Tony Smith has reflected on his side’s final pre-season outing against Wigan on Sunday afternoon.
After a positive first-half display from the Black & Whites, the Warriors ran away with the scoreline in the second-half, claiming a 40-0 win at the MKM Stadium.
Reflecting on the match, Smith said: “It’s easily done, and I’d rather it happen in a friendly before we get into the start of the season. Those things can happen in the season, as we know, teams get on roles but I’m glad it happened now before we start.
“We need to work out why now, how we release pressure and why we didn’t apply enough pressure in the same way that Wigan did to us.
“Sometimes it’s the harsh lessons you learn the most from. We’ve all had those experiences before. It’s how it pulls you together and makes you more resilient once you deal with it and once you take ownership for it. We’ll do that on Monday. We assess ourselves in an honest and open way. That will be a good way for us to head into the season.”
Smith took positives from the match with the efforts of his new forwards, making their first appearance on home soil at the MKM Stadium.
“I thought our big men in Franklin Pele, Herman Ese’ese and Jack Ashworth were very good. They showed some of why they are here and some of what they can do, particularly in the first half.
“They had a whole lot of workload. I would have liked to have seen us share that around a bit and create a bit more on the edges. We had a whole lot of ball and dominated field position in the first half, but we needed to come up with more to put pressure on Wigan.
“That’s what they do, they soak it up and they come back at you. We had the better of the first half, we conceded from a scrappy kick that we looked like we were going to field, and there was a fumble. It was one of the few things we did wrong in the first half, but we needed to be a little more potent with the ball.”
Smith also provided an update on Brad Fash and Cam Scott, both of whom left the field with knocks during the match.
On Fash, he commented: “He’s alright. He’s certainly tweaked his ankle. As to how bad it is, I’m not sure. There was a brief debate as to whether he could go back on or not, but we weren’t going to risk that and do further damage.
“It was enough for him to be concerned about. He could have pushed his way through, I suppose, taped up, but we would rather get it ready for round one in 11 days.
“It was a bit similar for Cam Scott. I brought him off at half-time. He’s tweaked his ankle as well. Once again, we didn’t want to risk doing too much damage.”
Smith added: “Danny (Houghton) had a sprain to his hand so we managed his minutes. We missed him when he went off. We’ve had a little bit of sickness in the camp as well with Carlos (Tuimavave) and Ligi (Sao). There’s some flu so it had an effect before the game, but not during the game.”