Challenge Cup: Hodgson was key for Warrington - Smith

 

Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith says full-back Brett Hodgson's "smartness" was key to their Challenge Cup final defeat of Leeds.

Hodgson received the Lance Todd Trophy, awarded to the man of the match, after scoring a try and kicking five goals.

Smith told BBC Sport: "He's not the fastest or the strongest but he knows how to play and he schemed well.

"As a full-back, you've either got to be scintillating when carrying the ball or smart. He showed his smartness."

Smith added: "What he lacks in pace and size, he makes up for with the smartness and the quickness between his ears.

"He orchestrated a couple of those tries and they were planned by him, not by the coach."

Recent Lance Todd Trophy winners

2012: Brett Hodgson (Warrington)

2011: Jeff Lima (Wigan)

2010: Lee Briers (Warrington)

2009: Michael Monaghan (Warrington)

2008: Paul Wellens (St Helens)

2007: Paul Wellens and Leon Pryce (shared, both St Helens)

2006: Sean Long (St Helens)

2005: Kevin Sinfield (Leeds)

2004: Sean Long (St Helens)

2003: Gary Connolly (Leeds)

Hodgson, Super League's Man of Steel in 2009, was also involved in the most controversial incident of the afternoon.

Leeds second-row forward Brett Delaney saw his try disallowed by video referee Phil Bentham for a knock-on, caused by Kylie Leuluai's tackle on Hodgson early in the second half.

Had the score stood, it would have put the Rhinos in front. But it was ruled out, and Warrington responded the better of the two teams to the long delay while the decision was made.

They ran in four second-half tries, including one from Hodgson, to secure a third Challenge Cup victory in four years.

Challenge Cup final: Brett Hodgson try seals cup for Warrington Wolves

For the 34-year-old Australian, it was the first time he had tasted success in English rugby league's premier cup competition.

He added: "It's very humbling to receive such an honour, but I've been around long enough to know that I play behind a very good pack of forwards.

"I thought Adrian Morley was outstanding, as were several of our big men in the middle and it gave us plenty of opportunities in that second half.

"It's going to be something that I look back on with great admiration."

Wolves skipper Morley, who was part of the last Leeds team to lift the Challenge Cup in 1999, was pleased to add a fourth winners' medal to his glittering collection of awards.

"We made it a goal of ours this year and to win it three out of four years is a fantastic achievement," he said. "I'm proud to be part of it.

"I've been fortunate to have won something major at every club I've been at and I'll never get tired of days like that."