In Sunday’s sole fixture, Widnes Vikings host Leeds Rhinos at the Select Security Stadium. Widnes have only won one out of three games and Leeds are unbeaten in Super League in 2018 so far.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
After the first week’s triumph over Catalans, Widnes have gone on to lose the last two, first a narrow 13-12 defeat against Castleford and then last weekend’s 18-10 loss at home to Warrington.
Leeds will be looking to bounce back from last Friday’s 38-4 World Club Final defeat to Melbourne. Unbeaten in Super League after wins against Warrington and then Hull KR could see them move further up that table.
Back-rower Chris Houston starts the first of his two match ban for colliding with referee Phil Bentham in last week’s defeat to Warrington. Coach Denis Betts has recalled Ed Chamberlain, Ted Chapelhow and the Albert brothers, Stanton and Wellington.
Coach Brian McDermott has made several changes to the team that lost to Melbourne down under. Ashton Golding, Mitch Garbutt, Josh Walters, Mikolaj Oledzki and Ash Handley all come back into the 19-man squad to face the Vikings.
After a convincing victory over Catalans in week one, Widnes have slipped a little. They were unlucky against Castleford where the difference between the two sides was merely a Luke Gale drop goal. Last week, they were unfortunate to again to be on the losing side. Widnes managed to claw their way back from a 16-4 deficit but the Wolves held on to clinch a 18-10 victory.
Leeds will be looking to redeem themselves after a disappointing trip to Australia. The club met Melbourne Storm where the difference between the NRL and Super League looked significant once again. The Storm were simply too strong and had incredible defence which saw the Rhinos lose 38-4 in the end.
This early in the season can bring out some odd results as most will expect Leeds to react strongly after that defeat in the World Club Final. Widnes are a team that on their day can shock any team or will Leeds simply be too strong?
Widnes have won their last three home meetings against the Rhinos. Leeds haven’t won at Widnes since June 2014.
Widnes (from): Cahill, Chamberlain, J Chapelhow, T Chapelhow, Craven, Dean, Gilmore, Hanbury, Heremaia, Inu, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, Olbison, S Albert, Walker, W Albert, Wilde, Whitley.
Leeds (from): Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Sutcliffe, Hall, Moon, Myler, Parcell, Singleton, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Dwyer, Delaney, Garbutt, Keinhorst, Handley, Ormondroyd, Oledzki, Walters.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Sunday 25th February
Venue: Select Security Stadium
Referee: Robert Hicks
WHO WILL WIN?