This article was originally published in League Express. Buy Rugby League’s best paper every week for the best news, interviews and coverage of the game. League Express is out in stores every Monday or available to read online every Sunday evening at totalrl.com/le
Widnes Vikings winger Corey Thompson is gunning to be Super League’s top try-scorer in 2017.
In his first year at the Vikings after arriving from the NRL, Thompson managed to score 27 tries in 30 appearances, placing him second in the competition behind former Castleford flyer Denny Solomona’s haul of 40. But with Solomona crossing codes there is a vacancy at the top.
“It would be good to finish number one but I’m very lucky to get number two. A lot of wingers and outside backs got injured last year,” said Thompson.
“I thought I would finish first on 27 but Denny had a great finish and got 40 for the record. Credit to him, he had a great year and now he’s gone hopefully I can keep it up.”
Thompson said he was pleased with his performances last year after joining the Vikings from Canterbury.
“I set the goal at the start to play every game and I knew if I did and figured out the different game plan in Super League then I’d be alright,” he said.
“To score that many tries is a bonus and to top off the year I heard it was the best-ever Super League season for Widnes.
“It’s disappointing that we finished seventh, because we started off so well, but I think we gathered as a team and brought in new boys to really have a good year this year.”
Widnes have been quiet on player recruitment, with Tom Olbison and Tom Armstrong the only new arrivals, while captain Kevin Brown left to join Warrington.
But Thompson is confident that Joe Mellor can step up to take Brown’s role and he believes the Vikings’ settled squad, without a high player turnover, is a big positive.
“Losing Kevin, it gives Joe Mellor the responsibility. You saw last year when he got the ball what he could do with it,” the 26-year old said.
“He’s quick off the mark, he’s elusive and he can kick and throw that long ball to me. He’ll have to step up and he’s looking forward to it.
“A lot of the fans say they haven’t signed anyone a superstar, but you look at this team and a lot of us will do anything for each other. We’ve got good chemistry, and sometimes having good chemistry is better than having a superstar.”