Super League: Wigan Warriors rally to beat Warrington Wolves
By Rob Lancaster. Last Updated: 06/10/13 12:58am
Wigan produced the biggest comeback in Grand Final history, scoring 28 points without reply, to beat Warrington 30-16 at Old Trafford and complete the double.
The Wolves looked set to make amends for their loss to Leeds 12 months ago and claim their first league title since 1955 when they scored three tries in six minutes to open up a healthy 16-2 lead.
However, the Warriors showed real fighting spirit to recover. Darrell Goulding cut the interval deficit to eight before they crossed a further four times in a surprisingly one-sided second half.
Pat Richards put the icing on the cake by waltzing over the line in the closing minutes, meaning the winger marked his final appearance for the club with a try and five goals.
It was also a fitting finale for Sam Tomkins, as he heads off to the NRL having helped Wigan become the first club since arch-rivals St Helens in 2006 to lift both the Super League title and the Challenge Cup in the same season.
Warrington will look back on the costly injuries to Joel Monaghan and Stefan Ratchford during a bruising battle, the latter after a hit from Harrison Hansen that left Wolves coach Tony Smith fuming in the stands.
Wigan too had their casualties - Blake Green overcame a nasty eye injury, sustained when he was caught by a right hand from Ben Westwood that was only placed on report by referee Richard Silverwood, to win the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man of the match.
They held the upper hand for the first quarter but only had two points, kicked by Richards, to show for their dominance. They probed consistently down the right flank, only for Goulding and Josh Charnley to fail to capitalise on the chances that came their way.
The Wolves, in contrast, were ruthless as soon they got within sight of the try-line.
Lee Briers' kick to the right corner was finished by Joel Monaghan, who knocked the ball ahead of Richards before catching it cleanly as he fell to the ground over the line. The winger's joy was short-lived, though, as he was stretchered off before half time after being knocked out.
However, it was Wigan who were feeling woozy after conceding next; Richards' re-start sailed out on the full and on the next set Simon Grix forced his way over.
When Briers' pass, just as all those in Cherry and White had charged at him expecting a kick, put in Westwood for a try that will long be debated, not for the legality of it but for the fact he was still on the pitch to score in the first place, Warrington had opened up some clear daylight.
And even though Goulding's try gave Wigan some hope at the break, the fact only two sides had ever come back when trailing at the midway point in 15 previous Grand Finals suggested it was still a long shot.
Yet once Michael McIllorum crossed in the 48th minute the outcome never seemed in doubt. With Ratchford off, Warrington were forced into a back-line reshuffle and stand-in full-back Chris Riley was caught out by a Goulding grubber that Charnley nipped in to claim.
Richards' conversion put the Warriors into a lead for the first since the 12th minute, only this time the wounded Wolves had no way of responding.
Charnley dropped the ball with the line at his mercy but Green - almost unable to see out of his right eye - made no mistake from McIlorum's short pass. Richards rounded out the scoring with Wigan's fifth and final try, capping a stunning comeback and a sensational season for the men from the DW Stadium.
First Utility Super League
Thu 26th Mar
Salford Red Devils36 - 8Widnes Vikings
Fri 27th Mar
Castleford Tigers20 - 14Hull FC
Hull K R24 - 22St Helens
Warrington Wolves10 - 29Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors52 - 10Wakefield Wildcats
Sat 28th Mar
Catalans Dragons22 - 38Leeds Rhinos
Thu 2nd Apr
Hull FCvsHull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Fri 3rd Apr
Castleford TigersvsLeeds Rhinos
Wigan WarriorsvsSt Helens
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Mon 6th Apr
Warrington WolvesvsCastleford Tigers
Hull K R0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Wigan Warriors
St Helens0 - 0Hull FC
Catalans DragonsvsWidnes Vikings
Fri 10th Apr
Hull FCvsWidnes Vikings
Sat 11th Apr
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Castleford TigersvsHull K R
Sun 12th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0St Helens
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Apr
Wigan WarriorsvsWarrington Wolves
Fri 17th Apr
St HelensvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 19th Apr
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield WildcatsvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
St Helens0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans DragonsvsHull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Super League Grand Final 2013
Warrington forward Garreth Carvell has revealed he broke a rib during 30-16 Saturday's Grand Final defeat to Wigan.
Warrington coach Tony Smith says last year's defeat to Leeds was more difficult to accept than their loss to Wigan.
Warrington forward Ben Westwood has been charged by the RFL following his Grand Final clash with Wigan's Blake Green.
- Monaghan injury fears allayed
- Sam of all fears
- Richards immortalised at Wigan
- Green praised by team-mates
- Youth prevails
- Wane proud of his Warriors
- Tomkins - A fairytale ending
- Grand Final recap
- Wolves relaxed ahead of final
- Final remains at Old Trafford
- Grand Final guide
- Super League Final preview
- Carvell issues battle cry
- Grand Final guide
- Tomkins: Briers a big threat
- Higham dreams of Final glory
- O'Loughlin ready for Warriors
- Ratchford predicts a thriller
- Mossop eyes Final hurrah
- Wane hopeful over O'Loughlin
- Tomkins targets Grand exit
- Morley keen to leave on a high
- Bright at the back