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Warrington Wolves boss Tony Smith points to 'horribly messy' game and 'horrible' challenge
TONY Smith described Friday’s feisty encounter between Warrington Wolves and Catalan Dragons as ‘horribly messy’.
And he pointed the finger at referee Richard Silverwood and the match for officials for the game getting out of hand.
It climaxed in a brawl late in the second half, resulting in instigators Brent Webb, the Catalan full back, and Ben Westwood, Wolves’ Testimonial star, being sent to the sin bin.
Webb had also spent 10 minutes off the field earlier on when he was shown yellow for the technical offence of interfering at Ryan Atkins’ play-the-ball during a threatening attack.
There had been other scuffles in the second half and one at the back end of the first period, while the ruck area was a minefield throughout the 80 minutes and was weakly patrolled.
Smith, Wolves’ head of coaching and rugby, was also concerned by ‘several nasty incidents’ during the game and felt one challenge by Leon Pryce on Richie Myler was ‘horrible’.
Television replays indicated the Catalan stand off's knee and thigh area struck Myler's face while the Warrington scrum half was on his knees.
He said: “It was horribly messy.
“I walked off the pitch with Louis Anderson. I have the utmost respect and time for him because he plays it tough, and I respect players who play it tough.
“He was saying to me he hates how it just gets out of hand and becomes scrappy. I couldn’t agree with him more.
“It spoilt what could have been a really good game. It was lack of control. We got dragged into it as well – I’m not saying it was a one-way affair.”
He added: “I thought the game lacked control at the top and sometimes you’ve got to be tough with that.
“I thought there was way too much allowed in the ruck area, with hands in and reshuffling around.
“It reflects on the game and the way the players react to one another and they get frustrated. They sure got frustrated in this one.”