Tony Smith defends officials as Warrington Wolves slowed by Hull KR

Smith can't blame opposition for trying to slow likes of Higham, pictured.

Smith can't blame opposition for trying to slow likes of Higham, pictured.

First published in Sport by , Sports reporter

WARRINGTON Wolves boss Tony Smith says opposition players are taking it ‘to the edge’ in a bid to stop quick play-the-balls for his side.

The Hull KR crowd voiced their discontent with referee Ben Thaler in Wolves’ win on Friday, as the hosts’ penalty count soared.

But Smith defended the officials and insists the players are the ones making the decision to slow the game down.

“Any team who are going to play against us doesn’t want us to play fast, it’s going to be slow and it can be frustrating,” he said.

“That’s the challenge for us, not to be slowed down, and sometimes that challenges the officials as well – teams take it right to the line if not over the line to compete.

“If there are a lot of stoppages it’s not always the officials’ fault, it’s tactical sometimes. Do I give away the penalty or do I get off and let somebody get up and we’re not set yet?

“I can see those decisions, I won’t say we’re squeaky clean but don’t always blame the officials on that account, there are some decisions being made by players not to allow the play to roll on.”

However the Wolves boss says he cannot blame some defences for trying to slow a side containing the likes of Stefan Ratchford and Micky HIgham down.

“They deem a penalty as a better option than a quick play-the-ball for somebody to break away,” he added.

“I don’t blame them sometimes, if you’ve got Stefan Ratchford ready to rip out of there or Micky Higham I’d hold on a little bit longer sometimes too.

“There may well be some funny decisions and there always is in game of rugby league but if you get out there and have a crack at it it’s a tough job.”

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