sport

Smith delighted by Wolves show

Head coach Tony Smith felt Warrington delivered their best performance of the season in their 24-6 win over deposed Super League leaders Leeds.

The Wolves were too quick for their opponents and eased to victory thanks in the main to Chris Bridge's 16-point haul, which took him past 1,000 in his career.

The utility back scored two tries in the first half to bring up 100 for the club and prop Chris Hill also crossed to give Wire an 18-0 half-time lead.

Kylie Leuluai went over to give Leeds slight hope but Joel Monaghan had the last word on an evening which belonged to the Wolves.

The triumph stretched Warrington's winning run to four matches and they laid down a title marker with the way they outplayed the six-time champions.

Smith was proud of his players and admitted Wire are playing their best rugby of 2014 at the moment.

"It was a really good effort," he said.

"We have defended with less missed tackles before and scored bigger points than that, but in terms of effort and commitment to one another and commitment to the cause, that was our best display.

"We knew we were up against a team who are fantastic at preventing tries being scored. Their full-back, Zak (Hardaker), is the best in the competition.

"We knew we had to be equally committed and I thought we were outstanding in terms of covering for each other."

The former Leeds coach reserved special praise for Bridge and Hill, who laid the platform for the win with a number of rampaging runs through the middle.

"Hilly didn't come off until 61 minutes," Smith said. "There's only one other prop in the competition who puts in those sort of shifts and that is JP (Jamie Peacock).

"It was 61 minutes of full-on, high-pressured commitment and effort."

He added: "Bridgey is on fire at the moment. He has found a new lease of life and loves that half-back position. He's doing really well there."

Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott conceded his team could not match Warrington's commitment and speed in the first half.

"I felt Warrington played far too fast and with too much intent for us," McDermott said after a loss which saw his men concede top spot to St Helens.

"We didn't have enough intent during that game and they exposed some of our defensive intent."

Leeds do not have long to dwell on only their third defeat of the season with a Challenge Cup quarter-final against Championship leaders Leigh Centurions coming up next Friday.

The Rhinos are strong favourites to reach the last four but McDermott is expecting a fierce test from a side with a 100 per cent record this season.

He added: "They are a good team and would mix it with some Super League teams. We are preparing for a good team."