Wakefield Trinity will look to solidify their top 8 spot as they host bottom side Widnes Vikings on Sunday afternoon at the Mobile Rocket Stadium in the rearranged fixture from earlier in the season. Here’s all the info you need ahead of the big match.
Chris Chester has made just the one change to the Wakefield squad that was narrowly beaten by Warrington last weekend.
Experienced second row forward Justin Horo drops out and is replaced by youngster James Batchelor for the visit of the Vikings.
Wakefield Trinity 19-man squad: Annakin, Arona, Ashurst, Batchelor, Caton-Brown, England, Fifita, Hampshire, Hirst, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, Kirmond, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Randell, Tupou, Wood.
Francis Cummins has made a total of seven changes to the side that was beaten by Salford Red Devils in the last match.
Long term absentees Gil Dudson and Krisnan Inu return and are joined by Olly Ashall-Bott, MacGraff Leuluai, Brad Walker, Danny Walker and Sam Wilde.
Missing out for Widnes is banned co-captain Chris Houston, Danny Craven, Rhys Hanbury, Patrick Ah Van, Tom Olbison, Owen Farnworth and Dan Norman.
Widnes Vikings 19-man squad: Ashall-Bott, J.Chapelhow, T.Chapelhow, Dudson, Gerrard, Gilmore, Hauraki, Heremaia, Ince, Inu, Johnstone, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, Runciman, B.Walker, D.Walker, Whitley, Wilde.
HEAD TO HEAD
The last time these two sides met at the Mobile Rocket Stadium was back in March when the game was abandoned mid-match due to heavy snow fall.
The home side were leading 2-0 thanks to a Liam Finn penalty when the game was deemed unplayable by the match official.
In what was supposed to be the reverse fixture later in the season, Wakefield came away from the Select Security Stadium with the two points in a 6 – 19 win.
Tries from Pauli Pauli, Tom Johnstone and David Fifita, all converted by James Batchelor, put Trinity in control of the game after Widnes took the lead through a Stefan Marsh penalty.
Patrick Ah Van scored in reply for the Vikings but a Jacob Miller drop goal sealed the win late on.
KEY BATTLE – Max Jowitt v Olly Ashall-Bott
It’ll be the battle of the young full backs on Sunday afternoon as Jowitt and Ashall-Bott line up against each other.
Jowitt has nailed down the full back spot of late in the absence of Scott Grix and has been steadily improving game on game for Trinity.
Having a sustained period to make the position his own has benefitted both himself and Wakefield as a result, and he will surely be a danger to the Vikings defence.
Ashall-Bott is the least experienced of the two when it comes to first team appearances but he isn’t short of talent.
Having finally made his first grade debut earlier in the season on the wing, it looks like Francis Cummins is going to give the youngster his first start in his preferred position of full back.
Injuries have curtailed his career so far at Widnes but with neither Rhys Hanbury or Danny Craven cementing the number one spot, this is Ashall-Bott’s chance to stake a claim to the jersey, just like Jowitt has.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Sunday 24th June 2018
Venue: Mobile Rocket Stadium
Referee: Liam Moore
WHO WILL WIN?