Myler comes full circle
Warrington scrum-half tastes Wembley success for first time
Last Updated: August 26, 2012 1:44pm
Warrington Wolves celebrate their Challenge Cup victory
Richie Myler will sit down in front of the television this week to watch some of the greatest moments of his career after admitting Warrington's Carnegie Challenge Cup final triumph was simply "a blur".
The 22-year-old scrum-half was the nearest rival to Brett Hodgson for the Lance Todd Trophy as man-of-the-match in the Wolves' 35-18 victory over Leeds at Wembley, but he can remember little of the occasion.
"It was just a blur," he said. "When I watch it back, I'll get a bit more of a gist of it."
Myler, whose fiancee, former Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton, was among the 79,780 crowd, polled five votes from members of the Rugby League Writers' Association compared to 27 for Hodgson and led the tributes to the evergreen full-back for his second-half heroics.
The 34-year-old Australian was knocked out in a legitimate tackle by Leeds prop Kylie Leuluai two minutes into the second half, recovering consciousness in time to watch on the big screen replays of the subsequent try by Rhinos second rower Brett Delaney being disallowed by video referee Phil Bentham.
"You've got to take your hat off to Brett (Hodgson). Getting knocked out and then getting back up and winning the Lance Todd - it doesn't get much better than that. He was outstanding throughout the game."
Richie Myler Quotes of the week
The Wolves were leading only 12-10 at the time but made the most of the let-off to dominate the last 30 minutes and clinch the trophy for the third time in four years.
Hodgson, who admitted his side were lucky with the video call, quickly recovered from his head knock to supply the final passes for match-winning tries by three-quarters Chris Riley and Ryan Atkins and also touched down himself to crown Warrington's glory.
"You've got to take your hat off to Brett," Myler said. "Getting knocked out and then getting back up and winning the Lance Todd - it doesn't get much better than that. He was outstanding throughout the game."
For Hodgson, who also kicked five goals from six attempts, becoming only the fourth Australian to win the Lance Todd Trophy was a sweet moment - coming three years after he was on the losing end of Huddersfield's Wembley defeat by Warrington.
The triumph was also poignant for Myler, who was left out of the team by Wolves coach Tony Smith ahead of their 2010 win over Leeds.
"Obviously two years ago was a low point for me and I'm just going to enjoy every minute of this," said Myler, who endured a nervous wait to discover his selection after being in the team that lost 62-18 to London Broncos in Super League a week earlier.
"Everyone gets setbacks in their careers and that was mine. It was part of my learning curve and it's so much sweeter second time around.
"I had experience in 2010 as a squad player and it was great that the team won but it's extra special when you're part of it.
"I was a bit twitchy after the London game and, when he told me I was in, I was over the moon.
"Smithy has been great with me. He's helped me out massively and I can only say thank you to him. I was overcome with emotion at the end."
Warrington's first-half tries came from Australians Trent Waterhouse and Joel Monaghan - two other men playing in their first Cup final - while Ireland international Tyrone McCarthy also touched down in the second half before Hodgson went in for his side's sixth try.
The Wolves' other score was a trademark drop goal from stand-off Lee Briers, while Leeds centre Kallum Watkins grabbed two late tries to add to Ian Kirke's first-half score.
Warrington will now turn their attention back to Super League, with a home game against Huddersfield next Sunday, as they bid to become the first team to complete the double since St Helens in 2008.
"We're going to enjoy this and hopefully kick on to the play-offs and the Grand Final," Myler said.