Widnes Vikings vs Hull FC Preview

The Lowdown

WIDNES VIKINGS

  • Widnes returned to losing ways last week as Salford comfortably dispatched them 30-10 so they will need to bounce back at home where they won their last game against St Helens.
  • Denis Betts has made a handful of changes to his squad and has recalled Aaron Heremaia to the 19-man squad although the hooker will face a late fitness test to see whether he will be able to face his former team.
  • The club have been dealt a blow by the news that their top tryscorer last season Corey Thompson has activated a clause in his contract that will allow him to return to Australia next season, although he will remain with the club for the remainder of this term even though he misses out here.

Head Coach: Denis Betts

Squad: Patrick Ah Van, Chris Bridge, Jack Buchanan, Hep Cahill, Jay Chapelhow, Chris Dean, Gil Dudson, Alex Gerrard, Tom Gilmore, Rhys Hanbury, Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston, Ryan Ince, Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor, Eamon O'Carroll, Charly Runciman, Danny Walker, Matt Whitley

Unavailable: Corey Thompson, Danny Craven, Owen Farnworth, Ted Chapelhow, Tom Armstrong, MacGraff Leuluai, Keanan Brand, Manase Manuokafoa, Lloyd White, Sam Brooks, Greg Burke, Jordan Johnstone, Tom Olbison

HULL FC

  • Hull have now won their last three matches in the league to move into second place and confidence has returned to the squad after a shaky spell of results prior to this run.
  • On the road they are unbeaten in their last five matches so they will not be phased by the trip to Widnes even though they have injuries, suspensions and international call-ups weakening their 19-man squad.
  • Scott Taylor is away with England, Sika Manu is suspended while Gareth Ellis is injured but they can count on Danny Houghton now that they have nursed him back to full fitness after a troublesome calf problem.

Head Coach: Lee Radford

Squad: Josh Bowden, Jake Connor, Jack Downs, Brad Fash, Mahe Fonua, Chris Green, Josh Griffin, Danny Houghton, Albert Kelly, Jez Litten, Masi Matongo, Steve Michaels, Mark Minichiello, Jamie Shaul, Marc Sneyd, Carlos Tuimavave, Jansin Turgut, Danny Washbrook, Liam Watts

Unavailable: Scott Taylor (International duty), Sika Manu (Suspended), Gareth Ellis (Injured), Dean Hadley (Hip), Fetuli Talanoa (Injured), Jordan Thompson, Connor Bower


Analysis - what to expect
Widnes have shown signs in recent home games that they are raising their performance levels in front of their fans but they face a quality Hull side who are in excellent form. Lee Radford's men will be keen to keep the pressure on Castleford at the top and as long as they avoid complacency, everything points towards an away win.