Tickle targeting play-offs at Widnes

Widnes back-rower Danny Tickle says he is impressed by his new club and says they can make the Super League play-offs this year.

Tickle, 30, joined the Vikings at the end of last season after seven years at Hull, enabling him to return closer to his family roots.

He scored 1329 points in 177 games for the Airlie Birds, and his reliable goalkicking will be a valuable asset to Widnes, who drew or lost by six points or less on seven occasions last season.

Tickle said: “It’s been good. I’ve been made really welcome by all the staff and players.

“I had a wonderful seven years at Hull and I’ve got a lot of memories, but now I’ve got a fresh start at Widnes.

“It makes things a little easier going into a club where you know players and that was part of the decision, but what impressed me the most is the vision the club has for the next couple of years.

“Widnes have been in Super League for a couple of years now, they finished bottom in their first year and made progress last year. So this year I’d like to think the club can make the play-offs.

“We can make sure we prepare ourselves the best we can physically and mentally, and if we do the results will take care of themselves.

“I knew that I was coming to the club last year so I was obviously aware of a few of the losses by short margins.

“Hopefully this year we can keep ourselves more composed and grind out wins in those games.”

A recruitment issue that is unique to Widnes is playing regularly on the club’s artificial so-called “iPitch”. Although it copped some early criticism by visiting players, it has been largely a success for the Vikings, and they have used it to their advantage.

Tickle added: “I’ve got no problem at all with the artificial grass, I played on it last year and I’ve played on them before.

“A lot of people come to Widnes and lose focus from the game because of the pitch, and I think that is proven with the club’s home record.

“Scoring points wasn’t an issue for Widnes last year, they were up there as one of the best attacking teams in Super League.

Rhys Hanbury and Kevin Brown are up there with the best players in the league, and Joe Mellor is only going to get better and better.

“In my time at Hull it was all about getting in the top 8, and it is the same here.

“Once you get in the play-offs anything can happen.”

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