Betts praises young Owens

Denis Betts praised the performance of 16 year-old Jack Owens after his sides’ 42-14 victory over Barrow.


Owens made his Championship debut on Thursday night against the Raiders after being selected to tour with England Academy when they take on France Under 18s.


The young fullback was awarded the man of the match and scored a debut try to cap off a memorable week for the youngster.


Betts said: “He looks like he is meant to be here when we train, and he is a really mature young man. He must be a credit to his parents and the people around him. He did really well.


“He has had a really good upbringing and he is a really god kid. He works really hard at his game and you saw tonight he just wasn’t fazed at all by some big guys. I was really pleased with his performance tonight.”


Despite his wonderful performance and maturity on the field, Betts admits that he was waiting for the perfect moment before granting Owens his debut.


He said: “I have been looking at trying to get him in the side most of the year. I just felt it had to be at a time when we had a little bit more confidence about us.


“He has just been selected in the under 18s as a 16-year-old for England, so his confidence was high. I thought it was the right time and tonight we had an opportunity to put him in there.”


But despite Owens taking the plaudits for the Vikings’ dominant display, Betts was also quick to praise other players in the Widnes ranks.


He said: “I thought paddy Flynn showed he is a fantastic player. The lads from Wigan were great again, Joe Mellor is really settling into it. Tomkins is playing well and I thought Coyle was outstanding today.


“Coyle has been playing really well all year. Its one of those things we’ve missed that when he started at hooker it suits his game, he is aggressive around the middle and he is strong in defence.


“I think across the board we had a lot of double up performances from the weekend, and the lads backed up their enthusiasm that we showed against Hull.


“Barrow made a couple of line breaks but we covered really well for each other. We’ve had that all year in training but sometimes throughout the games we’ve lost that bit of an edge, and its been one of those things that we’ve been looking for in games and keep them, but were starting to see it now.”

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