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19 Jul 2017 by TSZ

Warrington Wolves vs Widnes Vikings Preview

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The Lowdown

WARRINGTON WOLVES

  • Warrington produced a solid defensive display to keep Wigan scoreless in the second half last week and come away with a win at the DW Stadium, which gave the Wolves their first back-to-back league wins since April.
  • Tony Smith has some mixed news on the injury front with Matty Russell and Kevin Brown both back in contention, but their return is countered somewhat by the loss of Kurt Gidley and Ben Pomeroy.
  • Warrington's win against Wigan wasn't enough to earn the Wolves a spot in the Super 8s, with Huddersfield securing their place with a win over Leigh. They'll now drop into the Middle 8s hoping to improve on their record of six home league wins from their least seven games.

Head Coach: Tony Smith

Squad: Ryan Atkins, Kevin Brown, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Brad Dwyer, Peta Hiku, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Benjamin Jullien, George King, Tom Lineham, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Matty Russell, Andre Savelio, Ashton Sims, Morgan Smith

Unavailable: Ben Westwood (Suspended), Toby King (Hamstring), Rhys Evans (Shoulder), Harvey Livett (Hamstring), Joe Westerman (Hip), Kurt Gidley (Calf), Ben Pomeroy (Knee), Dominic Crosby (Injured)

WIDNES VIKINGS

  • Widnes fell to their third consecutive loss, with Wakefield producing a comprehensive display to leave Widnes in 11th place in the Super League table, just one point above Leigh ahead of the final regular season game.
  • Denis Betts has made a plethora of changes as he looks to utilise his squad ahead of their battle to remain in Super League. Chris Bridge, Rangi Chase, Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston, Ryan Ince and Eamon O'Carroll all drop out from last week's 19-man squad, with some fringe players given the chance to impress.
  • Widnes have lost their last seven games away from home in Super League, and with a weakened squad named here, that number may increase to eight. If they can't turn that form around, the Vikings may find themselves struggling to remain in Super League during the Middle 8s.

Head Coach: Denis Betts

Squad: Tom Armstrong, Keenan Brand, Jack Buchanan, Greg Burke, Hep Cahill, Ed Chamberlain, Jay Chapelhow, Gil Dudson, Alex Gerrard, Jordan Johnstone, Manase Manuokafoa, Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor, Tom Olbison, Charly Runciman, Corey Thompson, Brad Walker, Danny Walker, Matt Whitley

Unavailable: Patrick Ah Van (Achilles), MacGraff Leuluai (Injured), Chris Dean (Injured), Rhys Hanbury (Injured), Danny Craven (Injured), Tom Gilmore, Lloyd White, Chris Bridge, Rangi Chase, Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston, Ryan Ince, Eamon O'Carroll

Analysis - what to expect
Warrington's win at Wigan last week wasn’t pretty but the two points were significant for the Wolves. Despite them missing out on the Super 8s, they are getting key players back in their squad and appear to be producing better performances with it. The Wigan game allowed them to show some defensive steel; the 10 points they conceded is much better than their average of 25 points per game over the course of the season. On the other hand, Widnes' loss last week meant that they have conceded 76 points in their last two games. The Vikings have only won five games this season and it looks like it will remain that way until the Middle 8s, with the home side having too much here.

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