Vikings can secure eighth on Sunday

Vikings can secure eighth on Sunday

Rhys Hanbury

Vikings can secure eighth on Sunday

Jon Clarke on the charge

Patrick Ah Van

First published in Sport

VIKINGS travel to Osdal on Sunday (3pm) looking for the point that will secure a top-eight finish and the club’s first summer era play-off spot.

With two games to play Denis Betts’ men are four points clear of Hull KR – and if they can reproduce last Friday’s performance at this weekend at already relegated Bradford then the result will take care of itself.

Widnes were outstanding in seeing off reigning champions Wigan, who were not far off fielding their strongest line up and that result will send the Vikings over the Pennines on Sunday in good heart, but coach Betts is not expected the Bulls to be easily tethered.

Betts said: “Against Wigan we showed composure, intensity and a lot of aggression in us and we did not let the occasion get to us.

“Friday was important for us to keep the destiny in our own hands – and we did that. That was a massive boost for us what we can do and keep confidence high.

“The way we defended in the second half in keeping them pointless and the way we maintained and built pressure in a tough game were the most pleasing aspects of Friday night.”

Bradford were one of the dominant forces in the first decade of Super League, but their decline was confirmed this summer when a points deduction from entering administration, combined with a poor start, saw relegation confirmed.

However, they have since claimed some high profile scalps – including Leeds and Wigan – so Vikings will not be expecting a walk in the park.

Betts: “We have talked about consistency all the way through the year and that is something we are still trying to drive into the team – performance, after performance after performance.

“We are going up against a fearless side, who are playing with a lot of freedom. They have got some really good players and Jimmy Lowes came in as coach to give them some purpose in what they do.

“They are playing well and it is going to be a tough game. We have a lot of confidence from Friday though.”

Betts pointed out the individual performances of Eamon O’Carroll, Kevin Brown and Joe Mellor as the stand-outs in a fine team performance.

Prop O’Carroll led from the front against an abrasive Wigan unit, earning this tribute from Betts.

“Eamon showed us what we have been missing and was really good against Huddersfield the previous week. He is consistent in what he does, knows his job and does it with real intensity and purpose. That is the inspiration to others in the team," he said. When you see a player like that come back and see what he gives you, you realise how much you have missed him,” he said.

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