Betts keen for quick start, but calls for clam regardless of Widnes’ result against Warrington

Denis Betts is aware of the need for Widnes to get off to a strong start in the Qualifiers – but insists they cannot panic if they lose.

The two Cheshire clubs will open the Qualifiers competition on Friday night as they look to set the pace before their six counterparts take to the field at the weekend.

With a home fixture and clashes with part-timers Halifax and Featherstone up first, Betts has made it clear that his side need to start strong after finishing at the bottom of the Super League ladder at the end of the regular season.

However, with the Vikings yet to defeat Warrington in three attempts this season, Betts insisted they won’t be in disarray if they fall short.

“Warrington will think exactly the same as us,” he said.

“Everyone will think if they can get a win it gets them moving. But we can’t see it as the be all and end all, we’re playing a Super League side who will be in contention for one of those top three spots that everyone is chasing.

“They’re a good side. They’ve got some good players, they’ve got experience. I think every time we’ve played them this year we’ve had a young side out there. We’ve been enthusiastic but just lacked a bit of composure, the game smarts to shut the game down.”

Betts highlighted new Wire centre Peta Hiku as one of the Wolves’ major threats, having improved on a weekly basis since his move to Super League from Penrith Panthers.

“Hiku has been very good signing actually, when you look at bolstering your squad for these type of things, they’ve had the ability, the money and the quality in their group to drag an international centre into their group.”