WIDNES VIKINGS centre Chris Dean is relishing tonight’s showdown with some of the best backs in the British game.
The former Wakefield Trinity Wildcats player insisted Widnes’ three-quarters aren’t worried by the prospect of facing such highly-rated opposition.
“It is our biggest test,” Dean said.
“It is a good challenge for us outside-backs.
“You want to challenge yourself against the best players and they have got some of the best players in the comp.
“But we are not daunted by that. We want that challenge and we are looking forward to it. We could have won the game there last year, we played well in that game and there were some parts we played really well.
“But that game’s gone and we are concentrating on this week. We have been working hard, we’ve studied the opposition and we know what we are going to have to do to get the result.”
Dean said he has been impressed by all aspects of Leeds’ game so far this year. He added: “Leeds do work hard for each other, as well as all the flashy bits. “They have got both sides of the game, but we will concentrate on what we need to do and hopefully if we stick to our game plan and do what we can do, we can come away with a win.”
Coach Denis Bettsis also relishing the “challenge” Leeds will provide, particularly to his backs. He said: “Look at their backline. The challenge for us is when you see they’ve got Hall and Briscoe on the wings and Moon and Watkins in the centres, plus McGuire and Burrow and Sinfield – it is a pretty daunting backline.
“It is a challenge, but that’s what this team is about – facing challenges. it will be a great game and it will be good to get on the road after we’ve had three good games at home.
“We’ve settled in really well on our pitch, but you know when you go to Leeds you are going to get a really true surface and we want a fast surface. That suits Leeds as well.
“They have got the most line breaks in the competition and they are going to challenge us physically and mentally.”
Betts feels Widnes will go into tonight’s game battled hardened, confident and in good form, particularly after their 32-18 beating of big-spending Salford Red Devils eight days ago.
“They were really physical,” he said. “The score in the first half (Salford led 12-8 at the break) didn’t reflect it, but, I thought we were pretty dominant all the way through.
“We had a belief in what we want to do. We don’t do rash things or reckless stuff. We have got a real purpose about what we want to do and we know it will work for us if we stick at it.”