Craig Sandercock admitted his Hull Kingston Rovers side were undone by a world-class performance from Widnes's hat-trick star Kevin Brown on Sunday.
Widnes, who confirmed before the game that Australian second-row forward Danny Galea had signed a new two-year deal with the club, were 18-16 ahead after Jack Owens, Dave Allen and Brown all scored.
Michael Weyman, Kris Welham and Rhys Lovegrove replied for the home side before Ben Cockayne and Brown swapped tries.
Ade Gardner then put the hosts in front and a Travis Burns drop-goal looked to have sealed victory.
However, Widnes crossed twice in the final seven minutes through Jon Clarke and Brown to complete a dramatic 34-29 win.
"Widnes are a really good side, there were some really poor individual errors from us and Kevin Brown was a standout and in the end, they just got us," said Robins coach Sandercock.
"When you are seven (points) in front with 10 minutes to go, you probably should get home so in that sense we should have won but you are never safe against a good side.
"Kevin Brown is a world-class player and in the end they got away with it."
- 'Dumb' Wigan -
Meanwhile Wigan coach Shaun Wane said his side were made to pay for "dumb" errors in their 28-12 loss to Leeds on Friday.
Having seen St Helens move above them in the standings with a comfortable 48-18 win at home to London Broncos a day earlier, the Rhinos knew victory at Headingley would be enough to reclaim first place.
But Leeds ran in five tries during their thumping win over last year's champions, with Danny McGuire, Zac Hardaker, Tom Briscoe, Ryan Hall and Liam Sutcliffe all going over.
Tony Clubb and Scott Taylor were the Warriors' try-scorers but Wane took little consolation from the defeat, which ended his side's eight-match winning run in all competitions.
"I thought the best team won," said Wane. "They ended their sets better than us. They're a fantastic team.
"Our effort was really good but we were dumb at times. They have a lot of players who know how to win games and they managed the game well."
The Saints, meanwhile, had nine different scorers on target in their rout of the Broncos, with Luke Walsh and Lance Hohaia both getting in on the act.
Australian Walsh, who would go on to collect 16 points, jinked in for a score before setting up former New Zealand Warrior Hohaia for his try.
Matty Dawson, Jonny Lomax, Tom Makinson, Adam Swift, Jon Greenwood, Josh Jones and Mark Flanagan were the other scorers for the hosts who now sit second, a point behind Leeds.
Saints head coach Nathan Brown said it was a satisfying result, despite still pondering his side's fifth-round Challenge Cup loss to Leeds last time out.
"It wasn't our best performance but it was a nice result and we have put ourselves in a good position on the ladder," said Brown.
"We have had a tough run over the last few weeks and had a lot of injuries.
"If you take out the fact we have been knocked out of the Cup and look at the ladder, then we are in a good spot and should be happy."