Smith praises Atkins
Gentle proud of his side's spirit
Last Updated: June 24, 2012 6:58pm
Tony Smith: pleased with second-half display
Warrington coach Tony Smith praised the contribution of Ryan Atkins after the centre's hat-trick of tries in the Wolves' 40-18 win over Hull.
The England international grabbed two first half tries and claimed his hat-trick with a superb individual effort to put his side on the road to victory and close the gap on leaders Wigan to a point.
Smith said: "Ryan was on fire today, in real good form. He looked sharp, powerful and speedy for most of the game.
"And he did some tough stuff for us as well, it just wasn't all flashy stuff, it just looked like that when he got the ball someone hit the fast forward button.
"He just went tearing into them at both ends and some of his carries early in sets got us the momentum we were looking for.
"I thought Trent Waterhouse was very strong and powerful for us also and the other stand out was Stefan Ratchford who I thought was brilliant at full back and has real big influence on us. It was also great to have Michael Monaghan back who slotted straight back in."
Smith was delighted how his side lifted in the second half after going in level 18-18 at half time.
The Wolves boss added: "The game was there at half time for whichever team wanted to lift.
"I thought in the second half we were very good and across the board to a man they all lifted and responded and looked sharp.
"I didn't think we were bad in the first half, we just lacked a little intensity and in those few moments Hull took every advantage.
"I thought we looked like a team who had had a week off and just a bit rusty and we had a tough week with illness in the group and the atrocious weather so we probably got the first half performance we prepared for."
Hull coach Peter Gentle was disappointed with a huge penalty count against his side during the game.
Hull were on the receiving end of a 15-8 penalty count and also had Willie Manu sin-binned during the second half when the Wolves grabbed two tries in his absence.
Gentle said: "The rucks were disgraceful today, they were the slowest they have been all year and unfortunately he was only penalising one side.
"Against a side running second on the table you need to go 50-50 with possession of the football but a with a two to one penalty count you've not a chance.
"I thought our guys were good for periods but it was hard to generate any kind of field position and I don't think we played the ball once in their 20 in the second half.
"I'm proud of the spirit the boys showed, they dug in and really tried hard but they became as increasingly frustrated as I did.
"It's disappointing but I saw enough spirit there that we'll get back on the horse and be right for next week."