Betts hoping to break Widnes duck at Leeds

Widnes coach Denis Betts wants his team to take Super League points off Leeds for the first time on Friday night.

The Vikings travel across the Pennines to West Yorkshire never having beaten the Rhinos in Super League, and Betts knows that defence is key if that record is to change.

“Leeds and Wakefield are the two teams that we’ve not managed to get points off in our Super League lifetime,” said the Widnes coach.

“So it’s a big game for us at Leeds, so early in the season, especially in a season where everything counts.

“It’s a tough ask for the group, but we’ve got some good feeling about us at the moment. We’ve got a real feelgood factor.

“We’ve hopefully handled the emotions of the first week, and handled the highs of a greta performance, so that now we can regroup, get up to Leeds and put in a really solid performance again.

“You’ve got to be able to defend well at Leeds. You’ve got to defend well against Leeds at any time, but especially at Headingley.

“You get asked lots of questions with the ball, and our job now is to make sure that we do the same to them.”

Leeds won their opening day fixture at Hull KR, but conceded 30 points in doing so.

Betts knows that the Rhinos’ coaching staff will be working hard to rectify that deficiency in defence.

“I think their emphasis will be on trying to concede a few less points this week,” he added.

“But they’ll be looking to be scoring as many as they did the week before.

“Whatever I see, Brian McDermott will see. He will know in his mind that I’ll be watching to see how they defend, and he’ll be looking to tighten everything up and make them a little bit smarter this weekend.

“We’ve got a plan and an understanding of how we want to play. It’s never going to change massively, because it’s too hard to get the quality into the way you play if you don’t practice it for long periods of time.

“We know some of the things that we want to do.”

Patrick Ah Van is missing for Widnes following his red card against Wigan last week. Kevin Brown is also absent, as he still needs time to recover from a heavy hit in last week’s game.

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