Warrington Wolves 16 Wigan Warriors 30 match report: Warriors battle to stunning victory

Wigan overturn 16-2 deficit in remarkable fightback as injury to Joel Monaghan undermines Wolves

Old Trafford

Wigan staged the biggest come-back in Grand Final history to become only the third side in the summer era to do the double.

Last month's Challenge Cup-winners trailed by 16-2 shortly before half-time here last night but they dominated after the break to win the battle between two sets of wounded warriors.

It was fitting that the clinching points came from a try scored by Blake Green, who had been knocked cold in the first two minutes, and two goals and a try from the departing Pat Richards – the try set up by a pass from Sean O'Loughlin, a captain who defied medical science to be on the field.

The Wolves had their own troubles, with serious injuries to Joel Monaghan and Stefan Ratchford, which illustrated what a tough contest this was, but it was Wigan who dealt better with their misfortunes. In the first half, they might have looked determined to squander their chances but they made up for it in style in the second.

Their proud coach Shaun Wane, Wigan born and bred, called it "the sort of thing you dream about", while Sam Tomkins, after what was his last match for Wigan, termed it "a fairytale finish", adding: "It was the best game of my life."

Warrington's coach Tony Smith was critical of the Harrison Hansen tackle that left Ratchford with damaged ligaments in both ankles, but refused to blame injuries for the result. "Whoever we had on the pitch, they were capable," he said. "But Wigan were very good near our line. Our discipline wasn't good enough and if you give Wigan field position they're going to hurt you."

Both sides were fortunate in the first incident of the match; Wigan that Green was not worse hurt by the punch in the face, Warrington that the perpetrator, Ben Westwood, was not detected throwing it.

Higham was spotted stealing the ball from Liam Farrell, for Richards to give the Warriors the lead with a penalty, after which Green recovered sufficiently to put in a 40‑20 kick that put them on the attack once more.

From that point on, it all went wrong for Wigan, starting with Josh Charnley being penalised for dragging Richie Myler into touch. From that possession, Lee Briers launched one of his trademark kicks for the corner, plucked out of the air and grounded by Joel Monaghan.

Richards put his kick-off straight out, the Wolves attacked again and Simon Grix scored their second try from Higham's pass.

Warrington then made it a potentially match-winning three tries in seven minutes when Briers this time drew the defence to create a gap and sent Westwood in.

The Wolves were coasting but they were brought down to earth when Joel Monaghan was carried off with what looked a serious head and neck injury suffered in defending his line.

They suffered another blow as the half came to an end. All Wigan's attacking initiatives down the right-hand flank, normally so prolific for them, had come to nothing. Darrell Goulding took matters into his own hands for a much-needed try before the break, although Richards' surprising missed conversion still left them 10 points in arrears.

That was close enough to keep it interesting, although only two teams had come back from a half-time deficit to win a Grand Final. There was no time to lose for Wigan, but Farrell lost the ball heading for the line as chances continued to come and go for the 2010 winners.

Their heads were lifted, though, when their hooker Michael McIlorum sold a dummy from acting half and darted over, Richards' kick reducing the margin to four points.

Less welcome was the sight of O'Loughlin limping off, the gamble on his fitness clearly only a qualified success. Undeterred, Wigan tied up the scores with Charnley's try from Goulding's kick, Richards' conversion giving them the lead for the first time since the opening minutes.

Charnley missed a chance for another while Warrington were still rocking. Both sides were playing wounded and it was just a matter of which one of them adapted better.

Back came the gallant captain O'Loughlin and Tomkins was held up over the try-line. The game remained in the balance before Green and Richards completed the remarkable fightback.

Warrington Ratchford; J.Monaghan, Bridge, Atkins, Riley; Briers, Myler; Hill, Higham, Wood, Grix, Westwood, Harrison. Substitutes used: Cooper, M Monaghan, Morley, Carvell.

Wigan Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Thornley, Richards; Green, Smith; Dudson, McIlorum, Mossop, Farrell, Hansen, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Flower, Hughes, Crosby, Taylor.

Referee R Silverwood (Mirfield).

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution