TONY Smith insists Warrington Wolves will react in a positive manner to being knocked out of the Challenge Cup at the semi-final stage to Leeds Rhinos.

Wolves were beaten 16-24 at Langtree Park, but return to Super League action next week against Castleford Tigers.

And Smith is confident his troops can pick themselves up from today’s loss and return to form ahead of the play-offs.

“I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble, they’ll be motivated,” said Wolves’ head of coaching and rugby. “We’re disappointed with some of our performance and the way we started that game.

“We didn’t build a platform to the game and I think it’ll be quite easy in going out and getting the players focused on going out and changing.

“They’re very good as a group at reacting to and learning lessons. As a team we always learn our lessons, from the hardest days we’ve had a pretty hard day there today in terms of lessons learned.”

Smith admitted Wolves lost momentum from the very start.

Kevin Sinfield put points on the board for Leeds within the opening minutes after Matty Russell ran into Ben Harrison and conceded an early penalty in front of the posts.

Wolves went in at the break 0-14 down, and despite a brief second-half reprieve were deservedly beaten at Langtree Park.

“The first half was not a great start,” added Smith.

“I think the first set that we got the ball was on the against and turned it over and probably lost a little bit of momentum in the way we would have liked to have started.

“Our attack wasn’t great, but the way we applied ourselves defensively in the first half was enormous.

“If you give the Rhinos that sort of ball in that position they’re going to score some points and it was 14 down and then we only had a couple of times in their half.

“We looked dangerous when we did, but it was at the back end of the half before we got any position to threaten them and put them under any pressure.

“It was pleasing we didn’t conceded more points to a team like them, but disappointed we attacked like that and it looked forced at times.”