Wolves defence was too tired for young Wigan forwards, says Mike Stephenson
Last Updated: 16/10/13 11:11am
Wigan produced a spectacular second-half comeback scoring 28 points without reply, to beat Warrington 30-16 in the Grand Final.
The comeback was the largest in Grand Final history and completed the double for Shaun Wane's side ensuring that Wigan's NRL-bound trio Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards and Lee Mossop head Down Under on a victorious note.
"We said before this game started that Warrington could have a problem with so many older players and their defence got very, very tired."
A controversial injury to Warrington's Stefan Ratchford started a series of injury blows for the Wolves, who had to use three full backs in as many minutes.
But despite losing two of their key players Ratchford and Joel Monaghan, Stevo thinks it was the strength of Wigan's youth and Wolves' ageing defence that led to the Warriors losing such a large lead.
"I think a lot of people will be upset because of the two injuries to the Warrington players," said the Sky Sports pundit. "If Monaghan and Ratchford had stayed on, who knows?
"We said before this game started that Warrington could have a problem with so many older players and the last 20 minutes would be vital.
"I'm taking nothing away from Michael Mcllorum, who went straight through the dummy, but Warrington's defence were very, very tired.
"Warrington had a 16-2 lead and we're in full control of it and the man who had an absolute shocker in the first 38 minutes of that first half for Wigan was Darrell Goulding.
"He was just not firing with his partner Josh Charnley and it looked as if it was slipping away until just before half time.
"But it was Goulding who went over for the try that got them the momentum and then they went into the dressing room to say 'look we've scored a try but we haven't been playing all that well'.
"And in the second half they just stormed away."