Rochdale wary of Widnes backlash

Rochdale coach Alan Kilshaw admits it may be the wrong time to face Widnes in the Challenge Cup with the Super League side losing their past four games in a row.

The Hornets host the Vikings in the Cup this Sunday. After a stunning start to the season where they set the competition alight, Widnes have struggled over Easter and lost their past four matches straight.

Kislahw is looking forward to the Cup game and is preparing his team to meet a fired-up Vikings outfit.

“If they had been on a winning streak they may have been tempted to rest players but they will target this game to get some confidence back and they had Chris Bridge and Kev Brown available against Castleford, so I’m sure they will play them to get some more game time,” he told Love Rugby League.

“We know the size of the task we are up against, there will be a lot more threats on the tip sheet this week.

“We’re looking forward to testing ourselves against a full-time outfit, no pressure on us.

“We want to put in a good performance and challenge ourselves to do the things we practice in a high pressure environment.”

While Widnes have slipped down the Super League ladder, Rochdale are top of League 1 and unbeaten in the competition with four victories.

Last weekend the Hornets beat the All Golds 38-16. Warrington halfback Declan Patton was on dual registration with Rochdale for that match.

“It was a bit scratchy, we had some key personal missing so we knew our offence would be a disjointed,” Kilshaw said.

“But happy to welcome back some players and get a decent win against a good side.

“It’s hard for a halfback to come in when he hasn’t had much time with us.

“Some of Declan’s decision-making and kick selections could have been better but he did some very good things in attack and his defence and his talk was outstanding.

“He hasn’t played much football in the last month so I’m sure he will be better for the run.”

Kilshaw will not be able to use any Warrington players for the Cup match against Widnes. Former Wire winger Chris Riley will also miss the game through suspension.

Rochdale will welcome back Paul Crook, Stu Biscomb and Samir Tahrouni and potentially Joe Taira will face the Vikings, but Lewis Galbraith is still recovering from injury.

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