Widnes hit back at iPitch knockers

Widnes Vikings have hit back after comments made by Wakefield players regarding the safety of the club’s new artificial pitch.

The 4G pitch, known as the iPitch, is a revolutionary concept in the sport and was laid at the Stobart Stadium over the off season.

Richie Mathers has used his Twitter account to complain about the new playing surface and posted pictures of injuries which he believed were caused by the pitch. 

Widnes CEO, Julie Gaskell has denied these claims and believes the injuries were more likely due to the severe weather conditions the game was played in.

She said: “We had four games on the pitch this weekend and you have to bear in mind the extreme weather,”

“Certainly on Friday night it went down to minus seven. The injuries are consistent with those on any surface in those temperatures and we noted there were similar injuries from the game at Salford on Saturday night.

“Our players have been training on a similar surface for the last nine months and there have been no issues. I am sure any problems would have shown up.

“We have also had five-a-side football and boys and girls tag rugby on the pitch over the last four weeks and again we have had no reported injuries.”

The RFL have also pledged their support to the Vikings.

An RFL spokesperson said: ““We are happy for Widnes to continue using the iPitch.

“The indications are that it posed no more danger to players than on any other surface over the weekend. We believe the extreme weather may have been an issue.”

However Widnes were denied a 2013 World Cup fixture by the RLIF who didn’t sanction the new playing surface when announcing the selected venues last November.

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