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Players answered critics - Wane
An emotional Shaun Wane credited his Wigan players for answering their critics by beating Warrington 30-16 to win the Grand Final and become the first side to do the double since 2006.
Six weeks on from their Challenge Cup triumph against Hull, the Warriors recovered from a 16-2 deficit to score five tries at Old Trafford and match St Helens' achievements of seven years ago.
It meant an emotional farewell for the departing trio of Lee Mossop, Pat Richards and Sam Tomkins - all bound for the NRL - but Wane was more interested in the wider achievement of his squad.
A died-in-the-wool Wiganer and a former player, Wane has built a side largely out of the juniors he used to coach. As a result of their age, Wigan were given little chance of winning the title by some, let alone the double, and Wane had not forgotten that.
"I was expecting a few apologies after how we have been doubted this year," he said.
"The players got hammered and told they couldn't carry on (with their form). I can't tell you how proud I am."
Wane's voice notably wavered as he spoke, but the fact that he did so with a pint in his hand suggested a man content with a job well done.
"When I got in at half-time, the players were already talking about what they had to fix," he said.
"That's the mentality they have. I told them the way we played wasn't us, that we needed to sort our defence out. I admire the players so much, the character and the tough men that they are."
Wane's star man on the night was half-back Blake Green. He arrived from Hull KR last winter and has been quietly excellent throughout his debut season in Cherry and White.
His Harry Sunderland man-of-the-match performance was all the more credible considering he was knocked out by a nasty third-minute punch from Ben Westwood. He admitted that he "couldn't see much because it was so blurry".
It was typical of Wane, though, that he said he was "p***** off" that he (Green) stayed down for so long".
Whether he meant that or not, he was clearly truthful in his praise of his players.
"I love them all to pieces," he said.
"I'm really pleased, not just for the ones who are leaving but for them all.
"I knew this was a good day and I can't tell you how happy I am. I have seen these players come of age but I want them to be good players and good men, and what satisfies me is to see them having good family lives as well."
For as good as Wigan were in the second half, Warrington's performance was the opposite of their opening 40 minutes.
The caveats were the withdrawals of Joel Monaghan on a stretcher with concussion just before the break and full-back Stefan Ratchford after it following a challenge during which Harrison Hansen appeared to be the third man in - an act known as 'the cannonball'.
Chaos ensued in Warrington's back five as a result - they had three full-backs in as many minutes, with Chris Riley particularly ponderous as Josh Charnley scored Wigan's third - and Wane's men cashed in.
Smith was fulsome in his praise of Wigan, and although he did have some reservations about Hansen's tackle, played down the influence of the changes on his side's showing.
"We can't be decisive about whether or not that was disruptive, you have to be able to handle those situations," he said.
"We weren't able to and in the second half, field position hurt us more than anything. Wigan are fantastic close to the line.
"Also our discipline was an issue, big time. We got smashed in field position, in penalties - it was seven two against us in the second half. You can't do that, Wigan were way too good tonight and deserved it. It's a really big effort for them to do the double."
While Smith may not have acknowledged it, Ratchford's departure clearly hindered Warrington.
"He's no good," his coach said.
"He's got ligament damage in his ankle, both of them I think. I don't like it, those sort of challenges. It happens all the time. We tap people on the wrist, sometimes players get injured more than others. That tackle has been around a while. It's sad when a player gets injured in that way."