Wigan's amazing comeback seals Shield triumph

Hull KR 36 Wigan 42

Craven Park

Wigan won the League Leaders' Shield for the second time in three years in extraordinary fashion yesterday, producing the biggest comeback in Super League history.

Tries in the last four minutes snatched the victory after they had trailed 26-0 late in the first half and twice by 20 points in the second.

"We weren't at our best, but to come back like we did was unbelievable," said a relieved Shaun Wane, for whom this was a first trophy as Wigan's head coach. "There's a lot of things we need to fix, but one thing we have got is tremendous team spirit."

The Warriors looked anything but a table-topping side in the opening minutes, especially when Brett Finch's pass went to ground and Ryan Hall raced 60 metres for the game's first try.

Hull KR were unlucky not to claim another when Michael Dobson's kick was fumbled by Sam Tomkins. As it was, the former Wigan half-back soon had a second goal, after the visitors were penalised for offside.

Rovers were playing their best rugby for months and went clear when Scott Taylor stood in a tackle to offload and Dobson provided the scoring pass to Lincoln Withers.

Ben Galea marked his final home game for the club he has served so well by capitalising on more good work from Hall and Dobson for the third Rovers' try.

When Jake Webster took advantage of another kick that eluded Tomkins, there looked to be no way back, even for a team like Wigan.

In the minutes before half-time, however, there were ominous signs of the visitors coming back into the game. Finch scored from Tomkins' pass and Darrell Goulding from Josh Charnley's clever cross-kick, but there was still a mountain to climb.

Withers' second score at the start of the second half should have been a nerve-settler, but Rovers' trials were just beginning. Gareth Hock and Pat Richards showed that Wigan were still in pursuit with two quick tries and, even after David Hodgson had scored against his old club, George Carmont kept the Warriors in the hunt.

Liam Farrell's try, from Tomkins' electrifying break, brought Wigan within range and the game and the trophy were sealed when Richards romped over and added the goal. Charnley's last-minute effort made it what Wane called "nice and calm" – it was a million miles from that.

"Not many teams put 36 points on Wigan," said the Rovers' coach, Craig Sandercock. "It bodes well for next season." As for Wane, not surprisingly he admitted "there were times when I thought we needed to change things quickly". His remedy? "Messages were sent out on to the pitch and Tommy Leuluai helped change the game our way."

Hull KR: Sheriff; Salter, Horne, Webster, D Hodgson; Hall, Dobson; Taylor, Withers, Paea, Mika, Galea, Lovegrove. Substitutes used: J.Hodgson, Netherton, Cox, O'Hara.

Wigan: Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Carmont, Richards; Finch, Smith; Lima, McIlorum, Flower, Hansen, Hock, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Leuluai, Mossop, Farrell, Hughes.

Referee: T. Alibert (France)..

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future