Wigan Warriors beat Warrington in the Grand Final to win their fourth Super League crown and prolong the Wire’s 61-year wait for a domestic title.
Josh Charnley, in his final Wigan appearance before switching codes, crossed for the decisive try.
League Leaders’ Shield winners Warrington had led 6-2 at Old Trafford but Oliver Gildart cancelled out Declan Patton’s first-half score.
Charnley’s try ensured Wigan repeated their 2013 final win over Wolves.
- Relive Wigan’s Super League Grand Final win over Warrington
The loss was Warrington’s second in a major final in 2016 following their Challenge Cup final defeat by Hull FC at Wembley in August, while the Warriors avoided a third successive Grand Final reverse after losses to St Helens and Leeds Rhinos in the previous two seasons.
Charnley signs off in style
Charnley, one of Super League’s most prolific wingers in recent years, signed off from rugby league in style with his 165th try in 174 Wigan appearances.
His performance at Old Trafford was far from perfect – the England international winger looked suspect under the high ball at times and he was rarely used as an attacking outlet in the first period.
However, his predatory instincts were demonstrated fully when he latched on to Dan Sarginson’s grubber kick to touch down in the corner.
And, when his defensive skills were needed late on, Sale Sharks-bound Charnley was one of three Wigan defenders on hand to bundle Matty Russell into touch near the try line.
Against the odds
For Wigan to end the season as Super League champions shows their resolve in the face of adversity, given the plethora of injuries that the Warriors have had to endure during the campaign.
Brothers Sam and Joel Tomkins, Michael McIlorum, Dom Manfredi, Lee Mossop and Sean O’Loughlin are just some of the players to have missed large portions of the season.
Warriors and England skipper O’Loughlin was deemed fit to participate at Old Trafford but was limited to a bit part after two months out.
While he appeared to be struggling with his calf problem in the closing stages, O’Loughlin was on the field to marshal his side to a third Grand Final success under his captaincy.
The wait goes on
Warrington, the nearly men of Super League, were crestfallen at full-time after slipping to a third Grand Final defeat in five seasons.
Chris Sandow’s introduction early in the second period gave them fresh impetus but the game hinged on a two-minute passage of play, which turned the contest in Wigan’s favour.
Ryan Atkins thought he had extended Warrington’s four-point lead, but his effort was ruled out by the video referee.
From Wigan’s next attack, man-of-the-match Liam Farrell broke through the Wolves’ backline and fed centre Gildart to dive over in the corner.
From then on, Wigan looked the dominant force in attack and defence, and Warrington had no comeback.
Grand Final highlights on BBC Two at 17:00 BST on Sunday.
Man of the match: Liam Farrell
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford; Lineham, R Evans, Atkins, Russell; Gidley, Patton; Hill, Clark, Sims, Wilde, Hughes, Westerman.
Replacements: T King, G King, Sandow, Bailey.
Wigan Warriors: Sarginson; Charnley, Gelling, Gildart, Tierney; Williams, Smith; Nuuausala, Powell, Flower, Bateman, Farrell, Isa.
Replacements: Tautai, Sutton, Crosby, O’Loughlin.
Referee: Robert Hicks.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/37550948