Widnes coach Denis Betts left to rue further injury woes after Hull FC defeat

Widnes coach Denis Betts reflects on further injuries to his Vikings squad after a 39-20 defeat to Hull FC

Widnes coach Denis Betts was left to rue further injury woes to his already depleted squad as the Vikings suffered a fourth consecutive defeat against Hull FC.

Betts’ men came into Thursday’s Super League fixture without a number of senior figures and their situation was compounded with Chris Dean and Chris Houston forced off the field with apparent serious injury concerns.

The Vikings are without a victory since a success against Salford Red Devils last month and Betts admits his side are being tested to the limit, with a number of players playing out of position.

“Chris [Dean] snapped his bicep – freak accident. Chris Houston put a big push on in a bid to get a try,” Betts told Sky Sports.

“The hardest thing is it is a constant battle with halves playing at hooker and a hooker playing as a centre, who’s defending where and we are switching people around.

“We seemed to get the wind between our sails a little bit but we just ran out of steam and out of ideas. The scoreline doesn’t really reflect our effort. At 27-20 I don’t think we were bad value for being that close in the game. We just ran out of energy.”

Widnes have secured the short-term arrival of Leeds centre Jimmy Keinhorst on a month’s loan as they battle against their injury crisis and Betts is hopeful he will soon have some extra bodies back in the picture for their next game against Coventry Bears in the Challenge Cup.

“Just brought Jimmy on a month’s loan so that will be a boost for us,” he said. “Hopefully Patrick Ah Van and Lloyd White should be back in the picture.

“[But] I am not sure how long Chris Houston is going to be out for. Chris has been one of our best players all year and he was last year. If we lose him for a significant amount of time then that will be a big blow for us.

“I am mainly proud of the energy and effort. We have got eight or nine blokes out there, who have come through our system and are under 22.

“It’s quite a young side and everyone is playing out of position but I thought we had a dig. Hull are a bit beaten up as well – it is hard work for them as well but they have just got that little more quality.”

Hull FC coach Lee Radford admits his side are looking forward to home comforts after back-to-back matches on the road.

Hull FC coach Lee Radford admits his side make their job harder than necessary before a dominant second-half display saw them secure a 39-20 win against Widnes Vikings

“It could have been a fraction easier,” Radford said. “I thought we had plenty of opportunities in that first period to put some [more] points on the board. We just wanted that little bit too much too soon. It was tough. They are finding it tough with the players they have got missing.

“We have got seven days to prepare for Leeds. That is at our place so we are very grateful for that. It has been a tough period and there are some weary bodies out there.”

The visitors were forced to make do with only 16 players after Carlos Tuimvave failed to turn up for the encounter with an injury, despite having been initially named in the starting line-up.

“We had a disaster with Carlos on the interchange bench,” Radford added. “That’s the first time that {a player not showing up} has happened in my coaching career.

“He had an injection prior to the game and lost the sensation in his arm so it was a tough one. We were hoping that it would wear off and we were giving him every opportunity but it weren’t to be the case.”