sport

Betts praises Halifax display

Widnes Vikings head coach Denis Betts paid credit to their opponents as they overcame a half-time scare to move into the fifth round of the Tetley's Challenge Cup.

The Vikings were down 10-6 at the break against a spirited Halifax side but 28 unanswered points in the second period eased the visitors home, eventually coming out 34-10 victors and setting up a clash with Salford Red Devils in the next round.

Betts admits his side were made to work hard for their win against their Championship opponents and says their attitude was much improved in the second period.

He said: "It was a very tough game, and you've got to give a lot of credit to (Halifax coach) Karl's (Harrison) team.

"Conditions were tough and they gave it a go, and it was very tough. We expected that, and it took a bit of a kick up the backside at half-time to get our focus back on track.

"Halifax made it very hard for us and it was a tough one.

"We talked about what to expect, and we had to deal with it. In the second half we changed our attitude; we were behind on the scoreboard and we knew our completion rate was really poor. They made us work really hard for it.

"We asked some questions of ourselves at the break, and talked to our leaders like Hep (Cahill) and Kevin (Brown) and mainly Jon (Clarke).

"We needed to get back to what we do best, the first half wasn't good enough and we survived through hard work and resilience. We needed to keep our desire high and we definitely did in that second period."

Betts admitted the next few weeks will be tough on his side with the cup tie against Salford preceded by the traditionally tough Easter period, with tricky clashes against Warrington and St Helens on the horizon.

He added: "The next few weeks are going to be very tough. We have the big trip down to Catalan and then we're away to Warrington.

"Two days later we're at home to St Helens and then there's the cup tie. The next four games over two weeks will be tough and a stretching part of the season for us."

Unfair reflection

As for Halifax, boss Harrison believes the scoreboard was not a fair reflection on his side's performance, claiming he was pleased with the effort they put in against their full-time opponents.

He said: "I'm reasonably pleased. We've got bigger games than that this season, but I thought we played well.

"I don't think a 24-point difference in the scoreline reflects how the game went out there, to be honest.

"We had to start the second half really well and we didn't.

"Defensively I thought we were a little bit soft in the middle, and they got a roll on. They turned their kicks into attacking kicks; they chased really well and they wore us down, to be fair."