WIDNES will be hoping for better things this weekend when they play host to Rochdale at Heath Road in North One West.
Although they got the result they wanted against Fleetwood in a re-arranged league fixture, they will have been disappointed at the manner of their performance, and they know they will have to be at their best against a side who, although they have blown hot and cold this season, are easily capable of beating anyone on their day.
For the coaching staff, it was good to see Paul Borg back in a Widnes shirt for the first time since September, although there will be a few late checks on players who suffered knocks in the game at Melbourne Avenue.
For Widnes, the result was the only thing that mattered as they lifted themselves up to fifth in the table to back in touch with the leading group.
After just five minutes, a Michael Lamb ball steal saw quick hands get winger Paul O’Connor over in the corner for a try converted by Dave Welsh, before stand-off Riches kicked a penalty for Fleetwood.
On 35 minutes, Lamb was at it again, crashing over from close range for a try which Dave Welsh booted over in fine style from the touchline, before an exchange of penalties made it 17-6 at half-time.
In a poor second half, Welsh added a further penalty, but it was Fleetwood who were the more enterprising, scoring an excellent converted try to set up a grandstand finish before Welsh converted another penalty to make it 23-13.