Widnes Vikings have an ideal opportunity to turn their inconsistent form around against Newcastle Thunder on Sunday.

A promising start to the season saw the North-West side win three of their opening four games, but they have since suffered three defeats in their last five.

Victory against Newcastle Thunder would allow The Vikings to end the month on a positive note after defeat in their last outing.

In round six Widnes were narrowly beaten 14-12 by Toulouse Olympique. The Vikings held a 12-10 lead in the 75th minute, but a heroic try from Paul Macron snatched victory away from John Kear’s side.

Head coach Kear believes his side ‘found a way to lose more than they’ve won it’, and while naturally frustrated he can take the positives of his side’s performance into the game with Newcastle.

The North-East side are 13th in the Betfred Championship, having only won one game so far this campaign. Newcastle have struggled at the back in recent fixtures and have left themselves a lot to do going forward to compensate for their leaky defence.

After moving to a part time model for the 2023 season Newcastle have struggled to shed the feeling they are in for a relegation fight, and a win against an established side would be the boost they are desperate for.

Widnes carry the confidence brought by victory in the last meeting between the two, winning 33-26 at the DCBL Stadium. Centre Matt Fleming was the talisman for Widnes on that occasion, scoring two tries, and home fans will be eager for a repeat performance.

The two teams have met three times in the RFL Championship and share a record of one win each, as well as a 30-30 draw.

The home side could also see a return for forward Owen Farnworth, who has been out with an illness. Winger Ryan Miller will however remain unavailable as he continues to progress on rehab of an injured bicep.

Lewis Hatton and Jordan Johnstone will both be ineligible after suffering concussions against Toulouse.

Victory on Sunday could lift Widnes as high as third in the league and into the promotion conversation, and while victory is expected, an increasingly desperate Newcastle will be keen to put an end to their bad form.