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Vikings facing big challenge
VIKINGS boss Denis Betts says his unbeaten team are braced for a massive physical and mental challenge when they head to Headingley for their first away game of the season on Friday.
So far Widnes have an unblemished record after three home matches, with big-spending Salford being the latest scalps.
But, Leeds – who are also unbeaten – present a formidable challenge especially given that they arguably boast the most potent backline in the competition.
However, Widnes won’t be over-awed by the big date having dug so deep in their last two encounters which have sent them on their longest ever Super League era winning run spanning six games.
And – as usually happens when teams are winning – players are fit and battling to play.
Betts said: “It’s going to be a great game. It’s good to get on the road too.
“We’ve had three good games at home, we are used to playing here but we go to Leeds and we will get a fast surface and a team who has the most line breaks in the competition.
“We have challenges, physically and mentally.
“We have a clean bill of health, apart from bumps and bruises, but we are in good shape.
“There’s going to be opportunities as the games will come thick and fast for those players not playing.
“One week can change things massively.
“We are training hard as well and that’s reflected in what we are doing on the field.
“Grant Gore is available now but where do you play him? We are looking to get him some game time now.”
Leeds dropped their first point of the season last weekend when Kevin Sinfield hit the post with a late drop-goal, meaning they had to settle for a draw at Huddersfield.
Betts is a strong admirer of the Leeds club and how they do things.
“Leeds have a really good culture. Everyone works hard for each other but that’s what you see at Widnes now.
“It’s a hardworking environment which is good to be at.
“When you look at their backline, the challenge for us is there for all to see.
“Kalum Watkins, Ryan Hall, Tom Briscoe, Zak Hardaker, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield.
“It’s a pretty daunting back line but this is what it’s about for us – facing players of that quality,” Betts said.