Super League: Widnes Vikings v Wigan Warriors
Last Updated: 07/06/13 7:54pm
Widnes Vikings have the unenviable task of halting the Wigan Warriors juggernaut when the teams meet live on Sky at the Select Security Stadium on Friday.
League leaders Wigan come into the game on the back on a 12-match winning run while Widnes, who fought back to draw with Catalan last weekend, have won five of their 16 league outings.
Widnes actually beat Wigan 37-36 on home soil last season, although the Warriors did have a weakened team on show as Shaun Wane used the game to blood some of the club's youngsters.
Wigan will be out to prove they can win without Sam Tomkins. The Warriors have lost each of the six matches Tomkins has missed over the last two seasons, including last season's corresponding fixture.
The England full-back, Super League's leading try scorer this year, will be one of no fewer than nine first-teamers sidelined through injury for the game but Wane will not use the absences as an excuse for a failure to extend their winning run.
"I will expect the 17 that play to be competitive and be able to get the two points," said Wane, who is set to give debuts to teenagers Lewis Tierney and Ryan Hampshire. "I expect a certain level of performance from any side that plays."
Widnes coach Denis Betts welcomes back forward Hep Cahill and winger Patrick Ah Van to his initial 19-man squad, following their return to full fitness from their respective ankle and knee injuries.
Their draw with Catalan Dragons last Sunday enabled them to equal their 12-point tally from their first season back in Super League and, with 10 games left, coach Denis Betts is urging his side to build on this year's progress.
"Sitting where we are on the league table at the moment is pretty pleasing but we know that things can change in an instant," he said. "We've got a tough period of fixtures ahead of us but the boys are up for the challenge.
"We'll certainly be gunning for it against Wigan and looking to put in a decent performance against a side that is littered with star quality throughout."
Widnes Vikings: Ah Van, Allen, Brown, Cahill, Clarke, Dean, Flynn, Hanbury, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Mellor, O'Carroll, Owens, Phelps, Pickersgill, White, Winterstein.
Wigan Warriors: Burke, Charnley, Crosby, Gelling, Goulding, Greenwood, Hampshire, Hansen, Hughes, Lauaki, Mossop, Powell, Spencer, Taylor, Tierney, Thornley, L. Tomkins, Tuson, Williams.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FCvsWakefield Wildcats
Salford Red DevilsvsCatalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Super League 2013, round 18
Wakefield snapped their four-game losing streak with a 46-10 win at Salford City Reds to keep their play-off hope alive.
St Helens coach Nathan Brown praised his team's positivity in the 30-18 win over Bradford at Langtree Park.
St Helens held off a second-half fightback to secure a 30-18 victory over Bradford at Langtree Park.
- Reds v Wildcats: Teams
- Hull coach offers no excuses
- Ratchford earns the plaudits
- Broncos hit by 15-try Wolves
- Betts upbeat despite loss
- Rovers coach 'satisfied'
- McDermott 'unimpressed'
- Rhinos back to winning ways
- Rovers stun high-flying Giants
- Warriors hold off Vikings
- St Helens v Bulls: Teams
- Dragons v Hull FC: Teams
- Broncos v Wolves: Teams
- Hull KR v Giants: Teams
- Rhinos v Tigers: Teams
- Tautai facing two months out
- Tierney poised for Wigan bow