Ben Cross can't
wait to get his season up and running
Photograph by KT8
THE Vikings travel to The John Smith's
Stadium, home of Huddersfield Giants, on Sunday, 20 January 2013,
for their final pre-season outing. Kick off will be at:- 3.00pm.
Their hosts go into proceedings on the back of a 26-0 loss at St.
Helens last Friday, whilst the Vikings were comfortable 30 to 6
winners over Workington Town. And, one player keener than most to
hit the ground running at the weekend, is Vikings front-rower Ben
Having missed the final 5 rounds of 2012's Stobart Super League
competition and the club's 2 trial games thus far, the Australian
admits he is desperate to make up for lost time:- "To be
honest, picking up a knee injury when I did was a bit of a nuisance
but having said that, it's all part of the game. As luck would have
it, I did have a bit of help on the road to recovery as there were a
few of us out injured at the time and overall, I was only sidelined
for about 5 weeks. This meant that I could still have a proper
off-season before returning for pre-season and I can't wait to get a
game under my belt now. Despite being classed as a friendly, once
you are out-there and into the game, things do tend to be a bit more
physical than just a contested training session. Not every player or
coach would admit to being a fan of these games, but they are a
necessary evil and offer ideal preparation for getting a lot of the
little things right in your game. There's bound to be the occasional
dropped ball and missed tackle from both teams, but we will both be
far better off and benefit greatly from being given an opportunity
to improve our match fitness, tackle technique, running our lines
correctly and getting our timing back in a game situation without
the added pressure of being overly worried about winning or losing.
Being a little bit older and wiser these days, I'm just looking
forward to easing my way back into proceedings and coming through my
first hit-out in good condition and hopefully everything will go OK!
Huddersfield will offer us a massive test on Sunday. They've
probably got the biggest pack in the comp which can definitely work
for them, but also against them. They all look pretty agile and
mobile, but obviously being such a big side means that if you are
quite smart against them, you can tire them, move them around and
play laterally through their middle unit which can be a bit of a
hindrance for them. As I suggested earlier, it's going to be a
physical game at times but that's the best way to get back into it.
Getting knocked around a bit will only help harden up the body for
Vikings 19-man squad:- Allen, Cahill, Clarke, Craven, Cross,
Davies, Dean, Flynn, Gerrard, Gilmore, Hanbury, Isa, Joseph, Leuluai,
Mellor, O'Carroll, Owens, White, Winterstein.
Colours:- Sunday's game will see the Vikings running out in
the 4th variation of their 2013 home colours. The boys will be
wearing the black shirt which will be complimented by white shorts
and black and white hooped socks.
This means, in their 3 pre-season outings, the Vikings will have
utilised every single combination from their 2013 home colours.
Going forward, the club will give advance warning to its members and
supporters of the colours our players will be wearing, ahead of each
Please note:- There is no entitlement for Junior
Viking Stronghold free entry for this fixture.
COACH TRAVEL:- To be a part of the
'Viking Invasion' of The John Smith's Stadium, book your
place now from the service provider listed below, who comes highly
recommended by Widnes Vikings.
AN EVENING FULL
OF ICONIC SONGS FROM THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS POP BAND
SWEENEY Entertainment are proud to present
ABBA Forever an evening full of the hits of ABBA, one of the world's
most iconic pop groups. Having taken Europe by storm in 1974 when
they won the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo, ABBA went on to
top pop charts worldwide for well over a decade. Their much loved
songs have featured in some of the most popular films of the past
thirty years including Muriel's Wedding and The Adventures of
Pricilla, Queen of the Desert.
In 1999, their songs were adapted into the phenomenally successful
musical Mama Mia which has grossed over $2 billion
worldwide and introduced a whole new generation to hit songs
including:- "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Take A
Chance On Me", "Thank You for the Music",
"Money, Money, Money", "The Winner Takes It All",
"Voulez Vous" and "SOS".
ABBA Forever is one of the UK's leading International tribute Shows
and theatre audiences from across Great Britain and Sweden have long
enjoyed this superb recreation of possibly the world's greatest pop
The unique Abba sound is replicated with an incredible attention to
detail, using a 6 piece band featuring electric and acoustic
guitars, keyboards and piano, drums and bass guitar. 2 outstanding
Abba girls complete the line-up, adding the essential glitz and
glamour to a well-polished and gently humorous show.
The wonderful lyrics and music penned by Benny Andersson and Björn
Ulvaeus are sung in wonderful harmony by all 6 performers on stage.
Dynamic non-stop choreography, stunning visuals, top class
musicianship and an ALL LIVE performance ensures that ABBA
Forever captivates audiences from the opening refrain to the final
sing-along chorus of this 2 hour spectacular. For more
information you should visit:-
Forum warns against dangers of completely
leaving EU for small firms
THE Forum on 23 January 2013 issued its
response to the Prime Minister's EU speech, by saying a total exit
from the Union would be bad for UK SMEs and the wider economy. But
the small business lobby group has said there are dangers that
without some kind of renegotiation, anti EU sentiment will grow.
Head of Policy, Alex Jackman, said:- "The Forum of Private
Business does not support an 'in/out' referendum, simply because we
don't think it will give anything like a clear mandate. Even an
overwhelming 'in' wouldn't silence the doubters, nor an overwhelming
'out' lead to exit, given the political flip-flopping over this
issue of recent years. And in all probability, there wouldn't be a
significant majority one way or the other. But unless the UK can
renegotiate terms, anti-EU feeling will grow. Institutions that are
already seen as undemocratic will grow to become tyrannical in the
views of many. The ever-spiralling central budgets will create even
louder dissenting voices than at present. So the issue must be
tackled. Instead, the Forum believes the government and successive
governments; should be given the mandate to renegotiate terms and to
maintain an opt-out from ever-closer integration. In particular, we
must insist that EU budgets are more closely monitored. If the
European Commission wants greater funds from countries, it should
first have proven the case that money cannot be saved from within.
Businesses will tell you there are plenty of pointless policy
exercises that could be culled if savings were being sought. Pinch
points for small businesses do differ. It is a genuine bugbear for
those small businesses in communities that have nothing to do with
exporting who wonder what right the EU has to dictate how long their
employees should be paid for sick leave, or how they should sit at
work. But there is the other demographic for whom the common market
has helped enormously in growing their businesses overseas. Like it
or not, most businesses export within Europe as their first step.
What causes greater uncertainty for businesses isn't how closely
integrated with the EU we are, it is the long-term stability of our
tax system. A huge multinational will invest in the UK not because
of a common market but because of a stable tax regime and highly
skilled workers. These are the real long-term problems the
Government needs to address. The truth is that our laws are now so
intertwined with European legislation it is very hard for anyone to
understand whether we should pull out, let alone how we would go
about doing so. These are the problems the Prime Minister is faced
with; how to mediate the competing views of Europe and how to
accurately articulate the positives and negatives of our