Widnes fume over Wolves' toxic pre-match publicity

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The Independent Online

Widnes have charged their neighbours Warrington with creating a stink by depicting the town as a toxic wasteland in the advertising for this Saturday's derby between the two clubs.

Widnes is pictured under a chemical cloud, something which the club's media manager, Andrew Kitchen, says could create trouble at a game which will have a big impact on both sides' play-off prospects.

"People have told me how much better the atmosphere was between the two sets of fans earlier this season, so it's a real shame they have come up with such a misconceived plan," he said. "Why have they decided to stir up inter-town hatred?"

The Wolves have defended the campaign. "It was only our sense of humour that got us through last season and we are just carrying that on," a spokesman said.

Widnes have also told one of their hookers, Phil Cantillon, that he can leave, but the other, Shane Millard, is set to reject an approach from South Sydney to stay with the club.

London Broncos have taken a second player on trial from Wests Tigers in Australia until the end of the season. Steve Trindall made his debut at prop in the 19-12 victory over Warrington on Sunday and now Joel Caine, who can play full-back or winger, could arrive in time to face Halifax on Friday. "He's a good goal-kicker and very quick," the Broncos' coach Tony Rea said.

Huddersfield have signed Rochdale's second-rower, Paul Smith, on a two year deal. However, they will lose their assistant coach, Steve Deakin, to UTC next season as the French club try to clinch Super League status for 2005.