Smith: Wolves helped by play-off experience

Double Challenge Cup winners Warrington are gearing up for an assault on the Super League title, and coach Tony Smith says the experience of last season has helped them.

The Wolves pushed Wigan all the way in the regular season but were dumped out of the play-offs by Huddersfield, two games from Old Trafford.

Smith said: “For sure it’s helped them. The experience of the Challenge Cup and the play-offs in particular is an enormous experience. Last year we didn’t get that, all we did was the cup, we didn’t have to back it up in the play offs and we couldn’t back it up during the season.

“There was a lot of mental fatigue rather than physical fatigue that the challenge was too big, but that’s the best way to learn. Some of the bad things that happen and mistakes you make help you learn and we feel we’re better prepared.

“We want to lift that cup for the third time and try and get into the finals and do a better job at that if we get that chance.”

The former Huddersfield and Leeds coach has strengthened his squad with the signings of full-back Brett Hodgson and wing man Joel Monaghan, to bolster an already strong line-up.

Smith said: “As you can expect they’ve been well received and they’ve settled in like they’ve been there for years. They bring some knowledge and experience to the team and they’ve been terrific so far.”

With such a strong team in place, Warrington will head in to the season as one of the favourites, but that is something that doesn’t concern Smith at the moment.

He added: “It doesn’t matter what other people think. Undoubtedly Wigan will start as favourites but that’s without a ball being kicked. It’s the same for us, it doesn’t really matter whether we’re well supported, we like to have to have support but whether we’re backed by the bookies or not means very little to us internally and I’m sure it’s the same with Wigan. 

“We’re just looking forward to getting out there and doing our best and if we do well and play to what we think we can, it’ll probably put us up around there competing again.”

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