Widnes co-captain Chris Houston let his team-mates down after being sent off for dissent during their defeat to Salford on Thursday, insisted coach Francis Cummins.
The Vikings remain bottom of Super League having lost 26-12 at the Red Devils – with a second successive stint in the Qualifiers now appearing increasingly likely.
The game was perhaps still in the balance when Houston was sin-binned – before sarcastically applauding referee James Child, leaving the official with no choice but to send him off before his 10 minutes in the bin had even begun.
And Cummins was unimpressed with Houston’s actions. He said: “You have got to show the referee respect. I’m not sure about the initial incident (which Houston was binned for) but you can’t do that in a game. He’s let his team-mates down.”
Widnes led 12-8 at half-time but failed to score a point after the break – and Cummins insisted his side’s second-half performance left them getting what they deserved.
“I think we disrespected each other in the things we did,” he said.
“We were in a good position at some stages of the game and in charge of field position, but we then decided to show the ill-disciplined side of ourselves. Fair play to Salford, they’re down to the bare bones – but if you put in a performance like that, you don’t deserve to win.”