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Challenge Cup: Denis Betts delighted to end Widnes Vikings wait for semi-final berth

By Jonathan Doidge.   Last Updated: 05/06/14 11:02pm

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Denis Betts: Targeted a cup run from his Vikings team

Denis Betts: Targeted a cup run from his Vikings team

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Widnes coach Denis Betts says that the Vikings’ first Challenge Cup semi-final appearance in 18 years has a nice ring to it.

The Widnes coach guided his team to a 56-6 home success over Championship side Keighley Cougars and then told Sky Sports: “It was about just looking at ourselves, doing the right thing for the team and doing the right thing for how we want to play the game.

“What we looked at was the fact that it was a quarter-final. It wasn’t who we were playing. It was a quarter-final. We wanted to go out there. We wanted to play and we scored some points.

“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Keighley. They’ve got a tough game on Tuesday night against Whitehaven. They made some changes and they had a go.

"They were pretty physical at times but we stuck to our task and we got some good tries.

“We targeted getting this far in the cup and having a real good cup run. It doesn’t matter what the scoreline says, this is cup rugby. It doesn’t matter who the opposition are.

“We now go into the semi-final. We’ve got a chance to get some bodies back fit and we’ve got a chance to get ourselves moving forward in the league and we’ll take on the semi-final.

“It sounds really nice that we’re playing in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup so we’ll take that on in August when it comes about.”

Brown stars

Despite three tries for Tom Gilmore the media’s man of the match award went to Kevin Brown, who scored two tries and had a hand in several others.

"We targeted getting this far in the cup and having a real good cup run. It doesn’t matter what the scoreline says, this is cup rugby."
Denis Betts

The Widnes skipper said: “I think the boys were real professional. They got the job done and they got a good reward of being in the semi-final as well.

“The good thing is we stuck to the plan and we got the job done. You don’t want to give them any energy and anything to build on and the boys were pretty clinical early on.

“The scoreline could perhaps have blown out a little bit more but we’re really happy and I don’t think we’ve got any injuries as well which is good.”

Gilmore was naturally delighted with his try treble and after the match he expressed how pleased he was that his side stuck to the gameplan.

"It was very pleasing from us. We wanted to keep it simple and that’s what we did," he said.

“We thought if we don’t force anything we will just walk over them and it was easy in the end but we didn’t want to take anything for granted.

“We wanted to start fast and show how we play in Super League. The final is in the back of our heads and we’ve been thinking about getting to that final so hopefully we will carry on and do that.”

Of his captain’s performance, the half-back added “Everyone knows Kev’s our main player. We rely a lot on him. He’s a big player. Unfortunately he didn’t get picked for England in the week which is disappointing for him and maybe he should have.”

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