Rugby League - Smith satisfied after Wolves win

Tony Smith hopes Warrington's close call against Wakefield can stand them in good stead for the rest of the season after they won 41-34 in West Yorkshire.

PA Sport
Rugby League - Smith satisfied after Wolves win

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Tony Smith said there was some good elements and some bad elements of Warrington's victory

Smith's side twice looked in complete command at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium, leading their hosts 24-6 and 40-22 as Ryan Atkins, Joel Monaghan and Stefan Ratchford scored two tries apiece. Wakefield would not make life easy for them, though, closing to 24-22 and 40-34 before Brett Hodgson put them to sleep with a late one-pointer.

"I've been around long enough to win and lose, to lose games late on," Smith said. "I don't worry about those things and it is good experience for the other games to come. I wouldn't want us to get into a position where we lose being in control but I don't worry about it. We like to work through things like that calmly."

Warrington take a break from the league to play Keighley at the start of their Challenge Cup defence next week, and Smith confirmed the game will mark Lee Briers' return from a four-month absence with a neck injury. The Australian will also be looking for an improvement in his side's defensive output, albeit against a lower-ranked side.

"We were mixed all over the place, there was some good, some bad and some in between," he said. "Our attack was good and I liked some of what we did, but defensively we were way out. We knew we would get tested as they are a good team with experienced players. We knew they would ask questions but we didn't have the answers.

"We have things we need to address and we are not shying away from our defence. We had a healthy lead and it would have been nice to have closed it out."

For Wakefield it was an afternoon of missed opportunities. Any side which scores six tries against Warrington would expect to get the victory, but the Wildcats were unable to find a clincher. But, this show, without senior heads Richard Mathers and Justin Poore, gave coach Richard Agar things to smile about.

"We were doing good things for large part of the game, but we know we have defensive things to work on too," he said. "This has been the hardest six weeks of our season and we were happy with large parts. Our attack came back well, even if we started sloppily.

"Defensively we were a little off and against a team with as much quality as Warrington we don't need to give them a start. But I applaud us for coming back and we look like we have plenty of points in us."

Agar would not point too much of a finger at the Paul Sykes penalty that failed to find touch late on, but did concede: "We tried to bite off more than we could chew. We would back ourselves to score from anywhere within a set of six without that."

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