Moule delay frustrates Widnes

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The Independent Online

The Widnes coach, Neil Kelly, is suffering the frustration of being unable to field the player who he believes could turn around their depressing start to the season.

Aaron Moule missed the 24-12 defeat at promoted Salford on Sunday and he will not be in the side for the Challenge Cup tie at Wigan this weekend either. The former Melbourne Storm centre retired in the middle of last season because of a persistent groin injury and has yet to play for the club with whom he hopes to revive his career.

"He's the sort of player anyone would like to have in their side. He's a top player and it's frustrating for him and for us, but it's short-term frustration rather than long-term," Kelly said. He had threatened changes after the woeful performance at Salford, but now says that he might have to be content with reshuffling his limited resources.

Widnes could face Stephen Wild at the JJB Stadium on Saturday. The Wigan second-rower was thought likely to be out with a hamstring injury, but could now be passed fit on Friday. Kevin Brown is on standby for his first Challenge Cup tie if Wild does not make it.

The St Helens coach, Ian Millward, could have Ade Gardner back on the wing at Bradford and predicted: "The winner of this tie will get to the final." But Millward will be without his new signing, the prop Rickey Bilbey, who damaged ankle ligaments in training.

Warrington have apologised to the fans with tickets who were locked out of the inaugural game at the new Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday, when the Wolves recorded a 34-20 win over Wakefield, but have denied claims that there were 2,000 left out in the cold.

"There were no more than 250 spectators outside the ground at six o'clock," a club spokesman said. "The club is seeking to redress each case individually."