Rugby League - Smith lauds Hock show

Tony Smith reflected on the "Gareth Hock show" as the England international played a key role in Widnes' victory over Warrington.

PA Sport
Rugby League - Smith lauds Hock show

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Tony Smith's Warrington suffered a shock derby defeat to Widnes on Good Friday

The Vikings produced a shock 38-22 derby victory over their local rivals, with Hock a dominant force. The Wigan loanee is one of the most destructive runners in the game on his day and this was one of those occasions.

Warrington boss Smith said: "It was the Gareth Hock show. He was the best player on the field. He came up with some big plays and he was great for them. He created turning points for them and he comes up with massive plays. He was so instrumental."

He added: "I don't think we played well enough to win that game. We got out-enthused and didn't control the game. We had a period after half-time where we could have taken control but we weren't able to do that.

"The enthusiasm of Widnes was terrific. Their support was great and defence was pretty solid. They have gone back to the drawing board and they deserve all the credit they will get from this victory. Widnes were better and deserved it.

The victory came just a week after Widnes were embarrassed at Wigan. The Vikings were thumped 62-4 at the DW Stadium but quickly regrouped to beat another title favourite.

"We still need to look at the second-half start but we were solid. Warrington are a tough side and difficult to break down but we did," said coach Denis Betts - still not entirely happy.

"When you think about the history of the club, the fans want this game and so do we - we are notching a few big scalps off. We are putting our mark down and building our confidence. I thought Warrington were really good and had a go at us but we stuck in.

"There's plenty of players who were impressive today. Rhys Hanbury was great but our best player on the field was Jon Clarke, he was outstanding - absolutely unbelievable.

"We are getting better and better. We have some options and no one is guaranteed a spot. We are generating competition and the players want to keep the jersey."

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