Must-win Play-off match for Warrington and Widnes
Warrington, who were runners-up in the Grand Final against Wigan last season, host Widnes, knowing that defeat at this stage would deem their campaign as disappointing. It is expected to be a tough tie, though Coral are still offering a strong odds-on price of 1/9 for the home side to progress, with their opponents at 11/2.
Wolves prop Chris Hill knows that the derby won’t be easy, and is expecting the Vikings, who have excelled under boss Denis Betts, to give them a tough match: “We know Widnes are going to be tough opposition,” Hill said.
“We’ve beaten each other this season so nobody has the upper hand. We know they’ve got some dangerous players but we’ll be concentrating on our own game and what we need to do to come out on top,” Hill continued, who is 7/2 to score anytime.
“We’re ready for what Widnes have to throw at us. The loser goes out so it’s going to be two teams really going for it fighting to progress to the next stage. Knock-out rugby league makes me nervous. I get butterflies before every game.”
Centre Joel Monaghan who finished the season as leading try scorer with 27, yet missed out on being selected in the team of the season, will be aiming to vent any frustration by recording a win. He has odds of 5/1 to breach the in-goal area first.
Meanwhile, Widnes will be without Stefan Marsh, who has a calf problem, however Betts is set to bring back captain Jon Clarke, as well as Kevin Brown, Rhys Hanbury, Eamon O’Carroll and Danny Tickle, after resting them against Salford.
“We’re confident going into this as underdogs and very rarely get mentioned as favourites,” Vikings stand-off Brown said.
“Hopefully we can take some of the lessons learned from big games like the semi-final and make it right against Warrington. We’re looking at going there, getting the result and moving on to the next team,” Brown continued, who is 9/4 to cross the whitewash anytime.
“It’s a huge derby with plenty at stake. Both sets of fans are very passionate which will create an amazing atmosphere in the stands. This is something me and the rest of the squad have been looking forward to.”
Vikings top scorer Rhys Hanbury, however, is 12/1 to record the first four points of the match.