IF THERE had ever been more unlikely First Division pace setters than Doncaster, even at this early stage of the season, then their names are long forgotten.
This second magnificent display of a campaign that had promised little but a struggle against relegation, however, gave them the right to look down on the rest, at least until Sunday.
There was nothing complicated about their approach, but a ferocious physical commitment that Widnes could not match gave them the edge in all departments.
Nowhere was that more apparent than in the front row, where Wayne Jackson showed just why Doncaster had been trying all summer to sign him despite minor problems like having no money.
Jackson scythed through Widnes's defence in the 17th minute and the alert Brendan Carlyle was in support to send David Evans on a run past Christian Tyrer to the try-line.
And Doncaster's South African full-back, Jamie Bloem, another excellent performer, exploited some slack defence at the play-the- ball to force his way over.
Two conversions, one from the touchline, and a drop goal, all from Alex Green, gave Doncaster an 11-point half-time lead they thoroughly deserved.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Bloem did it again, picking up from dummy half and side stepping past a shell shocked Widnes defence.
Green surprisingly missed that kick and Widnes belatedly put together some incisive rugby when David Hulme's well-timed pass put Darren Wright through a gap for a try.
But Doncaster's tackling held firm against sporadic Widnes pressure and Green emphasised their astonishing all-round superiority by going 50 yards from a scrum, four minutes from time.
Doncaster: Bloem; Roache, Rowse, Evans, Tomlinson; A Green, Carlyle; Lingard, Whakarau, Matautia, Miller, Pennant, Turner. Subs: Fletcher, Jackson
Widnes: Tyrer; J Green, Hammond, Wright, Hadley; Ruane, Kelly; Ireland, McCurrie, Hansen, Halliwell, Myler, D Hulme. Subs: Thorniley, Walker.
Referee: J Holdsworth (Kippax).Reuse content