Wolves coach Smith salutes dominant Briers



Warrington Wolves head coach Tony Smith hailed the return of Lee Briers as the Challenge Cup holders dismantled Salford 52-6 in their fifth round tie at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Former Canberra Raider Joel Monaghan crossed twice for Warrington as did Stefan Ratchford, while Brett Hodgson finished with an 18-point haul.

But it was the return of Briers, who has been out of action since February with neck and calf injuries, that delighted Smith.

The 34-year-old stand-off came on as a second-half substitute and kicked a goal late on as the Wolves marched into the quarter-finals.

"It's terrific to have him back," Smith said.
"It was a bit of fairytale start for him again. I think he just slotted into what was a very good performance.

"Our defence has been improving each and every week over the last number of weeks, but I thought our attack was outstanding considering the conditions. We came up with some wet-weather rugby league.

"I thought we handled the conditions and handled our opponents well. They were going to have to do some spoiling in order to compete, but we dealt with that okay I reckon."
Elsewhere, Hull FC eased into the last eight at the expense of Wakefield Wildcats in a 24-6 win.

Gareth Ellis, back from a four-year stint in the NRL with Wests Tigers, scored his first try for his new club in the process and was singled out for praise by his head coach Peter Gentle.

"It's a really satisfying win," Gentle said. "It means a lot to us to get through.
"We treated it as our biggest game of the year and to win in the fashion we did is very pleasing.

"It was a step up from last week for Gareth. There's still more to come from him.
"He's a very talented individual and he's going to get better - it leaves you salivating at the prospect.

"Both him and Daniel (Holdsworth) are going along okay. The only way to get rust off them is to play."

And London Broncos head coach Tony Rea highlighted the hard work of the forwards rather than backs who grabbed the glory in their 25-16 win over Bradford Bulls.
Former Penrith Panthers halfback Craig Gower was instrumental in laying on all four tries for the Broncos that were eventually scored by Matt Cook, Kieran Dixon, Scott Wheeldon and Michael Witt.

But for Rea it was the forwards who merited the majority of the credit.
"I thought a lot of our victory was down to the forwards," he said.
"They fronted up and took the game to Bradford and put us on the front foot.
"The middle blokes built the platform for us and that allows the players like Craig Gower and Michael Witt to do what they do.

"We stuck together and kept things tight and everybody worked really hard for each other.
"We have come through two difficult rounds in the cup now and it is not easy to get yourself into the last eight like we have."

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