Super League Grand Final: Wigan Warriors grim and grand in record fightback against Warrington Wolves

Warriors came back to win from 16-2 deficit at Old Trafford

Wigan, including six members of England’s World Cup squad, showed the sort of resilience that will be needed in the global tournament after their fine comeback to win the Super League Grand Final and do the double.

In the last game of the domestic season the Warriors battled back from a 16-2 deficit to beat Warrington 30-16 at Old Trafford. It was not so much one outstanding Grand Final as two entirely different ones, joined at the hip.

Grimly determined would be another way of putting it and the England coach, Steve McNamara, will be hoping that he can tap into that sort of spirit when the World Cup starts on 26 October.

The Wolves dominated the first half, but Shaun Wane’s men came up with the biggest-ever Super League fightback. There was little pretty about it and nothing too clever. “But they were just relentless,” said the Warrington coach, Tony Smith, in charge of the losing side for the second year running.

Wigan’s usually potent right-wing partnership of Darrell Goulding and Josh Charnley, for instance, had a nightmare first half, but stuck to their task to play a major part in their side’s resurgence.

Michael McIlorum ran Blake Green close for the Harry Sunderland Medal as man of the match with a non-stop display at hooker, which showed why he is a challenger to James Roby for that position in the England team.

Sam Tomkins bade farewell to the Wigan shirt with a steadying game at full-back. The New Zealand Warriors are getting a player who will be badly missed in Super League.

For most of the fortnight leading up to the Grand Final, it seemed that Wigan would badly miss Sean O’Loughlin at Old Trafford, but the Warriors’ captain got rid of the cast on his ankle and played a leader’s role.

When he limped off in the second half, it looked as though that would be the end of his contribution. After seven minutes, however, he was back – and he provided the long pass to Pat Richards for the game’s final try.

McNamara will be keeping his fingers crossed now that O’Loughlin has come through without aggravating his Achilles problem, because he has no convincing rival for the job of England loose-forward.

It will be forgotten in the long term that Warrington did everything right in the first half, except the blatant punch in the face which Ben Westwood gave Green after only two minutes. Westwood got away with it at the time, although the RFL will look at the incident this week. Outstanding player though he is, getting himself sent off at the start of a match against Australia or New Zealand would be the sort of hot-headedness England cannot afford.

Wigan’s Harrison Hansen could also face action for the “cannonball” tackle on Stefan Ratchford that left him with ligament damage in both ankles.

Warrington have rebuilding to do, with the departure of Adrian Morley, Garreth Carvell and Brett Hodgson, but it was hard to disagree with Smith when he promised that they would be there or thereabouts again next season.

As for Wigan, they will be content to continue to overachieve,  although whether anyone can be persuaded to encourage them by writing them off for next season must be open to doubt.

Suggested Topics
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment