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Match Preview - Widnes Vikings (A)

18/06/2021

Sheffield Eagles will be aiming to record back-to-back league victories for the first time since round two of the Championship when Mark Aston’s side travel to DCBL Stadium to face the Widnes Vikings.

Last weekend saw the Eagles record their first victory since beating York City Knights in April, as Sheffield hung on to beat a spirited Oldham side.

Sunday’s hosts Widnes will be looking to respond positively following two defeats on the bounce.

The Vikings recently missed out on another trip to Wembley in the 1895 Cup before a two-point loss at home to London Broncos last weekend.

LAST TIME OUT

Sheffield had to hold off an Oldham fightback after Tyler Dickinson was sent off for a late tackle.

The Eagles got the first tries of the game through James Glover and Rob Worrincy.

Oldham got off the mark courtesy of a Max Roberts try and Dan Abram penalty goal, following Glover completing his brace prior to half-time.

The tide appeared to be turning after the break when Abram touched down a Dave Hewitt grubber kick.

But it was the Eagles who entered a six-minute purple patch, in which they scored three times.

Aaron Brown was the first Eagles try-scorer of the second-half, hot-stepping the Oldham defence to score.

Worrincy then notched his second and third of the contest, both being scored from long distance.

Sheffield’s second-half scores were all converted via the boot of Izaac Farrell, which gave the visitors a 20-point lead with as many minutes left on the timekeeper’s watch before Oldham grew back into the game.

Martyn Reilly crashed over before Dickinson was sent from the field for a late tackle.

The man advantage appeared to be paying off when Liam Kirk went over in similar fashion to Reilly.

A Tom Brierley try three minutes from time narrowed the Eagles lead down to four but Mark Aston’s 12-man side managed to hold on despite late pressure.

Widnes were involved in a dramatic ending as London Broncos won late on in Cheshire.

Danny Craven opened the scoring on Sunday before Abbas Miski replied for the Broncos.

Steve Tyrer’s penalty goal edged the Chemics in front before Deon Cross went the length of the field to extend Widnes’ lead to a 14-6 half-time score.

London’s Rhys Curran scored the first try of the second half before Adam Lawton responded in kind for the hosts.

Romain Navarrete’s converted score levelled matters but Widnes soon hit the front once again through Joe Edge.

Steve Tyrer’s missed conversion would prove to be crucial as three minutes from time, Titus Gwaze was in support of a Jarrod Sammut break to score. Chris Hankinson converted the Gwaze try as Widnes were left licking their wounds. 

KEY BATTLE

Sheffield faced Oldham with Oliver Davies and Evan Hodgson starting in the Eagles back-row and the duo will face another tough assignment on Sunday after a close contest against the Roughyeds.

Davies has been with the Eagles since he arrived from Swinton Lions in 2018 and has become a fan favourite.

New signing Hodgson impressed on debut last time out at Bower Fold, combining well with James Glover and Ryan Millar in the absence of the injured Joel Farrell

The Vikings have a talented group of back rowers which is set to keep the Eagles defence busy on Sunday afternoon.

Shane Grady has been a regular in the Widnes side since his arrival from Halifax Panthers.

His back-row partner Adam Lawton has been at the forefront of any Vikings success this season, with the 6ft 7 forward registering seven tries in as many games.

How To Watch

The game will be streamed on #OurLeague and you can buy the live-stream for an early bird price of £4.95. 

Visit rugby-league.com/ourleague for more info. 

By Lewis Coleman, photo by Alex Coleman