the deadlock after 10 minutes following a brilliant offload from Ellis Gillam to Andrew Bulman, who scored in the corner. Karl Dixon was off-target with the conversion.

However, they became the architects of their own downfall as Widnes got back into the game, 15 minutes from half time.

A stray pass found the Widnes man, and Haven conceded three straight penalties to give the home side the field position.

Jay Chapelhow eventually got the try from short range as a result. Jack Owens then made the conversion to edge Widnes in front.

Haven did level the game before the break, as Dixon slotted a penalty between the posts when Widnes were punished for holding down.

It soon got even better, as Dixon managed to step away from the Widnes defence and score towards the left-hand side. He missed the conversion, but Haven still had double figures.

But Gary Charlton’s side could not hold on until half time, as Sam Wilde managed to get through on the short side. Owens converted to put Widnes ahead going into the break

That try gave the Vikings a spring in their step for the second half, and they got the first try after the restart through Joe Lyons, who was put through after a good offload from Owen Farnworth. Owens converted to rack up his 700th point for the Vikings.

Haven were once again made costly errors for the Vikings’ next try as they knocked on by their own line. From the resulting scrum, they spread the ball well and Lyons went through for his second. Owens was once again successful with the conversion.

It went from bad to worse for Haven, as they allowed a kick-off to bounce out. From the resulting drop-out Deon Cross managed to get over out wide. Owens converted to all but kill the game with less than ten minutes to go.

There was time for Widnes to add a little bit of gloss to the scoreline, as Owens broke and set up Joe Edge to get in on the act. Owens then converted to take his personal tally to 12 points.

Owens then got in on the act right on full-time as the Haven defence was starting to tire, after what had been a big second half effort. He missed the conversion, but it was still 40 points for Widnes.

The final score was certainly undeserved from a Whitehaven point of view, but just a few defensive mistakes ended up costing them. They are back in action on Wednesday in the Challenge Cup as they face Dewsbury Rams.

Match facts

Widnes: Lyons, Johnson, Edge, Spedding, Cross, Owens, Smith, T. Chapelhow, Tomkins, Moran, Wilde, Grady, Baker, Wood, J. Chapelhow, Leuluai, Farnworth

Tries: J. Chapelhow (25), Wilde (39), Lyons (54,60), Cross (71), Edge (77), Owens (80). Goals: Owens 6/7

Whitehaven: Forrester, Thompson, Parker, Mossop, Bulman, Dixon, C. Phillips, Shackley, Dowsett, Thackray, B. Phillips, Gillam, Wilkinson, Holliday, Kelly, Bradley, Walker

Tries: Bulman (10), Dixon (34, 68). Goals: Dixon 1/3, Holliday 1/1

Half Time: 12-10 Penalties: 6-4

Referee: B Pearson

Star Man: Karl Dixon