WIDNES Vikings head coach Dennis Betts has responded to complaints by Wakefield Wildcats’ Richie Mathers about the club’s ‘i-pitch’ by telling the full-back to “man up”.
Mathers, who’s on a season-long loan at Wakefield from Castleford Tigers, posted pictures of his grazed arms and legs on Twitter immediately after the match, pointing the finger at Widnes’ 4G surface for the injuries.
The pitch is the first of its kind in Super League and was always going to be a talking point when it made its debut as Wakefied beat the Vikings 32-14 at the Stobart Stadium on Friday.
Mathers tweeted: “The I pitch is an absolute joke... no skin on elbows & knees, £atrocious.” He went on to tweet: It’s nothing aimed at widnes, great club & happy they are bk in.. It’s just the surface, in my experience, isn’t right for super league.”
Betts has responded by defending the surface, saying it “is the future for this kind of sport” and hit out at Mathers.
“I think it’s definitely down to the conditions,” he told Sky Sports News.
“We had 34 blokes running around on Friday night and we had one bloke (Mathers) complaining, I think that speaks volumes.
“It’s a very tough sport, I think you’ve just got to man up a little bit.”
Wakefield Wildcats head coach Richard Agar also defended the Vikings pitch in Friday’s post-match press conference.
Although airing his concerns about the pitch being difficult under footing, Agar urged Super League to “give it a go”.
He said: “The jury’s out, let’s all give it a chance.
“I think everybody’s going to be quick to really pick on the negatives about it. There are a lot of positives so let’s see how it plays over a little bit of a test of time before we all start complaining that we’ve all got sore knees.”
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