19th May 2017 by TSZ
Widnes Vikings vs Wakefield Trinity Preview
- Widnes put in a much improved performance to push Warrington close in their sixth round Challenge Cup encounter. The Vikings managed to get themselves level in the final quarter of the game but succumbed to three tries in the final 11 minutes.
- Denis Betts has been forced to turn to the loan market to bolster his depleted squad with the enigmatic Rangi Chase signing until the end of the season from Castleford, whilst Sam Wilde and Jack Johnson will spend the next month on loan from Warrington.
- Those arrivals were needed for the Vikings as they look to snap a three-game losing streak in all competitions. Their task will not be made any easier with them losing Patrick Ah Van to injury for the season as well as the influential Joe Mellor in the halves.
Head Coach: Denis Betts
Squad: Jack Buchanan, Greg Burke, Hep Cahill, Ed Chamberlain, Jay Chapelhow, Rangi Chase, Gil Dudson, Alex Gerrard, Rhys Hanbury, Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston, Ryan Ince, Jack Johnson, Jordan Johnstone, Manase Manuokafoa, Eamon O'Carroll, Charly Runciman, Lloyd White, Sam Wilde
Unavailable: Patrick Ah Van (Achilles), Corey Thompson (Injury), Danny Craven (Injury), Chris Bridge (Injury), Joe Mellor (Injury), Matt Whitley (Injury), Ted Chapelhow, Tom Armstrong, MacGraff Leuluai, Tom Olbison, Chris Dean, Tom Gilmore, Stefan Marsh
- Wakefield continued their upturn in form with a resounding win over Dewsbury Rams in their Challenge Cup sixth round tie. That result meant that Trinity have now won their last three games having lost their previous three.
- Chris Chester was able to rest some of his key men against Dewsbury but welcomes them back for this clash - Craig Huby, Ben Jones Bishop and captain Danny Kirmond all return to the squad.
- It's an important game for Wakefield with them currently sitting in 6th place in the Super League table, three points ahead of 7th placed St. Helens. A win here could start to give them some daylight between themselves and the chasing pack as they look to make the top 8.
Head Coach: Chris Chester
Squad: Tinirau Arona, Joe Arundel, Matty Ashurst, James Batchelor, Mason Caton-Brown, Anthony England, David Fifita, Liam Finn, Scott Grix, Keegan Hirst, Craig Huby, Ben Jones-Bishop, Danny Kirmond, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Mikey Sio, Bill Tupou, Sam Williams, Kyle Wood
Unavailable: Tom Johnstone (Knee), Mitch Allgood (Hand)
Analysis - what to expect
Both sides will want to put on a show in the opening game of the Magic Weekend. Widnes have been hit by yet more injuries but could be boosted by their loan signings with them hoping Rangi Chase can rediscover his form following a couple of off-field indiscretions this season. However, Wakefield will be confident and a professional performance here should see them extend their winning run to four matches in all competitions.