Preview: Halifax v Widnes

Lee Paterson (knee ligaments) is ruled out for Halifax, who aim to put behind them the dismay of last week’s 18-16 defeat at Batley.

Fax caretaker coach Damian Ball claimed his side were denied a potential draw when referee Jamie Leahy waved away calls for a penalty in the closing stages.

But Ball insisted his side can bounce back on Thursday night with a win that would secure Halifax’s place in the Co-operative Championship play-offs.

Ball said: “There were a lot of encouraging signs: our attitude, and particularly the way we approached the second half, was outstanding.

“We had a real dig and it was still on right until the last play of the game.”

Widnes Vikings must win on Thursday to keep alive their hopes of finishing in the top two, although their chances look increasingly slim after a 24-18 defeat against second-placed Leigh last week.

Denis Betts’ Widnes side held an 18-16 lead at half-time, but tries from Mick Nanyn and Jamie Ellis snatched the points for the Centurions.

Betts said: “In the second half we didn’t get the field position and our kicking game was poor. They had the ball for long periods and they just did enough.”

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