Preview: Batley v Widnes

Batley BulldogsPaul Mennell (shoulder) looks unlikely to play in Sunday’s Co-operative Championship fixture against Widnes Vikings.

Mark Toohey (knee) is also a doubt, while Paul Handforth’s calf problem will be assessed after he played 65 minutes against Dewsbury with the injury.

Adam Robinson remains sidelined with a broken cheekbone.

Bulldogs coach Karl Harrison is bracing himself for a tough fortnight as he looks to help his side get over the pain of last week’s Northern Rail Cup quarter-final defeat.

He said: “We’re now into the Easter period. We play Sunday, Thursday and Monday but that’s the way it is.”

Widnes’s new dual-registration signings from Wigan Logan Tomkins and Dom Crosby could come straight into Denis Betts’ side to face Batley.

Betts said: “They’re in a very, very good environment at Wigan. They’ll bring something fresh around the middle of the park and put a little bit of sting in our front row.

“There’ll be changes this week. We need to sure up a couple of things, and players need to understand that performance is key to staying in the side.”

He added: “Every side we face is going to be very physical, but Batley is a very tough place to go. It’s a good test for us because over the last two weeks our physical presence has been questioned.

“We were good physically against York, but we need to understand how important the physical side of the game can be.”

Widnes’s Dean Gaskell, Simon Finnigan, Steve Tyrer and Danny Sculthorpe will all miss the match through suspension after the RFL’s Disciplinary Committee met earlier in the week.

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