Manchester rain is the difference, says Smith

Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith feels the biggest 
difference between a Challenge Cup final and its Super League counterpart is simple – kick-off time.

As he prepares his side for their first Grand Final, the Australian insists the fact it is an evening start has to be taken into account.

Warrington have been one of the most attractive sides in the sport since the ex-Leeds boss took command in 2008.

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Tellingly, they have shown that fluent, free-flowing style to defeat Rhinos in the Challenge Cup final twice in the last three years amid glorious August sunshine at Wembley.

Smith, who becomes the first coach to guide two different clubs to Old Trafford after being there three times with Leeds, realises it is often a different matter at Manchester in October when it traditionally pours down.

“They are different conditions,” he said. “It’s a different environment for evening games.

“There’s dew on the grass at the very least, if it’s not raining or drizzling, and it does have an effect on the style of rugby league played.

“But we don’t change too much. You need to be aware of the conditions and play to them to some degree but I’ll never go too far.”

Smith’s has improved Warrington’s defence so much that they can now afford to be expansive regardless.

“Most know I’m not a five-drives-and-a-kick coach,” he said.

“If a pass is on or an offload is on, I want them to back themselves.

“We’ve a pretty good kicking game too – that’s one of Leeds’s strengths and probably why they’re successful this time of year – but we also like to take some chances.

“Hopefully we’ll get a right blend of the two and that will give us a chance to ask some questions of Leeds as well.”