Round 12 sees a limited round of fixtures due to the World Club Series. Friday’s sole fixture sees Widnes Vikings host Warrington Wolves at the Select Security Stadium, kick off 7.35pm. With both teams losing last weekend, they will want to start making a move up that Super League table.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Widnes were on the wrong end of a closely faught battle with Castleford last Sunday, losing 13-12 due to a Luke Gale drop goal. The sole try in the first half came from Greg Minikin, who managed to hold off two defenders to touch down. Widnes replied after the break through a Matt Whitley try before Cas responded with Jy Hitchcox crossing and Luke Gale adding a penalty and a drop goal. Jay Chaplehow scored late on to try to rescue a point but Tom Gilmore was unsuccessful on two attempts to get that elusive one-pointer.
Warrington were also defeated in round two, losing 20-6 to Huddersfield. The Wolves went ahead early on through a Tom Lineham try before Huddersfield replied with two tries, one each for Dale Ferguson and Darnell McIntosh. Danny Brough and Bryson Goodwin then each added a two-pointer going into half-time with Huddersfield leading 14-6. Jordan Turner added a third try for the Giants in the second half to finish off a night to forget for the Wolves who are still looking for their first win of the 2018 season.
Widnes have made three changes to their 19-man squad. Out go Wellington Albert, Charly Runciman and Lloyd White; in come Danny Craven, Macgraff Leuluai and Brad Walker.
The Wolves have been hit by an injury to new recruit Tyrone Roberts. Prop Dom Crosby is set to play for the first time this season after off-season shoulder surgery. Harvey Livett is also included in the squad.
Widnes coach, Denis Betts, is not short of players this season which makes his job a lot harder. Speaking to the club’s website, he said: ““Whilst we’ve made some changes to the team, I’m pleased overall with the squad selection. Everyone is fighting it out for their place in the team and the competition is driving the team forward.”
Warrington, on the other hand, know they have a lot of work to do. Coach Steve Price is looking for a response from his players. “We’re not far away, obviously the two results have been disappointing but we’re not that far away. Consistency is our biggest issue but I’ve still got a huge belief in this playing group. We need to make sure we build more pressure and are able to stay in the fight”, he said via the club’s website.
Widnes lost all four match-ups with Warrington last season, so will be hoping to change all of that in 2018. They did beat the Wolves 26-22 in a pre-season friendly in December 2017.
Widnes (from): Ashall-Bott, Burke, Cahill, Chapelhow, Craven, Dean, Gilmore, Hanbury, Heremaia, Houston, Inu, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, Olbison, B. Walker, D. Walker, Whitley, Wilde.
Warrington (from): Atkins, K. Brown, Clark, Cooper, Crosby, Currie, Goodwin, Hill, Hughes, King, Lineham, Livett, Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, Ratchford, Russell, Smith, Westwood.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 16th February
Venue: Select Security Stadium
Referee: Phil Bentham
WHO WILL WIN?