Winning any game is always a great feeling but when your back is against the wall, when you lose three players to injury – two pre-game and one during the game – and have a player sent off, it makes the feeling that much better and that is exactly how Widnes Vikings coach Denis Betts felt.
Losing Gareth Hock and Jon Clarke before the game with calf and knee injuries respectively, Widnes’ cause was not helped when Grant Gore suffered a broken kneecap during the game.
To potentially complicate matters even more for the Vikings, forward Hep Cahill was sent off for a high tackle on Warrington Wolves Australian fullback, Brett Hodgson.
For Betts, his side’s resolve that led to their 16-6 shock win over Warrington came down to a few simple things – a solid game-plan, a desire to win and and enthusiasm and effort.
“It’s a pretty special day for the club,” Betts said.
“There was no expectation. We were a little bit beaten up online blackjack games, we had a short turnaround and we were without the bloke who has been inspirational with his leadership.
“We came with a plan and the weather helped up a bit. We executed really well and made the game really simple.
“You’ve got to be proud of the enthusiasm and the effort that we showed today. It’s the first time we’ve really been in a tough grind in a close game and come out on top. That’s part of our learning curve.”
Wolves coach Tony Smith whilst disappointed also pointed out Widnes’ enthusiasm and knows that Cahill had no intention of deliberately hurting Hodgson, brushing aside the incident as anything overly serious.
“I don’t like to see anybody sent off,” Smith said.
“I know he’s not a dirty player by any means and I’ve got no doubt he was not trying to take Brett Hodgson out in that way.
“Things just went wrong and that can happen. I’m sure there was no malice in it.”