WOLVES boss Tony Smith feels his side “let Hull off the hook” on an emotional afternoon at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The Wire gained their first point of the Super League campaign with a 22-22 draw against high-flying Hull after staging a gutsy fightback.

And replays viewed by Smith suggest Wolves were hard-done by, as a Mike Cooper disallowed try late in the game looks as though it should have counted at a point when Wolves had all the momentum.

The rollercoaster of emotions started prior to matchday for The Wire players though.

A one-minute’s silence was held ahead of kick off after the club announced earlier in the day that prop Dom Crosby’s baby daughter Ada had died this week.

Smith, welling up as he spoke of the awful news in the post-match press conference, said: “Dom hasn’t wanted to be public about it and we’ve respected that.

“It’s tough for his mates, tough times. Most of us can only imagine what the family’s going through at the moment.”

Wolves’ players, including Crosby’s best mate Jack Hughes, wore black arm bands in respect as they set out to arrest a sequence of six straight losses.

Smith was keen to point out there have been improvements in areas of performance of late and hopes that this display can help his men to further turn the corner, with Leeds Rhinos next to visit on Friday.

“It was better again than last week, the second half in particular. I thought there was improvement in a lot of areas last week (against St Helens).

“The first half we were still way too guilty of the self-inflicted harm that we’ve been coming up with.

“It was just unnecessary. I said to Lee Radford (Hull coach) afterwards that I thought his team were flat today, they were off some of their energy and I thought we let them off the hook in that first half.

Watch the highlights of the game

“We gave them most of their points in the first half, either through penalties or intercepts.

“I sensed we just needed to be strong and basic today to get a decent result. I was kind of right, because that’s what we did in the second half. But we didn’t do that enough in the first half and let them off the hook.”

In the end Wolves came back from 20-4 behind to claim a draw, with winger Matty Russell crossing for a hat-trick of tries and Daryl Clark adding another.

“We’d like to be really happy about our second half and we’ll take some of that,” said Smith.

“When you are up against one of the top teams in the competition at the moment and you come up with a second half like that, you’ve got to be pleased about that.

View the picture gallery from the game

“I could see the effort out there. I’m happy when they boys are out there putting in the effort and fighting for a result, I can’t begrudge them too much.

“I get a bit disappointed for them when we’re making some of those errors on first and second tackles, and relieving the pressure. We’ve just got to eliminate some of those.

“I know the effort’s there. When things aren’t bouncing your way, or the calls aren’t coming your way, maybe you start to think it’s not going to be our day.”

Wolves, now with a record of six losses and a draw, remain bottom of Super League following Widnes Vikings achieving their first win of the season at Leigh Centurions.

Smith believes rivals will have sticky patches as the season unfolds as they try to climb the ladder.

“Teams are going to have flat weeks and teams are going to go through some tough periods where it’s really hard to sustain their top level – as much as that’s what we want and what we’re all striving for.

“Hopefully we’re going through our little tough patch and we start to get stronger from here on, while a few others may just struggle through their little patch.”

Look back over the game and build-up as it happened

With regards to the Cooper try disallowed by referee Jack Smith, he said: “Jack should have been strong because he was right when Cooper slammed the ball down over the line.

“He was about to award the try and he listened to his in-goal judge who was 10 metres away. Jack was right on top of it, about to give it, he should have stuck to that because he would have come up with the right decision.

“But that’s the way it goes, we have to suck it up.

“I suppose we can be happy we’ve improved again and will do so again next week.

“The boys are working hard, you can see it, they’re competing out there, they’ve got desire, they’ve got unity.

“We’ve still got a few rough edges to knock off and when we do that we’ll be getting the two points rather than the one point but I’m delighted with the effort out there.”