It’s Not Getting Any Easier For Widnes
On the subject of Widnes, their chances of gaining a first win in Super League in 2017 don’t look any brighter with the prospect of a trip to Perpignan this weekend. The Dragons have looked like one of the stronger outfits so far this term, opening with excellent wins over both Warrington and Hull FC in their first two outings. Both were narrow, but both showed that Laurent Frayssinous side, which has undergone its now customary bout of chopping and changing, have as good a chance as anyone at this early stage of mounting a bid for the top four. Seeing it through will be the key for them after they fell in a heap half way through last season and ended up missing out on the playoffs.
Widnes have struggled early on as most observers predicted they would, but had it not been for a late implosion would have shocked the world champions at the Select Security Stadium last weekend. The loss of Kevin Brown was always going to spell trouble and with Joe Mellor still out it was difficult to see where their creativity was going to come from. Yet with men like Rhys Hanbury and Corey Thompson in the ranks there is still that element of strike power which can trouble most Super League defences. It’s just that you would doubt whether they have it in them to produce their best on the road in Perpignan against a Dragons side which is always strong at home whoever is included in the personnel.
The Vikings are averaging 12 offloads per game in their first two outings but whether they will be allowed to continue that rate against a physical Dragons side remains to be seen. Both the Dragons wins have been fairly attritional and if the Vikings get into that sort of scrap with the French side they are unlikely to come out on the winning side.