sport

Betts: Fight changed game

Widnes head coach Denis Betts admitted his side failed to handle their emotions as they threw away a half-time lead to slip to a 34-22 defeat at Castleford.

Betts cited a mass brawl at the beginning of the second half as a turning point in the clash, claiming that the opposition controlled things from that point onwards after the Vikings had lead 12-10 at that point.

"It was the fight really that changed the game," Betts said. "Jack Owens makes an error in the first-half and they swoop on it. The game was really close, and they just handled their emotions a little bit better after the melee.

"We just got emotionally involved in trying to get some retribution in some sort of way. And a couple of smart plays from them and they've got their tails up. They're on their home ground and they're a tough side to beat when they get in front.

"We came here with a real purpose with us in that first-half and I thought we did everything right. We rode their storm and survived in our own half, but ultimately we were outdone. I don't think the scoreboard is a fair reflection of the game and where the two teams are."

Tigers coach Daryl Powell admitted he knew his side were in a battle at the break but praised them for the way they stood up in the face of adversity after star winger Justin Carney was sin-binned for his part in the brawl at the beginning of the second period.

"I thought we could have done it a little bit better in that period where we both had 12 men," Powell said.

Tough game

"It was a tough game and there wasn't much in it. We were in a real battle at half-time and I thought they played a little bit better than us in the first period.

"We held tough and I thought we were a little bit unlucky in the first 15 minutes. We pretty much had control in the second period until they hit us with the two consolation scores.

"I thought they were a little bit smarter than us in some areas, but our forwards gave us a real lift, especially off the bench."

Powell also paid tribute to returning full-back Luke Dorn, who marked his return to the side after six weeks out with a brace of tries. He admitted that the competition between Dorn and Jordan Tansey is bringing the best out of both men, but Dorn is ahead of the former Leeds man at this moment in time.

"Luke was pretty sharp. In the second-half he came up with some real smart pieces of play, and he made a real difference for us," Powell added.

"He's been out over the last six weeks, but he's in front of Jordan in some areas at this moment in time."