Super League: Widnes Vikings v Huddersfield Giants preview
Last Updated: 27/02/14 5:44pm
Widnes Vikings face their first real test of 2014 when they host Huddersfield at the Select Security Stadium on Friday.
Coach Denis Betts will be only too aware that his team's opening day annihilation of the beleaguered Broncos will count for little when play gets underway against last season's League Leaders Shield winners, who are still without influential hooker Shaun Lunt.
Widnes posted 11 tries in their 64-10 home romp against the capital club, though hat-trick scorer and vice-captain Kevin Brown will miss this week's encounter through injury, as will former Bradford winger Patrick Ah Van.
The Vikings have won just four of their 12 Super League encounters against Friday's opponents, drawing one game and being on the wrong end of seven other results, so the fact that skipper Jon Clarke is also sidelined will not make their task any easier.
Betts has at least been able to dip into the transfer market, taking on the experienced Paul Clough from St Helens and Rhodri Lloyd, who joins from champions Wigan, both on season-long loan deals.
The pair look set to make their debuts against Huddersfield, who enjoyed an opening-day win against the Warriors before squandering a match-winning lead at home to Hull KR last week.
Giants coach Paul Anderson has brought in David Faiumu on to the bench to replace youngster Kruise Leeming, while he can still boast a formidable line-up, spearheaded by the 2013 Rugby League Writers' Player of the Year award winner Danny Brough.
The West Yorkshire club recorded a crushing 66-6 win over the Vikings at the Galpharm Stadium last season, although Widnes did defeat the visitors on their home patch two seasons ago and Betts will be know much more about his class of 2014 by the final hooter.
Vikings: Allen, Cahill, Clough, Craven, Dean, Flynn, Galea, Gerrard, Hanbury, Isa, Johnson, Joseph, Leuluai, Lloyd, Marsh, Mellor, Owens, Tickle, White.
Giants: Grix, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Kopczak, Ferres, Chan, Bailey, Lawrence, Faiumu, Ta'ai, Wood, Broughton, Kaufusi, Johnson.
First Utility Super League
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FC12 - 48Wigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens52 - 12Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants34 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos36 - 22Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings21 - 20Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers6 - 44Warrington Wolves
Super League 2014, round three
Hull KR centre Kris Welham has been charged with a grade A offence of head-butting Castleford full-back Luke Dorn.
Catalan Dragons hooker Ian Henderson has been ruled out for up to three months with a broken forearm.
Lee Radford was left to reflect on his side's poor first-half showing as Hull went down 18-16 at Warrington.
- Cummins hails Bulls character
- Wigan response pleases Wane
- Warrington secure first win
- Bulls see off gritty Broncos
- Wigan too strong for Wildcats
- Brumbies blitz Force in Perth
- Powell hails Finn-tastic Liam
- McDermott: Credit to the teams
- Anderson: We must improve
- Giants fail to repel Vikings
- Tigers too tough for Rovers
- Wolves v Hull FC: Teams
- Warriors v Wildcats: Teams
- Bulls v Broncos: Teams
- Hock blow for beaten Salford
- Saints shut out Red Devils
- Morley: Salford going places
- Hull KR v Tigers: Teams
- Dragons v Rhinos: Teams
- Red Devils v Saints: Teams
- Brown wants more like Koukash
- Powell: Dragons must tidy up
- Noble welcomes 'golden ticket'
- Beard to be feared
- Salford suffer Griffin setback