Greg Bird wasn’t happy at being released by the Gold Coast Titans last season and felt he’d been “pushed out of the door”. He’s been taking his anger out on Super League ever since, but can Widnes Vikings contain him and record a first ever win in Perpignan against the Catalan Dragons?
The wide men; Widnes lost their last game to Wigan out wide, with both Wigan wingers troubling them, but will the return of Patrick Ah Van improve this area of their game? He could have been the difference between winning and losing against Wigan.
Greg Bird and the Widnes pack; they’ll have their work cut out trying to subdue one of the stars of Super League. They’ll need to do what both Warrington and Hull have failed to do so far this season, contain him.
The Catalans are forced into a number of key changes with Jason Baitieri, Julian Bousquet and Sam Moa all missing, through suspension and injury.
Widnes on the other hand have a settled side with only one change to the squad which lost narrowly to Wigan; the return of Patrick Ah Van.
Catalans: Broughton, Inu, Wiliame, Walsh, Myler, Aiton, Casty, Anderson, Horo, Bird, Garcia, Bosc, Duport, Simon, Burgess, Thornley, Albert, Da Costa, Margalet
Widnes: Ah Van, Armstrong, Bridge, Buchanan, Cahill, J Chapelhow, Craven, Dudson, Hanbury, Heremaia, Houston, Johnstone, Leuluai, Marsh, Olbison, Runciman, Thompson, White, Whitley.
Widnes Vikings have lost their last 5 games, but in beating Warrington and Hull, the Catalan Dragons have recorded two very impressive wins.
Catalans will be clear favourites, but Widnes have a more settled squad and will take a lot of positives from their performance against Wigan. With Patrick Ah Van returning, they’re arguably stronger.
Widnes have improved over the last 5 years, since their 76-6 loss at the Catalans and are now too good to lose six in a row and to have never won in Perpignan, they’re surely long overdue a victory!