Super League: Denis Betts delighted after Widnes beat St Helens
Last Updated: 21/04/14 6:26pm
Denis Betts hailed the impact of the players he brought in after Widnes recovered from their Good Friday derby-day blip by posting their first ever home triumph over St Helens in the Super League era.
Betts' side were humbled 44-6 by Warrington three days ago but that was soon forgotten as they bounced back in style, running in six tries against Nathan Brown's men to clinch a 40-26 victory.
Both coaches tinkered with their line-ups following the respective defeats to Warrington and Wigan, but it would not detract from a thrilling encounter at the Select Security Stadium.
"These Monday games can be a bit of lottery as you get beaten up on a Friday and then you go again," Betts said.
"The majority of the lads who played on Friday against Warrington put their hand up to play again, and that was a really pleasing thing for us.
"I thought the lads who came into the side - Grant Gore, Macgraff Leuluai and Paul Johnson - really gave us a lift.
"They had a lot of energy and they came into the team with some real purpose.
"And I'm made up for Grant, especially, as the last time he played a game was when he smashed his knee at Warrington. This is his first game back and I'm really proud of the kid.
"Macgraff was outstanding today as well."
He added: "I'm really pleased with the victory. It's the first time we've beaten them here at our own ground - we've come really close a few times but not got over the line, so today to do that is great."
Saints boss Brown accepted the scoreline was a fair one, and was left to rue his side's poor start.
"With four or five minutes to go, we were still in it, but the score probably reflected the game," he said.
"Our start to the game is an issue. We have not started games well at all. Whether it's kick-off, bomb or anything - we start the game very poorly and we have to look at it.
"The guys had plenty of fight in them - 18-4 down and we fought our way back - but credit to Widnes."
On the hectic Easter schedule, he added: "We had a lot of players out there who are young lads.
"The thing with Easter is that everyone is in the same boat. We had 10 lads who didn't play today but we are playing Leeds this week and we have a lot of injuries and that's just the way it is, but we will get some benefit of them not playing."
And Matty Dawson joined the injury list on Monday, with Brown revealing: "Matt Dawson has fractured his cheekbone. Matty has been playing well for us and it's a bit unfortunate, but that's the nature of the game."