CATALAN v WOLVES: Smith left puzzled by penalty count but is proud of his players (From Warrington Guardian)
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Warrington Wolves coach proud of his players
TONY Smith has praised his team for a 'gutsy' performance that gives Wolves the best possible platform for a Grand Final push.
They beat a firing and physical Catalan team on their own patch, on a slushy surface and against a high penalty count.
And he alluded to the fixture on French soil being a tough one for referee Phil Bentham to negotiate, and that he did not think his side deserved to be on the wrong end of some of the officiating.
"We were very gutsy and I was really pleased with the way we played," he said.
"We stuck to it and I was so proud of the players with the way they went about it. I thought they were fantastic.
"And they didn't give in. We were on the back of a 14-4 penalty count and I was just so proud of them.
"They didn't roll over. They didn't care that they were getting pushed back by penalties and they just kept defending their own try line.
"We were really gutsy, overcoming a lot tonight."
He added: "This is by far - by far - the most intimidating place to come and play rugby league, and I'm not talking for the players.
"You've just got to roll with it and see if you can come out on top in the end.
"I thought Catalan were gutsy too, they never gave in. They probably made a few more errors than us on early tackles, which probably cost them a little more than it cost us."
He continued: "We rate the performance very highly from what we had to overcome.
"There were some calls that were testing of us and testing of the way we have tried to play.
"We try to play fairly, we play tough but we don't try to cheat or 'get ones over the referees'. There may be 50/50 calls that go against you but for us to have the sort of 14-4 penalty count against us is saying pretty much that we have an undisciplined team and I'd like to argue that.
"I don't think we have. We have a disciplined team that plays tough but I don't think we changed anything tonight from what we've done all year. So it bamboozles you when it does happen."
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