Mathers bows out on high as Rhinos routed

Tony Smith has made a habit of disappointing players in his Warrington squad named Richard, but he had nothing but appreciation for Messrs Mathers and Myler at Wembley yesterday.

Richie Mathers had his tenure at full-back effectively terminated by Smith's decision to sign Huddersfield's Brett Hodgson for next season and he is to pursue his career at Castleford.

Lee Briers won the Lance Todd Trophy by a distance, but both he and Smith picked out Mathers as an outstanding contributor. "He made not only try-saving but game-saving tackles," said Smith.

"He's a terrific young man and he's shown up and done a fantastic job for us."

Briers' calculation was that Mathers had made three try-saving tackles behind his own line. He also had a try debatably disallowed and set up the last for Louis Anderson with a clever one-handed pass.

"It's no secret that I think a lot of these guys and this club," Mathers said. "I really wanted to go out on the right note." He certainly did that – and another one to strike the right tone was Richie Myler.

Smith left him out of his Cup final team but the young half-back swallowed his bitter disappointment on the day and, at full-time, could be seen in an embrace and a heart-to-heart with Briers.

"Any rugby player would be gutted to be dropped for a Cup final and a few tears were shed, but I had to put on a brave face for the lads," he said. "My day will come."

"For a 20-year-old," said Briers, "he has shown massive maturity and professionalism."

Those were commodities which Briers himself was popularly supposed to lack earlier in his career, but his man-of-the-match performance at Wembley was a mark of how far he has come. He said: "It was a bit of a goal for myself but I didn't tell anyone about it. I'm a team player, not an individual player and that was the importance of it."

For Leeds, the disappointment was intense. "We were floored," said their coach, Brian McClennan.

"You just won't get any more disappointed in sporting terms than this. I don't think there was any freezing, but as the game went on they got more and more possession. I think Warrington were very, very good. They were very strong and very powerful."

The Leeds captain, Kevin Sinfield, described himself as "embarrassed" by his team's performance.

"But I thought they were outstanding," he said of the victors. "They played some great stuff."

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory