Smith throws down the gauntlet for Patton

Tony Smith has challenged Declan Patton to further improve his game after making a rare appearance in last week’s victory over Salford.

The young halfback impressed in Warrington’s win, scoring one try and kicking five goals as the Wolves defeated Salford 40-14.

Patton, 21, has struggled to establish himself at the Halliwell Jones stadium due to the partnership between Kurt Gidley and Chris Sandow.

And Smith has mapped out what Patton must do the get more frequent game time.

“Dec needs to take on the opponents more,” Smith told the Warrington Guardian.

“I don’t think he got tackled too many times. Half-backs need to take them on more and be a bit more threatening. He’ll learn.

“It’s tough for him. He’s a young kid who hasn’t had the chance to play a whole lot of rugby. Last year he finished playing in June.

“He needs to keep developing and get some consistent rugby league going. He’s one of the reasons why we’ve created the need for reserve grade, to develop players like him.”