Super League Preview: Widnes v Warrington

Warrington coach Tony Smith says Widnes are big improvers this year, and is expecting a test at the Stobart Stadium on Friday.

The Wolves handed Widnes three maulings in their first season back in Super League last year, including a 68-4 victory at the Magic Weekend.

Smith said: “They are big improvers this year, a much better team than they were last year. They have been unlucky with injuries to key players but they look a lot more solid and they are building again on a lot of positive things from last year. Our focus will be on our performance once again. We understand it’s a big test, especially over on their patch.

“The fans love it, without a doubt. It’s a true derby for both sets of fans. Everyone around town is talking about it. The two teams will go out there and do their best anyway but the extra support that both teams will get only adds to the occasion.”

Warrington are still without experienced duo Lee Briers and Adrian Morley, while Widnes will once again do without star signing Kevin Brown, and fellow ex-Wiganers Cameron Phelps and Stefan Marsh through injury.

Jon Clarke and Steve Pickersgill line-up against their former club, while Widnes lad Richie Myler returns to the ground he began his career.

Widnes 19-man squad: Ah Van, Allen, Briscoe, Cahill, Clarke, Cross, Dean, Flynn, Gerrard, Hanbury, Hock, Isa, Joseph, Leuluai, Mellor, O’Carroll, Pickersgill, White, Winterstein.

Warrington 19-man squad: Atkins, Carvell, Cooper, Currie, Evans, Grix, Harrison, Higham, Hill, Hodgson, J Monaghan, M Monaghan, Myler, O’Brien, Ratchford, Riley, Waterhouse, Westwood, Wood.

Prediction: Widnes will be determined to avoid a third straight mauling in Super League, which is threatening to derail their encouraging start to the season – away win.

Stats:

Warrington’s Ryan Atkins scored a try in all three of the Wolves’ 2012 meetings with Widnes.

Super League summary:

Widnes won 5
Warrington won 9
Widnes highest score: 31-10 (H, 2004) (also widest margin)
Warrington highest score: 68-4 (MW, 2012) (also widest margin)

About James Gordon 7067 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.

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