Widnes Vikings head coach Denis Betts spoke of his pride despite defeat, as his side were beaten by local rivals Warrington Wolves.
The home side were light in the forward pack and came into the game off the back of a shorter turnaround, having played Castleford Tigers on Sunday.
A late fightback almost gave the Vikings a second victory of the season, but it wasn’t to be. That didn’t stop Betts echoing his pride though.
“It was old fashioned, a bit of bish a bit of bash, a bit of feeling,” he commented.
“I’m really proud of the lads, really really proud of them.
“They’ve come on a four day turnaround against a side who’ve had eight days to prepare. That’s just the way it works I suppose sometimes.
“We stood up for ourselves and it was a good game.”
The fact that Warrington had eight days to prepare for the game was a big focus in Betts’ post-match press conference, and he felt a similar turnaround for the Vikings could have impacted on the result.
“If we got eight days each and we see where we’re both at energy wise, we probably win that battle today.
“They were desperate and it showed, they had lots of energy and were aggressive off the line.
“They had a real smart plan, they came and they attacked us on the edges, they rolled us backwards but we’re a resilient beast at the moment. We didn’t fall over, we didn’t falter.
“If we can get the ball down, we’ve created a few chances to put us in the lead and we just don’t take them.
“We’ve got to own that, we’ve got to own the disappointment and the fact we need to be better at a couple of things.”
He also lamented their missed opportunities, as Stefan Ratchford knocked the ball from Jay Chapelhow’s grasp in the act of scoring.
“We go over the line a couple of times and can’t get the ball down, Stef Ratchford puts a massive play on there and the ref gets it wrong again,” the Widnes Vikings boss continued.
“He’s knocked the ball out, there’s two players in the contact let’s give us the ball back. He’s made a great play but I think that’s our ball back.
“Hep gets over the line but just doesn’t get it down.
“Two or three times we do some really good things and we’re just an inch away from making sure we get the ball down, and turn that effort, that energy and commitment into points.”
Chapelhow had a productive evening in the front row, despite not being able to score late on. Betts revealed the youngster was critical of himself afterwards.
“He’s filthy with himself in there Jay and he’s blaming himself and that’s the kind of kid he is.
“He thinks he’s done two things in the game which have caused us loads of problems, but he’s done a million other things which are real good stuff.
“That’s what he’s holding onto at the moment, he will let go and we will move on and he’ll become a better player.”
It was a fiercely contested derby, which saw the Wolves go down to 12 men for the last eight minutes of the game.
Krisnan Inu’s double wasn’t enough, as Widnes head into their home fixture with Leeds Rhinos on the back of two straight defeats.
WIDNES VIKINGS 10
Tries: Inu 2
Goals: Gilmore 1
WARRINGTON WOLVES 18
Tries: Atkins 2, Ratchford
Goals: Goodwin 3
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