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Super League preview: Wakefield Trinity Wildcats v Widnes Vikings
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- Agar hails real Kirmond bonus
- Laffranchi misses out
- Sandercock relieved after win
- Anderson upset over challenge
- Solid performance
- Sykes ruled out for six weeks
- Excited Agar eyes play-offs
- Roby injury concern for Saints
- Briers wins it for Wolves
- Wigan hit back to stun Bulls
- Wakefield see off Widnes
- Brough luck for hurting Hull
- Dragons do just enough
Wakefield Wildcats will be hoping to strengthen their play-off hopes with success over the Widnes Vikings at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium, live on Sky on Monday night.
The Wildcats are one of Super League's form teams following three straight victories, including an impressive 27-26 triumph over Hull FC at the KC Stadium last time out.
Widnes have no problems finding the try line as they proved last weekend in scoring 36 points against champions Leeds Rhinos at home, but conceding 52 at the other end meant Denis Betts' men finished empty-handed.
Wakefield head coach Richard Agar has made one change to his 19-man squad for the visit of the Vikings, with Chris Annakin coming in for the departed Kyle Wood.
Wood returned to the Huddersfield Giants this week, prompting a recall for the back rower who has not featured since the game against the Wigan Warriors back in June.
Wakefield were boosted in midweek by the news that captain Danny Kirmond has been given the all-clear by a specialist to play after a finger injury sustained against the Black and Whites threatened to curtail his season.
Wildcats utility man Paul Sykes is not taking Widnes for granted on Monday after Wakefield secured a slender 28-26 victory over the Vikings in April.
"They are a quality side," Sykes told the Yorkshire Evening Post. "When we played them at their place it was a really tight game.
"But if we dig in like we have been doing for the last few weeks and we brush up our attack a bit, I am sure we will come away with a win.
"We always try hard right to the final whistle, that's what we are all about. We are going to train hard this week and take that into next week's game."
The Vikings will look to their experience as they seek a victory from their trip east along the M62, with Kevin Brown and Gareth Hock set to play key roles. Brown bagged a hat-trick against Leeds while on-loan Hock scored twice.
Widnes boss Betts wants his troops to focus on securing the points away to 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 Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, L. Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, T. Smith, Poore, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook, Amor, Wilkes, Mariano, Lyne, Wildie, Annakin.
Widnes Vikings: Ah Van, Allen, K. Brown, Cahill, Clarke, Craven, Gerrard, Gore, Hanbury, Hock, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Marsh, O'Carroll, Owens, Phelps, Winterstein.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
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