TONY Smith was satisfied with the day’s work from his players as Warrington Wolves defeated Leigh Centurions 34-20 at Leigh Sports Village.
The part-timers, with nine new signings and bags of Super League experience among their ranks, led 16-12 at half time but Wolves took a grip of things after the break.
Winger Kevin Penny completed a fine hat-trick on what was his home ground with Swinton Lions last season, while full back Jordan Burke, centre Ryan Shaw and teenage substitute Joe Philbin completed the list of try scorers.
Wolves mainly fielded a side of young full-time professionals who have been on the verge of the first team for a few years, while Smith blooded a number of Academy players for experience alongside the likes of new signings Roy Asotasi and Anthony England.
Smith said: “It was good, we’ve taken a lot of positives out of it.
“Leigh were a good test, a very good team and you can tell they are going to be challenging at the top of the Championship again.
“They got a few points on us and they took advantage of a few things.
“I thought in the first half we were a bit nice – almost like a training run and we were up against some seasoned players. I thought it was just a little bit too friendly for a while.
“But I thought in the second half we increased the ante a bit and stepped up the aggression stakes as well.
“You’ve got to go through those processes sometimes to blow out the cobwebs to get the aggression levels at the right sort of level.
“I’m glad we did that exercise and it was a real worthwhile game for us.
“Overall, I’m really pleased with the boys as they blew some cobwebs away.
“We’ve been doing a lot of training and opposed training but without the full contact in match conditions it’s hard to simulate that.”
He spoke of the contribution from the players in the ‘middle tier’ and those rising through the youth levels.
“I was really pleased with the middle tier – the teenagers, the younger group who have been with us for quite some time and in our full-time system.
“I think they’re looking more ready this year and I was really pleased with all the babies we had out on the field too.
“I thought they were fantastic. I’m really excited because the future of the club is looking really bright with some of the young talent that is coming through.
“It certainly puts a smile on my face to watch some of them young boys compete so well as they did.”