Smith pleased by defensive effort

Warrington 24 Hull 12
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The Independent Online

Warrington put some daylight between themselves and a rival for a play-off place with a display that was uneven at best.

In one of their aberrant kit phases, Hull used to have purple patches on their shirts. Yesterday, they were the victims of one as the Wolves scored all their points in a 14-minute burst either side of half-time.

Even the Wolves' coach, Tony Smith, had to admit that that burst of scoring was out of character with the rest of his team's performance.

"It wasn't really an inspiring game of rugby league to watch," he said. "There were a lot of errors from both teams and there were too many one out hit-outs. I was pleased with the defence, that was the positive thing.

"But then we played some attractive stuff and that was encouraging because it shows what we can do. I like us to play smarter and be a lot more inspired."

Smith picked out the work-rate of the young loose forward, Ben Harrison, in the gruelling conditions for special mention, but otherwise this was a non-vintage Warrington performance that was still too good for struggling Hull.

The first half had been a dour affair, in which Jodie Broughton's 26th-minute try looked like being the only one. The young Leeds player, in the last game of his loan spell, had picked off an intercept from Michael Monaghan to go 65 metres to break the deadlock.

That was the way it stayed until the stroke of half-time, when Richie Mathers, whose form since arriving from Wigan as the make-weight in the Martin Gleeson deal has been one of the bonuses under the Smith regime, made a break down the left.

Not only that, but he had the composure to wait for Chris Riley to arrive, get the ball to him and level the scores.

That seemed to lift Warrington for the second half. Within four minutes of the restart, Jamie Thackray had lost the ball in a tackle and Monaghan, who the club have confirmed is staying for another year, burst through and got the try-scoring pass to Paul Wood.

Chris Bridge missed a chance to scoop up a loose ball near the try-line, but soon made up for it with the pass that enabled Matt King to battle his way over with a couple of hand-offs.

Another Monaghan break, supported by Vinnie Anderson, set up the hard-working Harrison and Warrington were in the clear.

Kirk Yeaman's try from Shaun Berrigan's pass, gave a hint of what might have been for Hull, but their coach, Richard Agar, was left to lament the quarter hour when the game had gone right away from them.

"The effort was good for periods, but individual errors are haunting us," he said. This was their fifth defeat in six games and leaves Hull with a battle to make the play-offs.

"Our effort was good in parts but it's a recurring theme that individual errors are haunting us," Agar added. "We had to front it up and tough it out but unfortunately we weren't able to do that."

Warrington: Mathers; Hicks, Bridge, King, Riley; Grix, Monaghan; Morley, Clarke, Carvell, L Anderson, Westwood, Harrison. Substitutes used: Wood, Cooper, V Anderson, Johnson.

Hull: Tony; Broughton, G.Horne, Yeaman, Raynor; R Horne, Lee; Dowes, Berrigan, Radford, Burnett, Manu, Tickle.

Substitutes used: Houghton, Whiting, King, Thackray.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens)

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