Super League Grand Final: Wigan Warriors beat Warrington Wolves

By Matt NewsumBBC Sport at Old Trafford
Wigan comeback stuns Warrington

Wigan completed a league and cup double after coming back from 16-2 down to beat Warrington 30-16 in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.

Warriors, who beat Hull in August's Challenge Cup final, scored 28 unanswered points to secure victory.

Blake Green picked up the Harry Sunderland Trophy, overcoming an early facial cut to score a try.

Warrington's Joel Monaghan had to go off late in the first half after suffering a serious looking injury.

It was after Monaghan's withdrawal that the match turned, with Warrington in front and looking comfortable before his exit on a stretcher.

However, Wigan ended up deserved winners and clinched the first double since rivals St Helens achieved the feat in 2006, overhauling the deficit with a disciplined display that picked holes in the Wolves backline.

Coach Shaun Wane was rewarded for his gamble in selecting captain and loose forward Sean O'Loughlin after a six-week absence, although he was able to rotate his pack against a weakened opposition.

While Pat Richards marked his final appearance for the club with a try and five goals, there was no sign-off for talismanic full-back Sam Tomkins, despite a typically energetic display.

For Warrington, defeat extends their wait for a championship that stretches back to 1955, and ensured no happy farewell for their departing quartet of Adrian Morley, Mike Cooper, Garreth Carvell and Brett Hodgson, who was not in the matchday squad.

Despite three Challenge Cup victories in six years, the Wire have finished Grand Final runners-up in successive seasons.

On a mild, clear evening at Old Trafford, the pyrotechnics that greeted the arrival of the two teams were nothing compared to the fireworks over the next 80 minutes, as Wane's side edged an incident-filled match.

Ben Westwood was involved for the wrong reasons in the opening exchanges, appearing to land a hand to the face of Wigan half-back Green in the ruck, an offence that went unseen by the referee.

Joel Monaghan, in the same side as his brother Michael, was close to a score for the Wire when he spilled in goal from a chip-kick, and Wigan got the scoreboard ticking when Richards kicked for two after Liam Farrell was stripped of the ball by two Warrington defenders.

The lead seemed to settle Wigan, who pressured the Wolves left-side defence, but three quick tries swung the game back the way of Smith's side.

First, winger Joel Monaghan just about held on to ground the ball when he tracked a Lee Briers chip, and Simon Grix took advantage of some weak defence to power through the gap from Micky Higham's short ball.

Briers' vision then teed up Westwood, who hit a glorious line to crash over and stun the Warriors' support into silence.

Josh Charnley was dragged into touch after Warrington dropped out on the restart, but the half ended on a sour note as try scorer Monaghan was withdrawn on a stretcher following a saving tackle on Richards.

It took some time for play to resume, enough to knock Warrington off their stride and Wigan capitalised when a sliding left-to-right move was polished off by Darrell Goulding to reduce the half-time deficit to 10 points.

Warrington looked happy to go to the dressing room and regroup, but Wigan picked up where they left off before the hooter to move within four points when Michael McIlorum stepped out of dummy-half to score inside 10 minutes.

The Warriors had found their rhythm, helped by the sight of Wire full-back Stefan Ratchford limping off after a heavy two-man tackle, and his absence was exploited soon after.

Another fluid, flowing move to the right on last saw Goulding clip a grubber in behind, and with Chris Riley ponderous, Charnley slipped in to gather the bouncing ball and ground under the posts.

Richards booted Wigan ahead, and another McIlorum dummy-half burst put Green over as the Cherry and Whites took full control.

Such a defensive effort from the Wolves - down to 15 men overall - was taking its toll and they were inches away from conceding a fifth try when a Tomkins dink rolled dead.

Their frustrations told when Atkins and then Cooper tackled Richards, with the latter swinging an arm that seemed to go unpunished, but the Wests Tigers-bound winger delivered a more telling blow with a try that had Wire supporters heading for the exits and the title heading to Wigan.


Warrington: Ratchford; Riley, Bridge, Atkins, J. Monaghan; Briers, Myler; Wood, Higham, Hill, Westwood, Grix, Harrison.

Replacements: Carvell, M. Monaghan, Cooper, Morley.

Wigan Warriors: Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Thornley, Richards; Green, Smith; Dudson, McIlorum, Mossop, Hansen, Farrell, O'Loughlin.

Replacements: Flower, Taylor, Crosby, Hughes.

Attendance: 66,281

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury)