SL Preview: Wakefield v Widnes (Mon)

There is one change to the Wakefield squad for the game against Widnes on Monday as Chris Annakin comes in for the departed Kyle Wood.

The back-rower has not featured since the game against Wigan at the start of June, but he comes in following Wood’s loan move to Huddersfield on Wednesday.

Wildcats coach Richard Agar has been able to field a consistent team in recent weeks which has resulted in three consecutive victories against Salford, London and Hull FC.

His side will be chasing their fourth successive win on Monday, as they look to finish this season in similar fashion to 2012.

Trinity have won all three matches against Denis Betts’ men since they returned to Super League with the most recent being a 28-26 victory at the Stobart Stadium in April.

Betts wants his troops to focus on securing the points against Wakefield and not their impending Challenge Cup quarter-final clash against former club Wigan next weekend.

“If we put a good, solid performance in against Wakefield and give a good account of ourselves, that will put us in a positive frame of mind heading into the (Tetley’s) Challenge Cup game with Wigan the following week,” Betts told the club’s official website. “It’s going to be a physically demanding game away at Wakefield, that’s for sure.

“They’ve got some really talented players; the likes of Paul Sykes, Danny Kirmond, Kyle Amor and the half-back Tim Smith, who was pulling the strings for them at times in their last match. But, having said that, they’re a very strong side as a whole as every player gave their all in their win at Hull FC on Monday.”

Wakefield 19-man squad: Mathers, Fox, Collis, L Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, T Smith, Poore, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook, Annakin, Amor, Wilkes, Mariano, Lyne, Wildie.

Widnes 19-man squad: Ah Van, Allen, K. Brown, Cahill, Clarke, Craven, Gerrard, Gore, Hanbury, Hock, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Marsh, O’Carroll, Owens, Phelps, Winterstein.

Prediction: Should be an evenly matched contest but Wakefield will snaek it due to home advantage.

Stats:

Widnes’ Rhys Hanbury (1-2-2-1) has scored tries in his sides’ last four games

Wakefield have won the last five Super League meetings between the sides, with the Vikings last win coming in May 2005 when they won 47-34.

Super League summary:

Wakefield won 7

Widnes won 7

1 draw

Wakefield highest score: 46-6 (H, 2005) (also widest margin)

Widnes highest score: 47-34 (A, 2005) (Widest margin: 43-10, H, 2002)

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