Smith hails “outstanding” Wolves

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Published: Thursday 2nd July 2015 by The News Editor

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Warrington coach Tony Smith praised his side’s “gutsy” effort as they overcame the absence of eight first-teamers to strengthen their Super League top-eight hopes with a 17-6 win over Wigan.

The depleted Wolves were boosted by an early spectacular solo try from scrum-half Richie Myler and defended superbly to build on the lead.

“It was probably our best defensive effort for a long while,” Smith said. “I thought we were outstanding.

“With the ball I didn’t think we were great and some of Wigan’s execution was not as good as it has been. Some of that was down to my boys but had their chances gone to hand, they would have tested us a lot more.

“For us it was about digging deep. We had a tough encounter last week and it was backs-to-the-wall stuff. “

Already without forwards Anthony England and Ben Currie through suspension and with six other regulars missing through injury, the Wolves lost forward George King with a torn bicep and full-back Matty Russell battled on with an ankle injury on his comeback from a three-month lay-off with a knee injury.

“You should see what went they through in the week to get on the park,” Smith said. “We’ve got people busted all over the place and some had to play 80 minutes. It was a really gutsy performance.”

Myler caught the eye with his opportunist try in which he reacted first to his own kick, fly-hacked the ball on and regathered it on the full to touch down, while Smith was also full of praise for veteran forward Ben Westwood and his understudy Sam Wilde, who made an encouraging debut.

“It was a fantastic half-back’s try, an absolute piece of brilliance,” Smith said of Myler’s score.

“Benny Westwood was back to his toughness and Brad Dwyer sped the game up, which was just what we needed, he gave us some spark that opened them up a few times.

“I’ve also got to give a big rap to Sam Wilde who was super in his first game. I described in the week as a young version of Benny Westwood and he showed that tonight. He’s just finishing his exams at school and I threw him in for one of the biggest tests of the year against Wigan. I think he came up with A stars.”

Ryan Atkins and Gareth O’Brien added further tries to extend Warrington’s lead to 17-0 and, although winger Dom Manfredi pulled a try back on 56 minutes, it was in vain as Wigan missed the chance to drawl level with leaders Leeds.

“We didn’t give ourselves a chance to win,” said Warriors coach Shaun Wane. “There were so many errors, I think we had 62 per cent completion.

“They were the best team and deserved the win.

“Perhaps it would have been better if they had been at full strength, I think that mentally may have got to us.

“We didn’t have conviction and didn’t put any pressure on them. They were fantastic and dominated the floor. It was a great atmosphere and you need a real strong referee when you come here. The game painfully slow and it was allowed to be that way. They got away with it and fair play to them.”

Published: Thursday 2nd July 2015 by The News Editor

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