Shaun Wane: Wigan Warriors' Super League Grand Final win 'the best ever'
Wigan boss Shaun Wane says their Super League Grand Final win over Warrington is the club's greatest achievement in his three decades of service.
Wane, a player and coach at Wigan before taking charge as head coach in 2011, steered his side to a 12-6 victory despite numerous absentees.
Sam Tomkins, brother Joel and winger Dom Manfredi were among those missing.
"Even as a player, I've been here for 30 years, that's the best win we've had," Wane told BBC Radio Manchester.
"The adversity we've put up with is unbelievable, to get the win with this close-knit group of players, never say die attitude, I'm so pleased."
Those injuries, which also include Michael McIlorum - who missed almost the entire season with a broken ankle - and Tony Clubb are a measure of the adversity they have faced in 2016.
Young players such as Grand Final try-scorer Oliver Gildart, Ryan Sutton and Lewis Tierney have emerged as key players as Wigan have made coming back from behind a hallmark of their play this term.
"Even when the game was 15 minutes to go, the way we've won games we've stayed in until the last second," Wane added.
"I was confident we could get this game - every respect to Warrington, a champion club, and to get the win against them was really special."
Big player in, heroes heading out
Amid the key personnel that missed out, Wigan were able to turn to talismanic skipper Sean O'Loughlin in their hour of need.
The England international, 33, had hamstring and calf problems that saw him miss the tail-end of the Super 8s but came through all the fitness tests put before him to feature.
His presence from off the bench proved a calming one, as the patched-up Warriors overpowered Warrington in the second-half.
"He's the best player in the world," Wane added.
"I feel sorry for Jake Shorrocks [who missed out of the 17-man squad], but what Lockers brings is priceless."
Two players who will not be back at Wigan next season, Dan Sarginson and matchwinner Josh Charnley, both delivered on the big stage to bow out in Cherry and White.
Gold Coast-bound Sarginson put the kick in that Charnley, who now heads to rugby union with Sale, pounced upon to score.
"I'm sorry to see them leave, but for Josh to get the final try was fantastic," Wane continued.
"We've sent Dan away with a ring, and I hope he goes well at Gold Coast."
Smith ready to go again
For Warrington, their 61-year wait for a championship goes on, having once again led at half-time in a major final.
They were ahead in 2013 when Wigan came back to succeed, and again in this year's Challenge Cup final against Hull FC.
"This will spur us on, we'll bring one home soon," he told BBC Radio Merseyside.
"We've got some young guys there who are developing and will learn from this, will get stronger.
"I don't think you have to lose a final to win one but you do get more determined - that's what we'll use it for."