WOLVES boss Tony Smith says Kevin Brown’s performance against former side Widnes on Sunday showed exactly why he wanted to bring him to the club.

Facing his former employers for the first time since leaving for The Wire, the former Widnes skipper turned in a virtuoso display and ran in a hat-trick of tries to inspire Wolves to victory.

The 34-20 success booked a last-eight home tie against Wigan Warriors and Smith was full of praise for his England international stand-off.

Brown was subjected to a hostile reception from the travelling Widnes fans but Smith says he knew the 32-year-old would react in the right way.

“I'm delighted for Kev, he was under some vocal pressure and he responded well. Good on him,” he said.

“He came back from Australia with confidence in the way he played.

“I only spoke to him about facing Widnes briefly. I didn't need to do too much.

“Sometimes you can try too hard against them but he let me know quite quickly that he had it all under control.

“Those match-turning efforts are part of the reason we wanted to sign him.”

Ryan Atkins, Matty Russell and Chris Hill were also on the scoresheet for The Wire, who stretched away late on after the game was tied at 20-20 with just 15 minutes left.

Smith believes Wolves could have finished Denis Betts’ side, who named four teenagers in their matchday squad, sooner than they did.

“It was a tough game, all credit to Widnes for that. Both teams had a real dig,” he said.

“They wouldn't give in. At times when we looked really good, we let them off the hook with the way we finished a couple of our sets.

“We could have put our foot to their throats. I thought we were really good in some areas and scrappy in some.

“We were all over them in defence at times then we'd concede an offload. That was their big weapon and they troubled us with that.

“We were finishing some of our sets in the wrong way but I'm happy with our character as well.”