WOLVES boss Tony Smith was in bullish mood after Friday’s 31-6 defeat to St Helens extended their winless start to the Super League season.
The Wire arrived at the Totally Wicked Stadium with hopes of avoiding their worst ever opening to a league campaign, but an Adam Swift double along with further scores from Zeb Taia, Jack Owens and Alex Walmsley ensured a sixth defeat from six games.
Kurt Gidley briefly raised hopes of a comeback with a try early in the second half, but Wolves never looked likely to reel their hosts in.
“It’s easy to coach when you’re top of the table,” Smith said.
“You turn up, you’re players are on a roll and you just tell them to keep it going, that’s easy work.
“If anybody doubts their efforts out there, I will defend them to the hilt.
“They are really trying out there and in training, it’s just not flowing at this stage.”
The game was scoreless after half an hour before three tries in seven minutes gave Saints an 18-0 lead at the break.
Smith believes, apart from that burst from the hosts, there was little to choose between the sides.
“There was big improvements in our defence, we were far better than we were last week, but the issue was we did it for 30 minutes.
“We had a slip-up on the kick to the corner when we should have put the ball dead, then another two tries from kicks and all of a sudden you’re staring down the barrel of 18-0.
“When we’re not travelling so well, we needed to be the ones to go that extra step and get a couple of quick tries but unfortunately they came for Saints.
“Up until then, the game could have gone either way. Their kicking game was better than ours and I thought that got them the field position for those points to come.”
Smith’s side produced another display riddled with handling errors and penalties as they once again struggled to find their rhythm in attack.
They also gave away two penalties for dissent, one of which led to a try in the following set, which Smith says is “not tolerable.”
“Some of the basic stuff is hurting us, if it was expansive stuff that was going wrong you could almost forgive that but that’s not what’s going wrong at the moment.
“Its things like getting up to play the ball, just taking care whether there’s hands in there or not.
“Some of those errors are really hurting us big times, as are the penalties. We’re behind the opposition in terms of the number of sets we get to play and we’ve got to stop that.
“Penalties for dissent are a sign of the frustration. It’s not tolerable in our play and I’ll be having words with those players and the team about those sorts of things.
“They are frustrated at the moment but we’ve got to contain that, whether they are good calls or not.”
Smith also confirmed second rower Andre Savelio’s omission was tactical and that he will play for the reserves at Hull FC on Saturday.