Featherstone Rovers 0 Warrington 68: Smith left feeling sorry for the likes of Featherstone and Halifax

Tony Smith
Tony Smith
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Tony Smith pointed to the number of “dead rubbers” and questioned the quality of many end-of-season games after his Warrington side thrashed Featherstone 68-0 to maintain their perfect record in the Super 8s Qualifiers.

The Super League side ran in 12 tries, with youngster Harvey Livett claiming two and adding 10 conversions on the way to a 28-point tally, while Peta Hiku grabbed a hat-trick.

Championship part-timers Featherstone created few chances in a hugely one-sided game.

Smith, who will leave the Wolves after nine years at the end of the season, said: “We were really good and didn’t drop off. It was as complete a performance as you could expect in the conditions, bearing in mind it’s a dead rubber.

“There’s been a lot of dead rubbers and there is more to come.

“I think there is one significant game in our division next week. It’s a ‘great competition’ for the amount of pain and agony that it has caused for so many clubs.

“It’s a train smash waiting to happen next week and we are all going to watch it to see which one of the sides is going to play in the next train smash the week afterwards (Million Pound Game).

“I’m not sure about the system and the amount of pain it causes for clubs. I’m not sure whether a million pounds would cover it.

“Imagine if Catalans go out - what a disaster that would be for the growth and expansion of our game.

“Widnes too - they have shown they are a good solid hard-working club who have contributed to Super League.

“It leaves me very sad. I wish we’d stuck with licensing as good businesses should be rewarded.

“I also feel for Featherstone and Halifax as they have had terrific years and should be competing for something really good and exciting and not suffering heavy defeats like this.”

Rovers coach John Duffy, who made his professional debut for Warrington, admitted it was “not a good watch”.

He explained: “It was the same attitude that we thought we had got over after (the heavy defeat at) Widnes.

“Our approach to the game wasn’t right and if you are not at the races you are going to get punished.”

But Duffy contested Smith’s views on the Qualifiers, pointing out: “It’s a very lucrative competition for us and we can create our own destiny by doing things right.

“Every position we can get up the table, the more money we get and every pound counts for clubs like us.”

Warrington led 38-0 at half-time through seven tries then added five more after the break to inflict Featherstone’s second biggest losing margin of all time.

Jack Hughes and Jack Johnson also scored two tries apiece, with Stefan Ratchford, Ben Pomeroy and Andre Savelio also contributing to the rout.