Date: Thursday 2nd April
Venue: Select Security Stadium
Widnes Vikings 19 man squad
Kevin Brown, Chris Dean, Gil Dudson, Danny Galea, Alex Gerrard, Rhys Hanbury, Aaron Heremaia, Dec Hulme, Ben Kavanagh, Macgraff Leuluai, Manase Manuokafoa, Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor, Eamon O’Carroll, Jack Owens, Cameron Phelps, Danny Tickle, Lloyd White, Matt Whitley
Warrington Wolves 19 man squad
Roy Asotasi, Ryan Atkins, Chris Bridge, Daryl Clark, Ben Currie, Anthony England, Ben Harrison, Micky Higham, Chris Hill, George King, James Laithwaite, Joel Monaghan, Gareth O’Brien, Kevin Penny, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Matthew Russell, Ashton Sims, Ben Westwood
Last Five Meetings
Warrington Wolves 22-19 Widnes Vikings – Elimination Play-off, 2014
Widnes Vikings 28-14 Warrington Wolves – Round 21, 2014
Warrington Wolves 44-6 Widnes Vikings – Round 9, 2014
Warrington Wolves 6-16 Widnes Vikings – Round 25, 2013
Widnes Vikings 38-22 Warrington Wolves – Round 9, 2013
Widnes Vikings are looking to bounce back from a dismal display in Salford as they face local rivals Warrington Wolves in an Easter derby fixture on Thursday night.
The Vikings slumped to a 36-8 defeat at the hands of the Red Devils while their opponents this week also lost in round seven, with Huddersfield Giants turning them over 29-10 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Denis Betts’ men are boosted by the return of influential captain Kevin Brown as well as Danny Tickle and Lloyd White as they look to get one over on their next door neighbours.
The Wolves have struggled at the Select Security Stadium recently with their last victory there coming in 2012, and the last time the two met in Widnes the home side triumphed 28-14.
In their last meeting it was Tony Smith’s men who came out on top though, fighting back from 18-0 down to end the Vikings’ first play-off campaign at the first hurdle with a 22-19 victory.
Widnes will be looking for back-to-back top eight finishes and to do so their home form is vital and that has been apparent already this season, with only St Helens defeating them in front of their own fans.
This is one of their biggest tests since this season though and it will take a big improvement on last week’s performance if they are to come away with the bragging rights in this one.
Warrington are one of the competition’s strongest sides with a huge forward pack and strike players in the backs who can score at will.
Past meetings have lived up to expectations between these two sides and the fierce rivalry can be felt from the stands down to the pitch, so we can expect another fiery derby day clash come Thursday night.
Prediction: Widnes Vikings have a good record over Warrington Wolves, losing just one of the last four league fixtures against them however they could struggle this time out. The Wolves look desperate to make it ‘their year’ and with their improved forward pack they have the perfect go forward for their impressive back line. My SuperBru prediction is Wolves by 16.