Cullen: Widnes must win physical battle

Widnes Vikings coach Paul Cullen believes his side will have to win a physical battle to beat Featherstone Rovers in tonight’s (Friday’s) play-off game.

The winners will face Halifax next week to determine who will play Barrow Raiders in the Co-operative Championship Grand Final.

Cullen believes that Featherstone’s victory at Sheffield Eagles proves the West Yorkshire side are a very capable team.

“We had a very tough game against Whitehaven last week and I was very pleased with the outcome especially as Haven threw everything they could at us in the first 20-30 minutes,” said Cullen.

“Featherstone will come here with the same physical approach and they will be full of confidence following their victory at Sheffield.

“To win so well at the Don Valley is no mean feat and I’m sure they will be looking to get over our pack on Friday. If our forwards thought it was tough against Whitehaven then it will be tougher against Rovers.”

The Vikings will be without Toa Kohe Love for tonight’s game, but will welcome John Duffy, Dean Gaskell and Iain Morrison back into the team; Richard Varkulis will undergo a fitness test today.

Featherstone coach Daryl Powell believes his side can come away from the Stobart Stadium with a win, saying, “If we can play anywhere near the level we did last week then we will have a good chance.”

Rovers will be without Tom Haughey and Tim Spears through suspension, but will have Ian Hardman available after the RFL disciplinary committee ruled “sending off sufficient”.

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