Widnes Vikings vs Huddersfield Giants
Competition: English Super League
Date: 10 February 2017
Location: Select Security Stadium, Widnes
Kick-off: 21:00 CET
Widnes will be looking to build on fairly solid 2016 season campaign which saw them advance to the Super 8 stage, without qualifying for the semi-finals. Whereas the Giants, can only improve on their ‘wooden spoon’ form of 2016, in a season which produced just 6 wins.
Huddersfield cleaned house with several personnel changes during the offseason, including a surprise early-career move from Jake Mamo, formerly with the Newcastle Knights outfit. He will definitely add a lot to the backline, and ultimately provide a good option as custodian also. Other keys to success for the Giants are the performances of experienced players such as Danny Brough and former NRL players, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Tom Symonds and Sam Rapira.
Widnes had a quiet offseason, just adding a pair of experienced Englishmen, Olbison and Armstrong; retaining core players such as Bridge, and their group of Australasians including Heremaia, young Jack Buchanan and the experienced Chris Houston. Vikings fans ought to be unsatisfied with anything less than a serious tilt at the semi-finals, and at least matching their 12 wins from 30 games, after the super 8 stage.
Cold but relatively fine conditions await the players for the Widnes home game, with temperatures set to be around the 0 Celsius mark for kickoff.
Widnes Vikings vs Huddersfield Giants: Head to Head Stats
The Vikings had the better of the Giants in their 2 matchups in 2016, particularly in the early season clash on the 28th of February, when they smashed them 36-18. The 2nd match was much tighter, with the Vikings managing a 4-point victory.
Prior to that, the Giants had a 3-game winning streak over the Vikings, suggesting that they may still harbour some good memories against this opposition. Both of those matches, were relatively comfortable margins as was the final game of 2014.
Widnes Vikings vs Huddersfield Giants: Prediciton
Despite the early season cobwebs which all teams are sure to encounter, the Vikings have to go into this one as favourites, following the woes of 2016 for Huddersfield. The Giants are sure to improve in 2017, particularly with their new recruits, but it will take time for them to gel, and improve as the year goes on. Whereas, the Vikings will be fairly familiar with each other and ready to continue on their decent form, from last season.
The clash up the middle is well worth looking forward to, with the likes of Sam Rapira and Jack Buchanan leading the way for their respective clubs. Obviously too, the ball service from dummy-half is crucial and sure to impact the game, with Ryan Hinchcliffe standing out as a high-quality rake, and a tackling machine.
Widnes Vikings vs Huddersfield Giants: Tips
- Widnes by a margin of 6-10.
- A fairly dour clash, decided by hard-working forwards.
Other Super League previews:
- Wakefield Trinity vs Hull FC
- Salford Red Devils vs Wigan Warriors
- Catalans Dragons vs Warrington Wolves
- Castleford Tigers vs Leigh Centurions
- St Helens vs Leeds Rhinos