Clarke up for Tigers battle

Jon Clarke Widnes3751976Widnes veteran Jon Clarke believes the experience within the team can help the Vikings overcome Castleford in Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-final (Match Betting – Widnes 9/4, draw 22/1, Castleford 1/3).

Following a brilliant start to the campaign, Denis Betts’ men have lost momentum in recent months, winning just three times in their last 10 league matches meaning they are now perilously close to missing out on a spot in the top eight.

However, they have looked good in the cup, smashing the Keighley Cougars 56-6 in the quarter-finals to book their place against the Tigers at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday.

Cas themselves have been the surprise package of 2014 in Super League, currently sitting fourth in the standings after Sunday’s win over London and are understandably the favourites to go through to Wembley.

The Vikings (11/1 – Challenge Cup outright) have plenty of experience of big games in the Challenge Cup, with Clarke winning the competition with Warrington in 2010, while Kevin Brown and Danny Tickle have both played in the showpiece, albeit on losing sides.

With his side the clear underdogs, hooker Clarke is keen to try and maximise every possible advantage he can and believes his fellow veterans’ prior involvement in semi-finals can help those around them on Sunday.

“Just to reach the semi-final is a big achievement and if we can put on a good performance and go one extra as well, getting to Wembley, it would be just fantastic,” he said.

“It has been a long time since the last Wembley trip for the fans, so it would be nice to get them down there.

“It is just about keeping your composure and holding your nerve in what will be quite a pressurised container at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday.”

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