Super League: Warrington happy to allow Chris Riley to play against them for Wakefield
Last Updated: 28/07/14 8:53am
Tony Smith insisted it would have been unfair if Warrington had not allowed Chris Riley to play against them for Wakefield - even if the on-loan winger did go on to score a hat-trick against his parent club.
Riley crossed twice in the first half and then once again in the second as the Wildcats made it back-to-back defeats for the Wolves thanks to a stunning 40-26 triumph.
It would have been unfair if we had pinched it. They were more enthusiastic than us and executed their game plan better.
The result at the Halliwell Jones Stadium keeps Wakefield firmly in the mix for a playoff place, while left questions over the decision taken by Warrington to allow one of their players to feature against them.
However the only concern for Smith was the home side's defence, with the former England head coach admitting his team looked "off the pace" despite breaking the deadlock after just 30 seconds.
"Chris has been on loan at Wakefield all year and it would have been silly and unfair for him not to play," he said of Riley.
"He's not scored that many for a long time but took his chances and was in a rich vein of form. He can have his spoils today.
"It would have been unfair if we had pinched it. They were more enthusiastic than us and executed their game plan better.
"We made an incredible start (Rhys Evans scoring inside a minute) but sometimes that can put you under the wrong sort of mindset and we got caught up in that.
"We looked lazy in some areas and off the pace. There is a bit of work today with our defence."
Smith also confirmed he will be without Matty Russell for their next fixture, against Catalan Dragons, after the Scotland international suffered concussion.
He added: "Matty was outstanding and a real spark in our team but can't remember much about the game."
Wakefield boss James Webster was full of praise for his opposite number after he allowed Riley to feature for the visitors.
"Chris thought he may not be able to play and did not train much during the week and what a coach Tony is that he didn't stop him playing.
"Chris is still a Warrington player but if he wants to come and they allow it I'd take him permanently.
"It was a great win especially after last week. It's always tough at Warrington especially with all the ball they had.
"I'm extremely pleased because scoring points has been a bit of a problem.
"At times we were getting pulled apart but we held out well."