Wane hails his side’s character after tense win over Widnes

Rhys Hanbury of Widnes Vikings is held down by Sam Powell
Rhys Hanbury of Widnes Vikings is held down by Sam Powell

Shaun Wane hailed the character of his side after a tense 7-0 win at Widnes.

Josh Charnley scored the only try of the game in front of watching England coach Wayne Bennett.

This was the Warriors’ fifth win in succession away from the DW Stadium and moved them joint-top with Hull FC, who face Castleford on Sunday.

Wane conceded it was not a classic but given the circumstances - with nine frontline players absent - he was understandably proud of their effort.

He said: “There were a lot of errors, it wasn’t a great rugby league game, but in terms of desire it was the best for me.

“I was impressed. I thought 100 per cent the team with the most desire won.

“They were at full-strength, playing at home on a pitch which suits them - they’re a good team.

“We were down to the bare bones but we showed a lot of heart.

“With the players we had out and losing George (Williams) this morning, talk about under pressure and showing guts and desire.”

With Williams missing, Wane handed a debut to 20-year-old halfback Jake Shorrocks.

“I was out with the dogs when I got a call from the physio telling me George couldn’t play, so I called Jake,” said the coach.

“I could tell he was happy. He did well.”

While John Bateman was suspended, Wane said all the other eight players had injuries - though he hopes to welcome the Tomkins brothers, Joel and Sam, back for next week’s Challenge Cup tie with Castleford.

But he lost two more players in last night’s match, with Nick Gregson (knee) and Anthony Gelling (chest) not finishing the game.

Widnes coach Denis Betts, the England assistant coach, added: “Wayne will be really impressed. He’s been to two games and seen two tries. We had four good chances and they had one, which they scored and that’s the game.”