2018 Super League – Widnes Vikings vs St Helens Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 19th May, 15:00

Where? St James’ Park

What channel is it on? Sky Sports Arena

Where can I stream the match? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go

Are tickets still available? http://www.rugby-league.com/tickets/magic_weekend

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

WIDNES VIKINGS

Head Coach: Denis Betts

Squad: Ah Van, W. Albert, Burke, Cahill, Craven, Gerrard, Gilmore, Hanbury, Heremaia, Johnstone, Keinhorst, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, Olbison, Runciman, D. Walker, Whitley, Wilde

Unavailable: Stanton Albert, Krisnan Inu, Brad Walker, Keanan Brand, Gil Dudson, Chris Dean, Chris Houston, Ed Chamberlain, Ted Chapelhow, Jay Chapelhow, Lloyd White

  • Widnes suffered Challenge Cup heartbreak against Leeds last week whilst their poor away form continued in Super League against Huddersfield in their last outing. They went down 28-18 against the Giants, a result that left the Vikings level on points with bottom-placed Catalans.

  • Widnes are able to welcome back some key players with Joe Mellor and Danny Craven available in the halves whilst Patrick Ah Van is also available but there is no Lloyd White.

  • Heading to Newcastle against the league leaders won’t be an appealing proposition for the Vikings having lost all five of their away games so far this season and whilst this is played on neutral soil, it doesn’t bode well for Widnes after travelling so poorly.

ST HELENS

Head Coach: Justin Holbrook

Squad: Barba, Douglas, Fages, Grace, Knowles, Lomax, Lees, Makinson, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Morgan, Percival, Peyroux, Richardson, Roby, Smith, Swift, Taia, Thompson, Wilkin

Unavailable: Alex Walmsley, Kyle Amor

  • St Helens romped into the Quarter Finals of the Challenge Cup after a comfortable win over Castleford last week. In their previous league game, they defeated bottom-placed Catalans in an unconvincing performance but they still never looked like losing as they won 26-12.

  • Matty Lees comes back in the squad after serving his ban and replaces Kyle Amor who will serve a ban of his own.

  • Ben Barba produced another magical display in the Cup game against Castleford with St Helens’ performance noticeably worse without him in the side against Catalans the previous week. He tops Super League with 15 tries so far this season.

THE PREDICTION

Widnes and St Helens kick off the Magic Weekend for the Super League in what could be a one-sided start to proceedings. Table-toppers Saints have only lost twice this season and look capable of scoring points for fun with them averaging 32.4 points per game so far. Widnes on the other hand have only won three of their 13 games and are conceding an average of 24.2 points per game. Those figures don’t read well for the Vikings and Saints will relish the opportunity to open the yearly event with a big win.