Team Talk – Sheffield Eagles (A) Review

2022 Widnes Vikings Team Talk - Leigh Centurions home preview

Following Monday evening’s defeat in Sheffield, let’s take a look at how the squad are recovering with a look ahead to our home game against Bradford Bulls in Round 13 of the Betfred Championship next Thursday…

Next Thursday will see Bradford Bulls travel to the DCBL Stadium as the Vikings celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a ticket offer for children and an indoor street party. 

Bradford head into the game on the back of a convincing win over Newcastle Thunder in the previous round. The Vikings are coming off a loss against Sheffield Eagles in the Eagles’ first home game at the upgraded Olympic Legacy Park.

With another weekend off due to the Challenge Cup and 1895 Cup finals, the opportunity arises to get on the field more than a normal game week. We will be looking to correct certain areas of our game to give us the best chance of picking up points against a big Bradford side.

We will still be without club captain Jack Owens as he continues to progress with his rehab programme after knee surgery. Jack will be aiming to be back on the field within the next couple of weeks, and he will continue to be assessed on a daily basis.

Prop Josh Johnson will also be missing from the fixture against Bradford after sustaining a knee injury in the home game against Whitehaven earlier in the month. Josh will continue to be assessed on a weekly basis by the medical staff and his return-to-play date will be determined by the club physio.

Ollie Brookes has had a scan on a hamstring injury and will unfortunately be ruled out for a sustained period of time. A further update on Ollie’s injury will be given in due course.

Lloyd Roby went off during the Sheffield game with a knee issue and will be assessed through the week to determine whether or not he will be available for selection for the visit of the Bulls.

Shane Grady is another week closer to a return to action but is still some time off as he continues with his rehab programme alongside fellow front-rower Levy Nzoungou.

The Vikings will have a clean bill of health other than the aforementioned players as Matt Fleming will be available for selection again after missing the defeat in Sheffield with a shoulder problem.

Danny Craven played the second half of Monday night’s game in Sheffield and will be in contention to start the game next Thursday.

Jake Spedding also returned against Sheffield and will again be in contention to face Bradford.

Will Tilleke, Lewis Hulme, Dec Gregory, Liam Bent and Brad Holroyd will be available for selection also.