SHAUN Wane was left fuming after Wigan’s hopes of finishing on top of the Super League ladder were washed out in rain-lashed Widnes.
The Vikings out-scored the visitors three tries to two and, with ex-Warrior Danny Tickle on form with the boot, the home outfit secured a deserved 24-10 lead.
Wigan remain second in the ladder, despite the loss.
But they have now won just one of their last four games, and have only two regular season fixtures - against Leeds and Warrington - to rediscover their golden form before the play-offs begin.
Wane lamented their error-strewn performance and tore into his players afterwards.
He said: “We made 19 errors, completed at 50 per cent - you aren’t going to beat anyone in Super League with stats like that.
“I’m privately fuming about it, because it’s not acceptable. The players dropped well below my standard tonight.
“There are no excuses from us - we’re not blaming the referee, the weather... Widnes were the better side.
“We were really poor with the ball.”
Wigan fell 14 points down inside as many minutes but managed to strike with two tries just before the break, from Dom Manfredi and Josh Charnley, to cut the margin to four points.
They failed to score in the second-half, however, and while Patrick Ah Van scored Widnes’ only try, the meticulous boot of Tickle swelled the scoreline. The ex-Warrior finished with six goals - including two penalties while Liam Farrell was sinbinned for a late challenge on Joe Mellor.
With St Helens edging Leeds 13-12 last night, it ended Wigan’s hopes of finishing on top of the Super League ladder. Of more concern is the risk of slipping down the ladder if their poor form continues.
“We have to think positively - we have seven days to make sure we perform against Leeds,” said Wane, nodding to the Big One 5 next Friday.
The Vikings, meanwhile, now need just a point from their last two games to secure their place in the play-offs.
Their coach Denis Betts, the Wigan legend, said: “I have Wigan inside me, it’s who I am, but this was a big game for the players and it’s nice to win against a big game.”