Widnes coach Denis Betts has insisted that there was nothing personally hostile about his remarks about referee Joe Cobb, following the Vikings’ home defeat to Wakefield last week.
Betts branded Cobb’s display as the “worst refereeing performance I’ve seen in 30 years.”
Nevertheless, Betts feels that referees in rugby league need more support, and it is something that he often discusses with acting head of match officials, Steve Ganson.
“Referees are part and parcel of the game,” said Betts.
“What we need to do is to keep working hard and developing them.
“I was disapppointed on the weekend with the referee’s performance.
“I’m not one for grandiose statements. I understand how tough their job is.
“I didn’t say anything against Joe, I didn’t say anything bad, I just thought he had a poor night.
“I speak to Steve Ganson regularly. We talk about the situation. He’s got a tough job.
“He’s not got a massive pool of referees. We’ve got to support Steve, we’ve got to support the referees that are actually in the system, even when they have bad performances.”
But Betts also felt that it was his duty to comment on Cobb’s display, when what he perceived as the official’s shortcomings were on plain view to everyone in the stadium that evening.
“I’ve got players in my club who have been here two or three years – they’ve not played well every week, I can tell you!” he added.
“To just let it wash over, and think that it was okay, wouldn’t have been right.
“I felt quite strongly at the weekend that it would have been remiss of me, when everybody saw what happened that night, to think that the referee didn’t play a part in a really hostile game.”