Smith enjoying kicking duties

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MATTY Smith is hoping to put the boot into Widnes.

The half-back has impressed coach Shaun Wane with his astute kicking game in open play this season.

And last week against Leeds, he also proved a more than capable deputy for Pat Richards.

Smith nailed three goals from as many attempts, including one from the sidelines, as regular goal-kicker Richards nursed a groin strain.

Wane was waiting to see how Richards felt today before making a call on who will get the role against the Vikings (kick-off 5.45pm).

But he said: “Either way, I’m chilled about it. I already knew Matty was a good goal-kicker and he showed that against Leeds, and it’s good to know we have a very capable kicker in the wings.”

Smith has been sharpening up on his goal-kicking with extra training this week.

He said: “I enjoy kicking, it’s something I’ve always done.I always practiced it anyway, and if I’m needed then I’m more than happy to take the role.”

Smith, a former Everton trainee, credits his footballing roots for his strong kicking game.

He added: “I’m sure it’s helped me over the years.”

Officials last night said the snow would not disrupt this evening’s Sky-televised showdown.