Home record gives Widnes Vikings boss Cummins hope of upsetting Leeds Rhinos

Widnes Vikings' head coach, Francis Cummins.
Widnes Vikings' head coach, Francis Cummins.
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A STRONG home record against Leeds Rhinos will give Widnes Vikings hope for tomorrow’s crucial Qualifiers clash.

Widnes are on a 16-game losing run, including recent defeats by Championship sides London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique, but Rhinos have been beaten on four of their last five visits to Halton Stadium.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan is held by Lloyd White and Greg Burke in this year's Challenge Cup clash at Halton Stadium. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Jamie Jones-Buchanan is held by Lloyd White and Greg Burke in this year's Challenge Cup clash at Halton Stadium. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

The exception was a 
23-20 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win in May, but Widnes coach Francis Cummins believes his team can take heart from the way they played that night.

Rhinos lost 23-6 at Halton Stadium in Super League three months earlier, but avenged that with a 34-0 home shutout in July.

Cummins - a former Leeds player and assistant-coach - recalled: “We were really poor in the away game, though we did have a lot missing.

“The home league game was a scratch [Rhinos] side on the back of [Leeds returning from the World Club Challenge in] Australia, but in the Challenge Cup we were good.

A decision didn’t go our way, Aaron Heremaia broke through and even the Leeds lads said he had scored. Looking at the bigger picture that could have been a pivotal result.

Francis Cummins

“We had a poor 10 minutes, but we were in a position to win it right at the end.

“A decision didn’t go our way, Aaron Heremaia broke through and even the Leeds lads said he had scored. Looking at the bigger picture that could have been a pivotal result.”

Cummins insisted Widnes will “keep looking at the processes and what we are doing” and have not given up on staying in Super League.

“You have to try and take the positives from last week,” he added of the 42-22 loss in France.

“There were some, though a lot more negatives. We have got to look at our strengths and Leeds’ weaknesses and if we get a rhythm in any game we have got a chance, but that’s what we’ve been saying for a long time.”