Widnes coach Tim Sheens had words of encouragement for Whitehaven after the Vikings had beaten the Cumbrians 40-16 on Sunday.

The experienced Australian suggested the score did not tell the full story and was a bit unfair on Whitehaven.

“I thought they gave us a hard game and they were probably closer to us than 24 points would indicate,” he said.

“In some ways I’m very pleased the game was at our place and not up at Whitehaven, because that could have made a difference.”

Whitehaven led 10-6 at one stage late in the first half and were only 12-10 down at half time after Widnes scored a converted try in the last minute of the half.

It means the Cumbrians have now lost their opening five games in the Championship, slipping to bottom spot.

However, they have scored more points than York, Oldham and Swinton who are all in the bottom five and they have conceded fewer points than Sheffield and Oldham.

It’s a quick turnaround for Gary Charlton’s men as they are back in action tomorrow night at the Recreation Ground in a delayed Challenge Cup fourth-round tie against Dewsbury.

The winners will visit Newcastle Thunder on Sunday – while the losers will have time to lick their wounds as there are no Championship matches arranged.

After losing their opening Championship game the Rams have won the next three, including Sunday’s 24-6 success at Oldham.

Charlton is likely to give an opportunity to players who haven’t featured a lot in the Championship against the Rams.