Rugby League - Betts wants end to Easter double header

Widnes coach Denis Betts has joined the call for an end to the Easter double header, claiming it is "close to cruelty", after watching his patched-up side suffer a 62-6 mauling by Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium.

PA Sport
Rugby League - Betts wants end to Easter double header

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Denis Betts, Widnes Vikings head coach

Betts made six changes to the side that beat Warrington 38-22 on Good Friday, giving a full debut to 19-year-old scrum-half Tom Gilmore and a second appearance to 22-year-old hooker Grant Gore, and saw his inexperienced line-up cut to pieces by the ruthless Giants.

He noted the players he left out were "beaten up" and insisted he had no regrets over his decision to field an under-strength team. "If you'd have offered me two points a month ago from Catalan away, Wigan away, Warrington at home and Huddersfield, I would have taken them," he said.

Betts also pointed to Hull KR's 84-6 home defeat by leaders Wigan as further evidence of the futility of playing two games in four days in the modern era.

He said: "Easter been a part of my life since I can remember but I think you've got to look at this and say 'it doesn't work'.

"You cannot play the game the way it's played now and expect two games on a weekend.

"If you've got two big squads, you can do it but I had four or five lads out there who had played one or two Super League games.

"I didn't put them in because I wanted to see them play, I put them in because I didn't have anybody else."

Betts' comments echoed those of Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock, who condemned the hectic schedule pre-Easter, but Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson believes the double-header should be retained.

"You get one day extra from turning around from Sunday to Friday," he said. "We've know all along that we'd be playing Friday and Monday at Easter. I've got no complaints about it. You should get on with it. It's an opportunity to rack some points up."

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