Widnes Vikings vs Wakefield Trinity Preview
13th Jul 2017 by TSZ
- Widnes' preparation for the Middle 8s got off to the worst possible start as they were humiliated at Huddersfield last week, going down 40-0 to the Giants.
- Denis Betts is able to welcome back Rangi Chase after the half-back completed his two-match suspension. Eamon O'Carroll also returns to the squad but Lloyd White and Tom Gilmore drop out.
- Widnes have won four of their last five home games in Super League and it's this type of form that they need to build upon as they battle to secure their Super League status when they enter the Middle 8s.
Head Coach: Denis Betts
Squad: Keenan Brand, Chris Bridge, Jack Buchanan, Greg Burke, Hep Cahill, Rangi Chase, Gil Dudson, Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston, Ryan Ince, Jordan Johnstone, Manase Manuokafoa, Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor, Eamon O'Carroll, Tom Olbison, Charly Runciman, Corey Thompson, Matt Whitley
Unavailable: Patrick Ah Van (Achilles), Tom Armstrong (Injured), MacGraff Leuluai (Injured), Chris Dean (Injured), Rhys Hanbury (Injured), Danny Craven (Injured), Alex Gerrard (Injured), Jay Chapelhow, Tom Gilmore, Lloyd White
- Wakefield surrendered a 16 point half-time lead against local rivals Castleford as they fell to defeat late on, with Luke Gale's drop goal separating the teams by just a single point.
- Chris Chester has made three changes to his squad with Mikey Sio, Jordan Crowther and Reece Lyne dropping out and they are replaced by captain Danny Kirmond, David Fifita and Max Jowitt.
- Wakefield's form has been patchy of late but they have won three of their last four Super League games. A win here could see them end the weekend inside the top 4 and potentially leave their fate in their own hands as they look to earn an extra home game in the Super 8s.
Head Coach: Chris Chester
Squad: Chris Annakin, Tinirau Arona, Joe Arundel, Matty Ashurst, Mason Caton-Brown, Anthony England, David Fifita, Liam Finn, Scott Grix, Dean Hadley, Keegan Hirst, Craig Huby, Ben Jones-Bishop, Max Jowitt, Danny Kirmond, Bill Tupou, Adam Walker, Sam Williams, Kyle Wood
Unavailable: Reece Lyne (Suspended), Tom Johnstone (Knee), Jacob Miller (Leg), Mitch Allgood (Injured), James Batchelor (Injured)
Analysis - what to expect
When Widnes drop into the Middle 8s at the end of round 23, they will face a fight to remain in Super League and might need to rely on their home form to do so. However, they could start that battle as the lowest scorers in Super League with them scoring just three tries per game on average this season. This game serves as nothing but a chance to improve that figure for Widnes but for Wakefield, it is a chance for them to attempt to end the regular season inside the top 4. Trinity have been one of the surprise packages of Super League and if they can finish the season in a top 4 berth, it will represent great progress for the club. If they get off to a quick start and lead at half-time, something they have done a league high of 15 times, they should be able to improve on their 10 wins when doing so.