CHRIS Hill says The Wire must “be smarter” if they are to avoid a repeat of today’s heavy loss to St Helens in the Super League semi-final.

A spell of three tries in six second-half minutes swung the game decisively in Saints’ favour at The Halliwell Jones Stadium as they laid down a marker ahead of the play-off clash between the two on October 4.

Wire 14 St Helens 34 as it happened

Steve Price’s post-match reaction

Injury update on Roberts, Brown, Thompson and Murdoch-Masila

Match facts and fan reaction

Photo gallery

In the first half, visiting prop Matty Lees was sin-binned for a knee to the head of Wire half-back Tyrone Roberts, with Ryan Atkins and Mark Percival yellow-carded for their role in the ensuing mass brawl.

That meant Saints played 10 minutes with 11 men, but Wire only had Kevin Brown’s try to show for it despite plenty of possession and territory.

Hill admits they needed to use that period of the game better.

“We’ve got areas to scrub up on, it’s not the way we wanted to finish at home,” he said.

“I thought we had a pretty good dig. We got back in the game for a bit in the second half, but we need to be a bit smarter.

“Losing both halves obviously doesn’t help. It’s a factor, but I think we still should have competed better.

“I don’t think we capitalised enough after they went down to 11. It seemed to galvanise them a bit and they defended better.

“The back-to-back tries they scored were too easy. We have to manage the game better.”

Hill dismissed the notion that Wolves had their eyes on the meeting at the Totally Wicked Stadium already but admits they need to “go up a few levels.”

He also says the team will be determined to use Friday’s trip to Wakefield to play themselves into some form.

“I don’t think any game is a dead rubber. You have to play for personal pride,” he said.

“The score ran away with them, but we’ll improve for the semi-final.

“We know we can go up a few more levels, but so can they as they had a few missing.

“We’ll be ready and raring to go for a week on Thursday.

“Wakefield will be tough. Again, it’s no dead rubber.

“We need to get our form back and take a bit into St Helens.”

Watch the full interview above