Magic Weekend: Denis Betts delighted with Widnes Vikings' win over Salford Red Devils
Widnes coach Denis Betts praised the character of his side after they overcame two early injury blows to beat Salford.
Last Updated: 17/05/14 7:07pm
The Vikings lost scrum-half Danny Craven inside the first minute after he knocked himself out attempting to tackle Gareth Hock, while captain Jon Clarke went off shortly afterwards with a calf injury.
But the Vikings went on to score six tries, twice coming from behind to take their first victory at the Etihad Stadium showpiece.
"There is no question about the character in this team but to see it coming out in that kind of situation was fantastic," Betts said.
"We lost Danny Craven in the first 30 seconds and then Jon Clarke 10 to 15 minutes into the game so we lost all our attacking shape virtually.
"Kevin Brown and Rhys Hanbury had to organise the team and we were all over the shop attacking wise but I think what you saw was a really good team effort, with players willing to work hard for each other.
"I'm really proud of them with the knocks we took to score more tries than them and have two opportunites at the end to take it away from them quite clearly."
Kevin Brown played a starring role in the victory, winning his half-back duel with Rangi Chase.
Betts added: "He's been fantastic for us. I made him my key signing and you can see why. Everything I saw when he was 18 or 19 when I was coaching the Under-19s at Wigan is still there. He's international class."
One of the key moments of the match came when Widnes full-back Rhys Hanbury sprinted away for a 95-metre try after an awful collision between Lama Tasi and Macgraff Leuluai, with referee Tim Roby choosing not to halt play immediately despite the head injury.
"I think if it's a head injury, it stops," Salford head coach Iestyn Harris said.
"That's the duty of care we have in rugby league and I'm not sure why he didn't stop it. We had doctors and physios running on the field and everybody waits to watch a 90-metre try. We should have prevented it but you'd have expected the game to have been stopped."
The defeat leaves Salford without a win in six matches but Harris is adamant that his team are on making progress.
Harris said: "One of their tries was 100 per cent from a forward pass which came off a really dominant defensive set and they are crucial things in a game. I thought Greg Eden had a try - I don't know why they didn't go to the screen.
"That game was there for us to dominate. The boys are pretty disappointed because they showed a lot of effort .
"Just at the moment things are going against us and heads are going down. They're hurting but they're a resilient bunch and we're working hard to turn it around."