Wakefield Wildcats duo support team-mate over Widnes Vikings' pitch worries

THE debate over the suitability of Widnes Vikings' i-pitch has rumbled on with two more Wakefield Wildcats' players questioning whether it's right for Super League.

Danny Kirmond and Peter Fox, who both played in Wakefield's 32-14 victory at the Stobart Stadium last Friday, have aired their doubts over Super League's first 4G playing surface.

Their concerns come hot-on-the-heels of Wildcats full-back Richie Mathers's attack on the Vikings pitch, calling it an "absolute joke" on his Twitter account immediately after the match, as well as posting pictures of bruises to his knee.

Vikings head coach Dennis Betts responded to Mathers's criticism by telling him to "man up" in an interview this week and the debate has rumbled on almost a week later.

Kirmond, one of Wakefield's star peformers in their victory over Widnes, has defended his team-mate and has questioned whether the top-of-the-range artificial surface will pass the test of time.

"I think what Richie Mathers has said has been taken a bit out of context," said Kirmond.

"People are saying he's a bit of a moaner but he never once moaned that he was in pain or anything he just questioned whether it's the best thing for rugby league. Looking what happened last week you'd have to question whether it is with what happened to people's knees and elbows.

"But I've spoken with a couple of their players and they've said it's not normally that bad, it was frozen underneath. It's a test of time really, it'll either come good or it'll just stay the same and then they'll have to do something about it."

Fox, who scored two tries to help Richard Agar's men to victory in Cheshire, believes it'll be called into question throughout Super League XVII.

He said: "If you're playing outside with the ice on the pitch you're going to get the same cuts and grazes as a hard pitch but I think with it being plastic you're going to get more burns - that's inevitable.

"I think it'll be an on-going problem all year, I think players will get burns more than playing on other pitches."

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