Widnes coach Denis Betts is still experiencing a warm glow of satisfaction after his team’s victory over Leeds at the weekend.
The Vikings coach believes that the 38-24 win is a just reward for his side’s work over the last three weeks, a period in which they have faced some of Super League‘s top teams.
“It’s very satisfying, obviously,” he said.
“We’ve not beaten Leeds since 2003 as a club. It’s a massive achievement for an organisation to beat a side that’s such a great side.
“They’ve been a champion side for such a long time, with such great players in there.
“To get the win when they are flying as high as they are in the league, it’s a justification of how well we’ve been playing.
“We needed that win to really start our season off.
“The last three weeks we’ve been away from home, and had to fight really hard just to get close to St Helens and Warrington and to understand what you get when you play against these top sides.
“You’ve got to play at that level every single week.
“Over these last three weeks we’ve not got lots of rewards for the amount of effort that we’ve put in.
“But the character has shone through. We’ve worked hard and stayed true to what we’re trying to do.
“And we got a really convincing, strong win against a side that’s flying high in the league.”
One player who was particularly pleased by the win was Chris Clarkson, who is on loan at Widnes from Leeds.
The back rower scored a try against his parent club, and has not been slow to claim bragging rights from his former team-mates.
“He’s been gloating,” Betts said.
“He’s been walking round with a big smile on his face, and there’s probably been a couple of texts and a couple of tweets flying between him and his friends at Leeds at the moment.
“He’s got the bragging rights at the moment, he got the first try against them.
“But he had a tough afternoon. No matter how much you’ve shared with somebody, if you play in the opposition in a rugby league sense, then there is always a little bit of toughness and niggle.
“I think Chris got a touch up from a couple of his ex-team-mates!”