WAKEFIELD WILDCATS V WIDNES VIKINGS - MATCH PREVIEW

posted on 29 April 2016

 Written by: Tom Benthall 

Wakefield will be looking to bounce back from their defeat to Hull FC, as they travel to the Select Security Stadium to face Widnes Vikings on Friday, kick-off 8pm.

The Wildcats go into the game on the back of their first defeat in six games on Sunday, but knowing that a win would take them level on points with their opponents, who are currently sixth in the Super League table having lost their previous five league outings.

Chris Chester has made just two changes to the 19-man squad that faced Hull, with Reece Lyne and Jonny Molloy both having been ruled out with injuries picked up in the defeat. Stuart Howarth returns to the squad having missed out on Sunday, while winger Richie Owen also comes into the squad for what could be his first appearance of the season.

Widnes have endured a contrasting season to Trinity, winning six of their first seven games in a run that saw them rise to the top of the Super League table, however they have struggled to replicate that form in recent weeks, suffering home defeats to Castleford and Warrington in their two most recent games.

The Vikings will undoubtedly be looking to return to winning ways, but they will have to cope without the influential captain Kevin Brown, who has been ruled out with an ankle injury sustained in the defeat to Warrington.

Brown’s absence is one of two changes Widnes head coach Dennis Betts has made to his squad, with centre Chris Bridge also having been ruled out with a calf injury. Pat Ah Van returns to the squad alongside 18-year-old Jordan Johnstone, who signed his first professional contract with the club just a week ago.

The two sides met each other in the opening game of the season at Belle Vue, from which the Vikings came away with a 24-16 win, however the Wildcat’s impressive turnaround under Chris Chester will leave the side confident of avenging that defeat and taking home the two points.

Wildcats 19-man squad: Chris Annakin, Tinirau Arona, Matty Ashurst, Anthony England, Liam Finn, Ashley Gibson, Craig Hall, Stuart Howarth, Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop, Max Jowitt, Danny Kirmond, Jacob Miller, Scott Moore, Richie Owen, Nick Scruton, Mickael Simon, Mikey Sio, Anthony Tupou

Widnes 19-man squad: Pat Ah Van, Hep Cahill, Ed Chamberlain, Chris Dean, Gil Dudson, Rhys Hanbury, Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston, Jordan Johnstone, Macgraff Leuluai, Manase Manuokafoa, Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor, Eamon O’Carroll, Charly Runciman, Setaimata Sa, Corey Thompson, Lloyd White, Matt Whitely 

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