Denis Betts unhappy with Clarke sin binning

Widnes coach Denis Betts has slammed referee Robert Hicks’ decision to send Jon Clarke to the sin bin in Widnes’ loss to Catalan.

Clarke took out Catalan’s kicker Scott Dureau, who lay on the floor for a long period of time after making contact. 

Clarke was then surrounded by several Catalan players, who were unhappy with the contact on Dureau by Clarke, before Hicks sent the Widnes hooker to the sin bin 12 minutes into the second half.

Betts claimed that neither Hicks or his touch judges saw the incident, and only sent Clarke to the bin after the Dragons’ players began pushing and shoving the Widnes captain.

Betts said: “We lost Jon Clarke for nothing, after turning the game into football play-acting.

“The linesman didn’t see anything, the referee didn’t see anything. Just because players have come over and starting pushing and shoving, he has put him in the bin.

“I thought it was a really poor call, because he is in the bin for something that he can’t be sure of.”

The game went from bad to worse for Betts, when Joe Mellor and Lloyd White were stretchered off the field with serious injuries. 

Betts said: “They’re not very good at all. We lost Joe with an ankle injury and Lloyd did his knee, but it’s too early to say what the extent of the damage is.

“I think I have some phone calls to make. I might have to put out an under 20s side next week against Warrington.”

However Betts was pleased with his side’s performance despite the 42-34 loss, which saw Thomas Bosc and Dureau score late tries to seal the Vikings’ fate.

Betts said: “I’m really proud of the effort. We showed that we can match up to sides and get some wins if we show that kind of effort.”

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