HALIFAX hooker Bob Beswick has warned against under-estimating fellow strugglers Widnes ahead of tonight’s Co-operative Championship meeting at the Halton Stadium.
Fax’s league form has been well documented, with Matt Calland’s champions stuck on played four, lost four.
But the Super League bound Vikings, in their first season under the tutelage of former Great Britain forward Denis Betts, are in almost as deep a hole, with one win from five starts, against bottom-of-the-table York.
There has also been off-field drama at the Halton Stadium this week, with four Vikings’ stars - stand off Anthony Thackeray, hooker Kirk Netherton, back rower Chris Gerrard and utility back James Ford - being publicly shunted towards the exit door by the club’s director of rugby Paul Cullen.
But Beswick is adamant Fax have no margin for error.
“I don’t think you can ever underestimate them,” he said.
“They got beat at Batley on Sunday so they are going to be revved up even more for this one.
“You’ve only got to look at their teamsheet to see the quality they have.
“People say they are struggling, but good teams make other teams look bad don’t they?
“You never say both teams play well when one wins by 50.
“We just need to make sure it’s us making them look bad tonight.”
Beswick is likely to be one of six players in Fax’s matchday 17 who have played for Widnes, having initially joined them on loan from Wigan.
Miles Greenwood, Stephen Bannister, Michael Ostick and Sam Barlow have also worn the black and white in recent years, while Jim Gannon captained the club last season.
According to Beswick though, the time for emotion is long gone, washed away by Fax’s league plight.
“The three points mean something to me, but who are we playing doesn’t matter any more,” he said.
“The first time I went back there it was a bit more personal but this is just another chance to get a win.
“You get what you work hard for in this game and we are working hard at the moment.
“We showed some confidence at the end of the game against Leigh on Sunday and hopefully we can take that out there tonight.”
Match preview - page 39