On paper, there is very little at stake for Warrington and Widnes tonight: but Vikings coach Denis Betts insists the game is anything but a dead rubber.
Eleventh-placed Widnes cannot finish any higher than their current league position, and the Wolves cannot escape the Qualifiers ahead of Thursday night’s clash between the two sides.
But Betts has knocked back suggestions the game means little.
“It’s not a dead rubber,” Betts said. “It’s a local derby against a fierce rival who want to put us to the sword if we don’t turn up with the right attitude.”
Betts also admits that the Vikings are “fragile” at the moment.
He said: “There is some quality in the team and we’ve got to be positive but I’m dealing with some fragile people at the moment because we’re not playing well,” he said.
“It’s hard to climb out of that hole. We’re in a negative loop at the moment.”
The Vikings are in the Qualifiers for the second time in three years but this time Betts is happy they will be starting from scratch.
“The beauty of the next step, having been there before, is that this time everything gets scratched,” Betts said. “I feel relieved.
“The last time we were only just outside the eight and lost all our points against a side bottom of table that hadn’t won a game.”