Super League: Widnes coach Denis Betts can 'smell eighth spot'
Last Updated: 30/08/14 10:18am
Denis Betts: Widnes coach closing on playoffs
Widnes boss Denis Betts believes his side are now very close to securing a Super League playoff spot after ending Wigan's hopes of the League Leaders shield with a shock 24-10 victory.
The Vikings raced into a 14-0 lead, with Kevin Brown setting up tries for wingers Patrick Ah Van and Paddy Flynn, before touchdowns from Wigan's Dom Manfredi and Josh Charnley made it 14-10 at the break.
But Ah Van's second try put Widnes back in the driving seat as Danny Tickle booted six goals from six attempts against his old club.
Betts, whose side are now in seventh place ahead of the remaining weekend fixtures, said: "We have put ourselves in a strong position with only two games to go. We can now smell eighth spot.
"Wigan are a top side and set the benchmark. If you switch off for a second they will get you.
"They didn't score any points in the second half which was a great effort by us.
"We were composed from the start and handled the conditions well."
It was also an emotional farewell for skipper Jon Clarke in his last home match and the ex-Warriors hooker was thrilled with his send-off, saying: "We out-Wiganed Wigan!"
Betts, a former Wigan player and coach, added: "Jon was one of the first players I wanted to sign. His contribution on and off the field has been outstanding."
Man-of-the-match Tickle also received praise from Betts after his flawless performance with the boot.
"Danny strikes the ball superbly and has been fantastic for us all year with his enthusiasm," he added.
Wigan had Liam Farrell sin-binned in the second half for a late challenge on Joe Mellor, but boss Shaun Wane had no complaints with the result.
"We made 19 errors and conceded 17 penalties and you are not going to beat anybody with those stats," he said.
"They handled the conditions better than us and were worthy winners.
"I'm privately fuming because that was unacceptable and not a Wigan performance. We were poor against Hull KR in our last game and this was way below our standards."