Widnes Vikings: Denis Betts proud of Super League comeback
Widnes Vikings head coach Denis Betts has spoken of his pride in his players after they came from behind with 12 men to secure a draw with Wigan.
In Super League's opening game, the Vikings had Patrick Ah Van sent off for a swinging arm on Josh Charnley when they were trailing 10-0.
Widnes also lost captain Kevin Brown with a concussion, but came back from 22-12 down in the second half to draw.
"To say that I'm proud of them would be an understatement," said Betts.
He told BBC Radio Merseyside: "To come through that kind of game, the physicality and how tough it was - it was a very brutal game of rugby league.
"There were people getting hit off balls and getting hit a little bit late, and it wasn't just one side."
In front of a crowd of 9,286, the club's biggest in 10 years, Widnes took the game to last season's Grand Finalists in the second half despite their man disadvantage.
Tries from Joe Mellor and Rhys Hanbury either side of the break gave the hosts a lift from trailing 16-0, before Cameron Phelps and Chris Dean crossed late on to secure a point.
On the Ah Van red card, Betts said: "He's made contact with the head and I think it's a sending off.
"There must have been some contact with the head from a swinging arm.
"I'd love to stand up for Pat as I think it is not malicious, but he's caught him on the head and I do believe the referee got it right."