Shaun Wane: Widnes comments "fired up Wigan Warriors"
Head coach Shaun Wane has said Wigan's 62-4 thumping of Widnes on Saturday was inspired by comments made by the Vikings in the build-up to the game.
Widnes coach Denis Betts was unhappy that Gareth Hock, who is on loan from the Warriors, was not allowed to feature against his parent club.
Betts suggested Wigan were "afraid" of facing the England second-row forward.
"We used it to our benefit. I don't understand why it was said, but it was said," Wane told BBC Radio Manchester.
"There was a challenge laid down. There were some hurtful comments made and we responded to it.
"We showed that our players are tough, they play tough and I thought our mental toughness in the game was fantastic."
Josh Charnley scored four of Wigan's 11 tries as to move within a point of leaders Huddersfield Giants at the top of the table.
Speaking after Saturday's game, Betts told BBC Radio Merseyside: "It was disappointing. You've got to put it in perspective and I thought Wigan were fantastic.
"I honestly thought it would be a closer game than it was but we got steamrollered. They looked like they were on fast forward and we looked like we were on pause.
"If you don't play at full tilt in every single play, a side like Wigan will catch you out. It was a big slap in the face from a side that ran hard, tackled hard and wanted to play more than we did."