Smith wants improvements for final
Warrington coach Tony Smith believes his side will need to improve on their performance in Thursday night's 30-22 play-off semi-final win over Huddersfield if they are to win the Grand Final.
The former Leeds boss will be involved in his fifth Grand Final at Old Trafford next Saturday, equalling the record of former Bradford coach Brian Noble, after the Wolves came from 10-6 down to extend their sequence against the Giants to nine successive wins.
Winger Joel Monaghan and second rower Simon Grix both scored two tries for Warrington, who provided a fitting send-off for Adrian Morley and Garreth Carvell on their final home appearances.
"It was a tough old game, that's what we expect at this time of year," Smith said.
"We were a bit off in some areas. I didn't think we were composed tonight, we didn't quite control the game like have in recent weeks but part of that was down to Huddersfield.
"They are a dangerous team and they threw a bit at us.
"I thought the effort was there but our kicking game was poor in the first half. I thought we were a bit edgy as if we were trying too hard to get the game put to bed too early.
"We managed to get through and we'll take our lessons from it into next week."
Veteran stand-off Lee Briers tormented Huddersfield with his astute kicking game but Smith revealed he gave the former Warrington captain a dressing-down at half-time and said the player was embarrassed to receive the television man-of-the-match award.
"He copped a bit of a shellacking at half-time," Smith said. "He's controlled games better than that and he put his hand up.
"He knows next week he'll be far better. He was a bit embarrassed about the champagne. He came up with some big plays, Lee can do that even when he's a bit off."
Smith confirmed that veteran full-back Brett Hodgson, who is being released from the final year of his contract, was fit to play but was left out due to the fine form of Stefan Ratchford, who kicked five goals from as many attempts.
"It was a tough call on a champion player," Smith said. "There are not too many times in Brett's career that he's had that decision with the coach to say he's not in the team but he handled it exceptionally well."
Huddersfield suffered a blow before kick-off when full-back Scott Grix, older brother of the Warrington forward, pulled out with a groin injury.
But 18-year-old Jake Connor stepped into the breach for only his second senior appearance with confidence and scored one of their four tries which briefly gave them the lead.
Jermaine McGillvary, Dale Ferguson - on his final appearance for the club - and skipper Danny Brough scored the Giants' other tries as the table-toppers fell just short of a maiden Grand Final.
"The best team won tonight," admitted coach Paul Anderson. "We didn't get ourselves into enough opportunities near their tryline.
"We gave them too many metres and they beat us around the ruck, which is something we'll have to look at."
Anderson revealed that Connor, whose only blemish was a knock-on near his own line towards the end, was in tears after the match.
"He's a good player, I've said that all along," Anderson said. "We've a lot of confidence in him.
"At times you could see his inexperience. He was upset because he feels he's let the team down but I've told him he's more of these days to come."
Huddersfield suffered a second blow when second rower Brett Ferres went off with a neck injury just before half-time and was unable to return.
"It wasn't ideal," Anderson said. "He got his head in the wrong place and suffered the consequences. He had a jar to his neck and had pins and needles."