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Super League: Widnes Vikings v Hull KR preview
Widnes Vikings will be looking to cement eighth spot in Super League against rivals Hull KR when the pair meet at the Select Security Stadium on Sunday.
Just one point separates the teams meaning a win for the East Yorkshire club would see Chris Chester’s team leapfrog the Vikings in into the final playoff spot.
Widnes are looking to bounce back from a heavy 44-22 loss to St Helens while the Robins come into the game on the back of a thumping 62-10 win over relegated London Broncos.
Vikings tactician Denis Betts has recalled Irish international Eamon O'Carroll into his 19 man squad for Sunday’s clash.
O'Carroll has been out injured for the majority of the campaign with a shoulder problem, but now the former Wigan Warrior and Hull FC man is available once again.
Also named to face the Robins is Kevin Brown, the stand-off who was an injury doubt last weekend after sustained a heavy knock against St Helens in Round 22.
No-nonsense forward Phil Joseph is also back in contention as is winger Jack Owens. Cameron Phelps misses out with a clavicle injury.
Rovers caretaker boss Chris Chester has made five changes to his 19-man squad to face Widnes with Ben Cockayne amongst those returning.
The winger or full back is available after a knee injury that has ruled him out of his side’s last seven matches, whilst he is joined in this week’s squad by Keal Carlile, Omari Caro, Graeme Horne and Kris Keating.
Craig Hall, Macauley Hallet, David Hodgson, Aaron Ollett and Mick Weyman are the players to make way.
“It’s like a play-off game for us and we’ve been preparing the best we can to get the win,” Chester told the club’s official website.
“I would agree with those saying that it’s a must-win game. If we lose, it puts us three points behind Widnes with four games remaining and it would be a tough ask to claw back those points.
“It’s a massive game for the club and we need to win to keep our chances of reaching the top eight alive. If we do get the two points, it’s in our hands from there and that’s all we can ask for.”
Widnes Vikings: Ah Van, Allen, Brown, Cahill, Carberry, Clarke, Dean, Galea, Hanbury, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, O’Carroll, Owens, Tickle, White
Hull KR: Burns, Carlile, Caro, Chan, Cockayne, Costigan, Cox, Eden, Gardner, Green, J Hodgson, Horne, Keating, Larroyer, Netherton, Robinson, Salter, Walker, Welham
First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|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 vs Salford|
|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|
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