Magic Weekend: Smith sympathy for Widnes after mauling

Warrington coach Tony Smith said he had sympathy for Widnes after watching his side run in 11 tries in a 68-4 victory.

The Super League new boys have struggled upon their return to the top flight, and they were put to the sword by a clinical Warrington outfit in the first half, as the Wolves raced in to a 40-0 lead inside the first 28 minutes.

Widnes briefly rallied either side of half time, and were able to at least get on the scoresheet through Kurt Haggerty, but the Wolves added five more tries in the final quarter to go top of Super League, for 24 hours at least.

Smith said: “I can’t draw up the league. Somebody had to play Widnes and it was us today.

“They’re going to improve. They were always going to have some of these days. That’s what happens when you find our you’re entering a competition six months before.

“If you want to do it properly, you’ve got to give them three year’s notice and some dispensation. You don’t tell them to put a team together in six month and then expect them to compete at this level.

“You get what you get and they have done pretty well. They’ll get better and will learn from some of these experiences. I feel for them. We can’t kick them to death when they don’t perform.”

The writing was on the wall for Widnes inside the first five minutes. First, Matty Blythe sliced through a gaping hole in the Widnes left hand side defence, and moments later, Garreth Carvell punctured through the middle to score a try.

Joel Monaghan claimed a high kick to score the first of his five tries, and Ryan Atkins made it 22-0 before the 20 minute mark was even reached.

Monaghan grabbed his hat trick inside 24 minutes, and Blythe’s second, together with former Widnes loanee Gareth O’Brien‘s sixth goal of the half, made it 40-0 at the break.

Astonishingly, considering the final scoreline, Widnes managed to keep the Wolves scoreless for 30 minutes in the middle of the match, but last season’s minor premiers showed no mercy in finishing the match, as Monaghan, Blythe, Stefan Ratchford and Ben Currie scored further tries, before Monaghan rubbed even more salt in the wounds by crossing on the hooter.

It was Widnes’ 13th defeat of the season, and they have now conceded more than 700 points in just 15 games back in the top flight.

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