Kavanagh: Widnes all the way in Cup

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WIDNES’ Halifax born-and-bred forward Ben Kavanagh believes that Conference big guns Siddal “shouldn’t get anywhere near” the Vikings in Sunday’s third round Carnegie Challenge Cup clash at the Shay (11.30).

Kavanagh, a Chevinedge junior who turned professional with Super League giants Wigan before moving to Cheshire, initially on loan, four years ago, is likely to be a key figure in the visitors’ pack this weekend.

And although Siddal stunned Championship One outfit Doncaster 24-0 at the same stage of last year’s competition, and resisted Batley - the side that beat Widnes in July’s Northern Rail Cup final - for long periods before going down 34-2 in round four, Kavanagh is adamant there is little chance of an upset.

“They shouldn’t get anywhere near us,” said the 23 year old, who was celebrating his birthday today.

“The big thing for us is to make sure we turn up as a team.

“They obviously beat Doncaster last season and did okay against Batley, but Doncaster aren’t Widnes.

“It’s going to be fun for me, but a bit weird too, because I’ve played with a lot of their players.

“Chris Brooke, George Ambler, Scott Caley, Andy Bowman, there’s a few of them.

“They’ve got some good players in there, the Simeunovich brothers are both strong and they’ve got some decent centres.

“It’s a big game for Siddal and they’ll be looking forward to it.”

2011 should prove a pivotal season for Kavanagh if, as expected, Widnes are awarded a Super League licence for 2012 onwards.

The prop or back rower is a certainty to be retained by new coach Denis Betts, the former Great Britain player who he believes can finally convert Widnes’ off-field wealth into on-pitch achievement.

“Denis Betts has had a big impact and I think we’ll do well,” said Kavanagh.

“It’s important for Widnes to do well this year, especially if we get a Super League place.

“It wouldn’t look good if we had a bad year on the field.

“It’s a big year for me too.

“I’ve been in the Championship for four years and I want to play against the best players now.”