Injury crisis crippling Widnes, admits Denis Betts

Widnes coach Denis Betts says the mounting injury list is costing the Vikings valuable points at the minute.

A very youthful and depleted Vikings side were comfortably beaten by Hull FC 39-20 at the Halton Stadium on Thursday evening.

Widnes were without 11 senior players for the game and were dealt further blows when Chris Dean and Chris Houston left the field and didn’t return.

Betts admitted that the Vikings were beaten by the better side, but believes the injury list is costing them points.

Speaking after the game, he said: “It’s like I’m in some kind of vortex at the moment were every time I turn around, someone collapses on me.

“It’s a bizarre situation to be in, we went through something pretty tight last year with players falling around us.

“We’ve got more experience than last year, but I’m relying on people to do their jobs against players with more experience and who are better than they are and eventually, we are getting rolled.

“We dug in, we fought and took the lead, but then lose Chris Houston. He has been our best players this year and it zaps the energy out of you when you see another player leave the field. We got beat by a side who have got a couple of fantastic players, (Albert) Kelly was up for Man of Steel last year and he will be up there this year.”

Betts insisted that the effort was there from his youthful side though and thinks the Rugby Football League need to look at the Easter schedule.

He added: “I know the lads are putting their hearts and souls into it and the effort levels are good, but we are just not getting a break.

“I don’t really believe in luck and I don’t think we’re unlucky, I just think these things happen. It is disappointing to see that people around you are disappointed because they don’t think the players are trying – this is not the case.

“We had seven or eight players under 22 on the field and there was a lot of homegrown talent, but it doesn’t bode well when you aren’t winning games.

“Sometimes I question the sanity of our game to be able to play this game. It was our fourth game inside two weeks. I think we need to look at our scheduling and wonder why all teams have to play four games in two weeks.”


  1. I agree Denis, I also, like the majority of Widnes supporters, are behind you and the players.
    I think you and your team do a fantastic job with limited resources. The players are progressing excellently and are giving their all. The young talent coming through is exciting, a testimony to your managerial skills and their obvious talents, we are all proud of this and the pathway for local talent created.
    Admittedly, it’s no fun losing most weeks, and I can see it hurts you and the players, as much as it hurts us.
    It annoys me listening to the negative amongst us, who think a magic wand, a change of coach etc, will result in glory. I think they care enormously but are not helping nor do they understand the difficulties.
    We are competing against more wealthy and at the moment, far better supported clubs. More attractive to play for, more financial reward, bigger crowds, chances of winning trophies, and dare I say, live, maybe in nicer surondings. We are sadly seen by everyone as the basement boys, the perennial strugglers, who offer nothing to super league and are at best a good championship club. Tipped every year by everyone to finish bottom,
    If super league is cut, you bet your life it’s us, Widnes making way again!
    All Widnes supporters are passionate and it hurts the way the club s going, if it’s not bad luck with injuries I don’t know what it is, something isn’t right.
    There is a stand off at the moment with a lot supporters staying away, disillusioned by the club, it’s lack of empathy , contact and openness with fans, it’s apparent lack of ambition.
    Whatever is going ,on the club needs to be more transparent connect and liaise with their fans.
    The club is seen everyday, visiting one charity after another, then tweeting about this. Very applaudable indeed but they are forgetting , their principle raison d’etre, that is, they are a RUGBY LEAGUE CLUB, first and foremost!,
    for the community.
    While they’re busying themselves been seen with all the charities and sponsors, and back slapping themselves, they are ignoring and taking for granted or at worst, treating the fans like mugs!
    We are never in contention to sign a quality player, we are never linked with a player,we are promised players and strengthening of the squad but it never materialises. We sell our star half back to our bitter rivals and expected to take it on the chin, and our star winger goes back home. Are they replaced? You bet your life they are not.
    We sign PNG players, one has played probably an hour in total in ten minute spells, the other who played for PNG in the recent World Cup, deemed obviously not good enough.
    Yes we had an Australian forward lined up who was homesick, and didn’t come,we had the fantastic Otio who tragically died. I would have thought with Denis and our contacts in Australia, that during the World Cup, we would have signed some players. We lack star quality, SIZE, Speed and skill. Our youngsters with Houston Mellor and Cahill leading,are doing fantastically, but they are coming up short against bigger faster teams.
    Our squad is not big enough, too thin, as the yearly injury crisis shows.
    No doubt this all boils down to money, and lack of it. The spiralling lack of bums on seats not helping. The club has, to be at one with the fans, listen, talk, help, be honest and transparent.
    (We have to hear from the likes of Wire fm (Warrington) to hear news of Inu injury. )
    From the team to the stadium and dirty seats, covered in pigeon shit, the over top,rude stewarding. Lack of match day experience, value for money, high cost of entrance, lack of paying turnstiles, all love towards season ticket / stronghold members, the rest don’t matter.
    No standing areas, fans like away games better. No atmosphere, any atmosphere, quickly stamped out by stewards. I have gone on and on, and I could go on and on a lot more, like most passionate Widnes supporters.
    TIME FOR THE CLUB, and elusive Mr Rule and co, take the ear plugs out and LISTEN, before it’s TOO LATE!!
    Give the man some recourses for Christ sake!!
    I await your reply Widnes!
    I also am looking to the sky’s, to see PIGS FLY!

  2. as a hull fc fan I can sympathise with Widnes as we have been in the injury situation and still are even last night we had 5 or 6 missing . The ridiculous RFL making people ply three games in 7 days should be made to go out and try it,then maybe they would have more conxcern for the players welfare

    • I agree Alan it’s ok for the rfl hierarchy to sit there giving out the fixtures demanding sucha heavy fixture list at easter like you said if they had to turn out they would see it differently it’s a totallydifferent game now lot faster and harder re all the injuries so early in the season

  3. I agree Alan it’s ok for the rfl hierarchy to sit there giving out the fixtures demanding sucha heavy fixture list at easter like you said if they had to turn out they would see it differently it’s a totallydifferent game now lot faster and harder re all the injuries so early in the season

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