Betts blasts ‘atrocious’ tackle on young star

Denis Betts was left fuming following a dangerous tackle on rookie pivot Jordan Johnstone during Widnes’ comfortable Challenge Cup victory over Rochdale.

Johnstone was taken off after a shot from Rochdale forward Jo Taira, an incident which saw him given a yellow card, but which wasn’t enough for Betts’ liking. Taira has subsequently been charged by The RFL with Grade D strikes with the forearm, which could result in a 3-5 game ban.

“I thought the tackle on Jordan was atrocious – it was a red card straight away.

“The referee can’t penalise someone for foul play, see the lad go off and then put a yellow card up in the air. It’s an 18-year-old kid, and he elbows him in the back of the head. The referee has got to take control there. He knows what the player has done and he allows him to continue.

“He’s got his whereabouts back, he’s a tough cookie – but he was in line for having a wow of a game, and he’s had it taken away from him. Opportunities don’t come around like that very often.”

Meanwhile, Widnes are set to lose Tom Gilmore after he dislocated his shoulder during the match.

The sixth round draw will be live on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this Thursday at 8.30am.