WIDNES Vikings boss Kieron Purtill saw plenty of positives in his side’s first run-out of the pre-season as they continue preparations for a good start in the Championship.

Although they lost to Super League outfit Hull KR, they will head to Warrington for Ryan Atkins’ testimonial match on Sunday (3pm) looking to build on that solid first hit-out.

But Purtill is keen to stress it is all about getting things right to make their pitch for a Super League return

He said: “I am really happy with what we did there. We went toe-to-toe and there were some really good signs.

“In the second half we gave the younger boys some game time, and pushed one or two past their normal game time so I am pleased with what we have got.

“We have been working for a few weeks on our combinations so it was pleasing ­— especially since we still have some big names missing ­— that we scored some good tries.

“I thought in the first half we were pretty good defensively. There were some really positive signs.

“I thought our middles were good defensively. There were plenty of positives and we will get back on the training park this week and fix things up.”

In the absence of halves Danny Craven and Tom Gilmore, Jack Owens has been showing his versatility on his return to the club after spells at St Helens and Leigh.

Purtill added: “I worked with him last year ­— he can play full back, wing, centre, halves and nine.

“Jack has been filling in at the halves and has done a really good job, he is a really skilful player.

“I think the Widnes fans will notice that Jack is a more rounded player than when he left.”

There will be checks on Lloyd Roby, who limped off with an ankle twist, and Jay Chapelhow.

“We will go to Warrington with a big squad, mix things around and give some guys some game time,” Purtill said.