Danny Sculthorpe could make his Widnes Vikings debut after being given the all-clear on a persistent back problem. Sculthorpe, 31, has been training with the Vikings in a bid to earn a contract for 2011.
Now coach Denis Betts is set to give him a run in one of Vikings’ two remaining Northern Rail Cup games. However, Betts will be without Steve Pickersgill on Sunday. The prop forward received a one-match ban following a dangerous throw during Widnes’ win at London Skolars a fortnight ago.
Hornets’ coach John Stankevitch is expecting to field a similar side to the one that went down 30-18 against Barrow last week.
Stankevitch said: “We’ve got a couple of people with knocks on thumbs and fingers, but nothing that’s going to keep anyone out.”
The Rochdale coach admitted to being pleased with his side’s performance last week.
He said: “I like coaching lads who want to be coached. I was really disappointed against Keighley because I just felt that I couldn’t coach lads who can’t be bothered being on the field. That was the impression – rightly or wrongly – that some players were giving me.
“I made a statement by bringing some lads in and dropping a few lads, and against Barrow we were fantastic in terms of effort and application. There were always things we were going to get wrong, but we shouldn’t be able to compete anywhere near Barrow. To run them as close as we did makes me feel pretty proud.”
On Widnes, Stankevitch added: “It’s no more of a challenge than last week’s Barrow game.
“We’ve got a pretty determined group this week and I think anything can happen. We’re going to go there and play on them. We can certainly attack and we’re going there to throw the ball around and try to put them under some pressure.”