Warrington Wolves centre Ryan Atkins is looking forward to another exciting derby clash against Widnes Vikings in this Friday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final game at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Wolves have already secured two victories against the Vikings this season but Atkins believes his side will need to raise their game for what will be a real test for these local rivals.
“I don’t think either ourselves or Widnes have been playing really well but when you have a massive derby that could put you in to the Challenge Cup semi-final it’s going to be a great contest,” said the 28-year-old centre. “We need to right a few wrongs from our last game against Catalans but we’ll get there, we’re a hard-working team.
Atkins has tasted Challenge Cup success with Warrington in 2010 and 2012, scoring tries in both finals he admits it’d be fantastic to reach Wembley for a third time, but they aren’t getting ahead of themselves just yet.
“It’s a great occasion, there’s still a long way to go to the final but if we get through this it’s a step closer. We’ve got a lot of new faces within the team now who haven’t been there, so to get there again would be great and to get there three times in my career would be awesome, but we’ve got to play a lot better than we did against Catalans.
The last time Widnes Vikings visited the Halliwell Jones Stadium was over the Easter weekend in front of sell-out crowd of over 15,000 spectators and Atkins is looking for more of the same from the loyal Wolves following.
“Our fans always come in numbers and Widnes fans will also bring plenty with it being just around the corner, it’s always a great atmosphere and it’ll add to it being knock-out Rugby League as well. The fans are right behind us, so hopefully it’ll be bouncing and we can give them something to cheer about.”