RYAN Hampshire scored with nine minutes remaining to save Wigan’s blushes in a flat contest with Widnes.
With the scores locked at 10-10, the young full-back put his side in front for the first time since Tom Gilmore converted his own try after eight minutes.
Having scored 40 or more against Widnes in each of their last five visits to the DW, the opening exchanges suggested the night could follow a similar theme.
With just 70 seconds on the clock, Josh Charnley was over thanks to neat work from Hampshire.
The full-back responded to being handed his 12th start of the campaign by slicing through the Vikings’ defence and kicking the ball on, regathering and shipping a neat one-handed pass to Charnley to get Warriors off the mark.
Following Gilmore’s try, Chris Dean scored an embarrassingly soft try through non-existent defence with six minutes to go until the break and stretch Widnes’ advantage.
In the final minute of the half, Anthony Gelling put a neat kick through for Joe Burgess to collect and score - and the Sydney-bound winger managed to make his way under the posts, making Matty Smith’s conversion attempt to level the score a formality.
Chances were limited in the second half andwith 12 minutes left Smith attempted a drop-goal which served only to go wide and give Widnes 20m restart.
But finally the home fans, who had to endure what was frankly painful viewing for most of the evening, had something to cheer when Burgess broke down the left and Hampshire accepted the pass - which was maybe a touch forward - to send Wigan on their way.
And the game finished as it started - with a Warriors try - when centre Gelling bagged his eighth try of the season - and Smith tacked on the extras from the touchline.
Wigan Warriors: Ryan Hampshire; Josh Charnley, Anthony Gelling, John Bateman; George Williams, Matty Smith; Dom Crosby, Michael mcIlorum, Taulima Tautai, Joel Tomkins, Liam Farrell; Sean O’Loughlin
Subs: Ben Flower, Tony Clubb, Lee Mossop, Larne Patrick
Widnes Vikings: Rhys Hanbury; Patrick Ah Van, Willie Isa, Chris Dean, Paddy Flynn; Joe Mellor, Tom Gilmore; Gil Dudson, Aaron Heremaia, Eamon O’Carroll, Chris Clarkson, Danny Galea; Hep Cahill
Subs: Manese Mauokafoa, Danny Craven, Alex Gerrard, Macgraff Leuluai
Tries: Charnley, Burgess, Hampshire, Gelling
Goals: Smith 2
Tries: Gilmore, Dean