In the world of rugby league, a war of words can sometimes erupt for varying reasons, and with Widnes Vikings coach Dennis Betst critical of the Wigan Warriors for not letting Gareth Hock play against his former club, labelling them as “afraid” of facing him – Wigan coach Shaun Wane said the club used that as motivation to fire them up.
It worked to a tee, as the Wigan Warriors steamrolled the Vikings 62-4 on the back of 4 tries from Josh Charnley and a hat-trick from Sam Tomkins.
Wane said that the comments from rival coach Betts actually aided his side’s preparations and praised the ruthlessness and focus of his team.
“The challenge was laid down in the week and they took it on board. Some things were said which made it easy for me. It helped our preparation,” said Wane.
“I don’t think you could say anyone in my team is scared of anybody. Those childish comments hurt my players. They were really focused going into the game.
“What they did today was how they practised all week. We were ruthless in how we attacked.”
Betts was brutally honest after the game, admitting that his side was outplayed and outmatched in every facet by the Warriors.
“Wigan were that hot, it was quite scary at times. They looked like they were on fast forward, whereas we looked like we were on pause,” he said.
“They just played the game so quickly and physically dominated us. They were very good tonight and scored some great tries.
“It wasn’t a great performance by us but there were patches where we were just okay and then we’d break and they’d score.
“With the quality they’ve got on the edges, you make one mistake and you get hurt. We had too many people today who made mistakes, especially on our left edge.
“It was disappointing because I know we’re a better side than we showed.”