The Gidley-Sandow Mastermind
Kurt Gidley and Chris Sandow are fast becoming the Super League’s most revered half-back partnership. Both have a wealth of experience playing in the half-back roles from the NRL, and have gelled seamlessly into the new-look Warrington side this season.
Gidley controlled the team with effortless authority against Widnes on Good Friday, allowing right-hand man Sandow to utilise his blistering pace to run at the Vikings defence. But the pair don’t just control the game, they contribute to it with important tries – Sandow’s effort against Widnes reduced the arrears after the Wolves went 10-0 down, while Gidley’s effort took the home side in front for the first, and crucial, time.
Strength in Depth for Warrington
Aside from Gidley and Sandow, Warrington’s pack is one of the most formidable in the league. Chris Hill, one of Super League’s most experienced props, and Ashton Sims, a menacing presence to any tackler, started as the two props against Widnes yesterday.
In support of Hill and Sims are Ben Currie, Joe Westerman and Ben Westwood – everywhere you look in the Warrington pack it’s hard to see a weak point. The huge Warrington outfit out-muscled the Widnes pack in Good Friday’s game.
Widnes Not Out of the Game Completely
Despite losing by 18 points, Widnes were the better side for the first fifteen minutes. Going 10-0 up thanks to tries from Tom Gilmore and Rhys Hanbury, the latter of whom has been part of the spine of the Widnes team this year, the away side looked in control, but couldn’t maintain the intensity they had created.
There was a period in the game where Widnes looked like they had dropped off the pace. Spending multiple sets on the Warrington line and tossing the ball to Gil Dudson and Manase Manoukafoa seemed uncreative, if not predictable. And as for defending, Manuokafoa could be seen slowly pacing back onside as the away team looked to defend their line.
The Vikings’ Solid Performers
Aside from the loss of two key points, Widnes did still have some key performers out on the pitch against Warrington. Chris Dean was definitely one of them. Solid in defence, the centre looked to target huge players such as Chris Hill, who is unstoppable unless a defender takes away the power in his legs.
Setaimata Sa also had a good game for Denis Betts’ side. Forming a strong part of the Widnes attack, he had spells of good play, creating overlaps for Kevin Penny and co. to deal with on the far side.