Super League 2014: Widnes maintain 100% record with 32-18 victory over gritty Salford City Reds
Widnes are one of four teams who have won each match this season as they sit top of the Super League alongside St Helens, Leeds Rhinos and Castleford
Friday 07 March 2014
Widnes have set themselves up nicely for their first away game of the 2014 First Utility Super League season with a hat-trick of home wins.
A 32-18 triumph over Salford on Thursday night helped maintain the Vikings' perfect start, a third straight victory lifting them alongside St Helens, Leeds and Castleford, the only other unbeaten teams so far, at the top of the table.
It took them over an hour to dispose of a gritty Red Devils outfit, who were determined to redeem themselves for their 38-0 drubbing by St Helens and led 18-14 thanks in no small part to a spectacular solo try from lively winger Greg Johnson.
They were finally undone by two tries in 10 minutes from stand-off Kevin Brown, who combined superbly with Joe Mellor on his return from injury as the Vikings finished strongly.
Vikings coach Denis Betts insists his side are still a work in progress but says they will go to Leeds next Friday in buoyant mood after their latest success.
"It's our first away trip and it's nice that we go there with a bit of confidence," Betts said. "The challenge is there because of how well they've played so far.
"We will have to put all the practice that we've had over the last couple of weeks to good use against a very good attacking side."
Salford coach Brian Noble was encouraged by his side's improvement, although they look to have lost two more players, with Junior Sa'u and Steve Rapira joining Rangi Chase and Gareth Hock on the sidelines with shoulder injuries.
Meanwhile, Bradford coach Francis Cummins is aiming to turn the tables on the club's relegation rivals with victory over Hull at the KC Stadium on Friday night.
A third successive win would not only wipe out the six points docked for going into administration but lift Cummins' men above Wakefield, London and Catalan Dragons, who all go into Sunday's fourth-round games looking for their first points.
"The potential outcome is huge," Cummins said. "All of our recent games have been hugely important, though, mainly for our own morale.
"We are still working to address our goals but we are motivated by the fact that - a week and a half after going into administration - we could be back on an even keel.
"It will put pressure on the other clubs then."
At the other end of the table, Leeds and St Helens will both be aiming to preserve their 100% records when they take on Huddersfield and Hull KR respectively.
The Rhinos have lost their last five meetings with Huddersfield and coach Brian McDermott is taking little notice of their below-par start to the season.
"I'm expecting a very tough game," he said. "Huddersfield are a very good team. They're still finding their feet, as everybody is. They are not near where they need to be but they will see this as a way of getting there."
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