PREVIEW: WIDNES VIKINGS v SWINTON LIONS
13 March 2020
Check out the latest match preview as Swinton Lions travel to fellow Championship side Widnes Vikings in the fifth round of the 2020 Challenge Cup.
Swinton Lions travel to Widnes Vikings in the fifth round of the Coral Challenge Cup on Sunday 15th March at 3pm.
The Lions failed to make it past the fourth round last season as Featherstone proved to hot to handle but after their 56-0 dismantling of Leigh Miners Rangers, they now have a chance to put their name in the hat for the last sixteen draw.
Despite winning their opening league game of the season away to Whitehaven, Swinton’s early season momentum has stalled through a couple of defeats and match postponements.
However, last time out in this competition they put in a highly professional performance at home to amateur club Leigh Miners Rangers.
The Lions’ 35-24 defeat in the league last weekend against play-off hopefuls Featherstone was a very promising performance as well, only losing by a narrow margin.
It was a positive performance from Swinton as they made life hard for unbeaten Featherstone and so Stuart Littler will take a lot of encouragement going into this game on Sunday.
Whilst Widnes lie fifth in the league having had a mixed start to the season, they were ruthless in their 40-16 thrashing of Whitehaven last weekend, making much lighter work of them than Swinton did.
Although, unlike Swinton, they failed to keep Whitehaven from scoring and that has been the story of their season so far.
Even when they comfortably beat Oldham in the last round of the Challenge Cup, they still conceded two tries and they have conceded at least a try in every game they’ve played so far this season.
That will be an area in which Swinton will be looking to exploit, the vulnerability of Widnes’ defensive line in their ability to prevent tries.
Swinton have lost the last thirteen meetings with Widnes Vikings and their last victory against them came in a Division One match in July 1998 as they won 34-14.
Widnes have also come out on top in the last six home meetings they’ve had with Swinton, with the Lions’ last away victory against the Vikings being that same July 1998 win.
To progress to the Challenge Cup’s last sixteen Litter’s men will need to end their poor record against Widnes and put in a big performance.
The game at the Halton Stadium will be an emotional and proud one for Swinton player Jack Hansen as it will be his 100th career appearance having played 65 times for Swinton and 34 times for North Wales Crusaders.
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
Widnes 36, Swinton 28 (ChR26, 1/9/19)
Swinton 10, Widnes 32 (ChR13, 5/5/19)
Swinton 12, Widnes 36 (NRCR4, 21/2/10)
(at Park Lane, Sedgley Park)
Swinton 16, Widnes 64 (NRCR5, 19/3/06)
(at Park Lane, Sedgley Park)
Widnes 18, Swinton 10 (NRCR1, 12/2/06)
Widnes Vikings has issued a statement to inform supporters of changes to match day protocols until further notice.
Swinton urges all supporters to read the information supplied ahead of travelling to the DCBL Stadium.
Read in full here: https://widnesvikings.co.uk/match-day-operations-update-covid-19/
WIDNES TICKETS & ONLINE TICKETING INTRODUCED
Tickets are available for purchase ahead of the clash on Sunday from the White Swan Pub, Swinton.
Ticket prices are as follows:
Junior ST holders: FREE.
Swinton Lions are also please to reveal a brand new online ticketing service for all supporters.
The system will enable home and away fans to pre-purchase match & corporate tickets for all future games at the click of a button.
Purchasers then have the choice of storing the ticket on their smart phone, or they can print it off at home. All tickets are then scanned upon arrival at the gate at Heywood Road. The first match available for purchase is on Sunday 22nd March as the Lions entertain Bradford Bulls.
Purchase tickets for Bradford and for home games for the rest of the season here
Stuart Littler makes one change from the last Sunday’s defeat to Featherstone Rovers as Billy Brickhill replaces Deane Meadows in Swinton’s 21-man squad.
LIONS SQUAD TO FACE VIKINGS: Gavin Bennion, Billy Brickhill, Louis Brogan, Tayler Brown, Mike Butt, Mitch Cox, Rob Fairclough, Sam Grant, Frankie Halton, Jack Hansen, Lewis Hatton, Ben Heyes, Will Hope, Paddy Jones, Jose Kenga, Richard Lepori, Rhodri Lloyd, Ben Morris, Oscar Thomas, Luke Waterworth, Brandon Wood.
VIKINGS SQUAD TO FACE LIONS: Kenny Baker, Jay Chapelhow, Ted Chapelhow, Deon Cross, Connor Dwyer, Joe Edge, Owen Farnworth, Billy Glover, Shane Grady, Lewis Hulme, Jack Johnson, MacGraff Leuluai, Joe Lyons, Pat Moran, Calum O’Neill, Jack Owens, Lloyd Roby, Matty Smith, Jake Spedding, Sam Wilde, Callum Wood
Written by Harry Dunnett