LIVE BLOG: Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors in Super League Grand Final (From Warrington Guardian)
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LIVE BLOG: Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors in Super League Grand Final
Updated 12:13am Sunday 6th October 2013 in Wolves
This live event has finished
- Bringing you all the build-up and match action as it happened were reporters Mike Parsons, Gareth Dunning and Chris Terris Taylor, with pictures by Mike Boden.
Wolves' players are watching on respectfully as Wigan lift the trophy. They want to feel the full pain to drive them on for another tilt at the title in 2014, when Wolves will be looking to become champions for the first time in 59 years. This drought has to end sometime.
Not many Wolves fans left in the stadium. All too gutted. What a shame they couldn't say their final goodbyes after what has been another fine season that just faltered at the final hurdle on the back of two horrible injuries to backline players.
No fitting farewell for Adrian Morley, Garreth Carvell, Mike Cooper, Brett Hodgson, Tyrone McCarthy and Rhys Williams.
Wolves' players, many flat out on the turf, are having to get to their feet for the presentations - collecting the losers' medals for a second successive year. The wind-up merchants in the Wigan following are all chanting 'It's always your year, just like the last one, it's always your year.' Hard to stomach.
That's it. All over. Final score: Warrington Wolves 16 Wigan Warriors 30. But the topic of Harrison Hansen's third-man cannonball tackle on Stefan Ratchford will remain highly controversial well into the night. Wolves were still 16-12 in front at that stage and never got close to scoring again.
Only Wigan's second win against Warrington in nine meetings.
We're in the final minute. Total heartbreak again.
Tonight's attendance is 66,281. Harry Sunderland Trophy winner is Blake Green.
Tonight's Grand Final has all turned on the third-man tackle by Harrison Hansen that left Stefan Ratchford with a buckled leg and having to leave the field. It will be a huge talking point after the game from Tony Smith.
With Joel Monaghan already off the field concussed, losing two backs left Wolves vulnerable and Wigan took advantage.
It's Wolves 16 Wigan 30 with five minutes left to play
Pat Richards thumps over the touchline conversion as Wolves fans head for the exits
TRY. Game over I'm afraid. Unmarked Pat Richards accepts a looping pass from Sean O'Loughlin to walk over.
Another penalty for Wigan after a Mike Cooper punch on Pat Richards.
Wolves have just got into Wigan's half with the ball for the first time this half and Richard Silverwood wrongly penalises Richie Myler for obstruction. This isn't going to be Warrington's night....again
Pat Richards' conversion makes it 24-16 to Wigan after 69 minutes.
TRY. Blake Green has side-stepped his way over from first receiver for Wigan. Might not be a way back for Warrington from here. It came after a penalty for a ball steal.
Second-half penalty count gone up to 5-1 to Wigan
Wolves have lost their spark after all the changes. It's Wigan dominating the game now and Wolves are just hanging on
Sam Tomkins is held up over the try line after a kick on the last tackle
Wolves have changed their set-up again. Lee Briers is now at full back, Michael Monaghan in the halves, Chris Riley back on the wing.
Wolves are self destructing, giving away too many penalties. A let off comes with Josh Charnley dropping the ball with the try line begging.
TRY. Wigan, sensing their chance while Wolves are rattled, cross again. A kick by Darrell Goulding is kicked behind Ryan Atkins and Josh Charnley pounces ahead of Chris Riley to go over between the posts. Pat Richards' extras give Wigan the lead at 18-16 after 56 minutes. Oh dear.
Chris Riley has gone to full back, Wolves now have Cris Bridge and Ryan Atkins on the wings. This is new territory in the most important game of the year.
A cannonball tackle on Stefan Ratchford by Harrison Hansen has left Wolves without a full back. This is all going wrong.
Wigan fans are in full voice for the first time but a timely interception from Simon Grix shuts them up
Pat Richards adds the extras from almost in front of the posts and Wolves' lead has been cut to 16-12 after 49 minutes.
TRY. Micky McIlorum has darted straight over from dummy half, catching Wolves asleep waiting for a wide play. Michael Monaghan slipped off him.
Wigan on the attack again after Wolves caught offside
Ryan Atkins gets on the end of a Richie Myler grubber but is tackled.
Simon Grix is hit across the chin by Sean O'Loughlin, penalty to Wolves.
Wolves give a penalty away for offside at a scrum and Wigan launch an attack but Liam Farrell knocks on. A let off
Good opening set from Wolves, with Lee Briers finding touch. Keep playing Wigan in their own half, boys, let them do the chasing.
Second half is underway
RT @manc_1985: COME ON WOLVES!!! #WIRE @skotyw @adz_herridge— @skotyw 05 October 2013
Feel for Joel here, MASSIVE 2nd half for us now. #wire #rugbyleague #GrandFinal— @chiefeivissa 05 October 2013
Hope Joel isn't too seriously hurt #GrandFinal #wire— @stecoopz 05 October 2013
Decent 1st half from #WIRE. Need to keep Tompkins quiet in 2nd half and need Briers to kick well. Come on #WIRE— @ollielloyd 05 October 2013
HALF TIME: Warrington Wolves 16 Wigan Warriors 6
Yes, Bridge and Grix is the new right-sided partnership
Richards is wide with the conversion and so it is 16-6 after 39 minutes of real game time.
TRY. Wigan are over through Darrell Goulding after a structured fast-hands play across the right from a scrum. It all goes back to Ratchford's forward pass. Hopefully Wolves have not been left rattled by Monaghan's injury
The Warrington fans are all on their feet singing the Joel Monaghan song as he exits down the tunnell.
The first half is running over badly now after two long injury delays. The game has already been in motion for 51 minutes but there are three minutes of the first half remaining
Another of Mike Boden's images from Ben Westwood's try
This could be a real problem for Wolves. No backs on the bench, so possibly Simon Grix will have to go to right centre and Chris Bridge move on to the wing. Joel Monaghan is being stretchered off
But Joel Monaghan is in trouble. Looks like he has knocked himself out in stopping Pat Richards head on
Warrington under the cosh after a Stefan Ratchford forward pass from dummy half. Defending their hearts out though.
Quite a commotion after Ben Westwood's try
Joel Monaghan celebrates Wolves' opening try
High tackle by Garreth Carvell, penalty to Wigan
Another penalty to Wolves for interference and after a wide play Chris Bridge ran out of room and was tackled into touch
Ben Flower's nearly decapitated Michael Monaghan. Penalties are 4-1 to Wolves.
Michael Monaghan and Garreth Carvell are on
Warrington dominating here! #wolves #wire #GrandFinal— @b_morris96 05 October 2013
Great defence as four covering Wolves defenders put Josh Charnley into touch
Restart bounce beats Richie Myler, Wolves are forced to drop-out. Wigan's chance to strike back before the interval
Again Stefan Ratchford bangs over the extras. Wolves are 16-2 ahead with 35 minutes gone. They must not let up, Wigan are too dangerous.
@JonSmallwood jonwhat a thrashing! 3 tries in 6 mins!!! #WIRE— @Clint_Yid 05 October 2013
Super Bennie Westwood song is ringing out in the Stretford End
TRY. Ben Westwood powers through a huge hole from a superlative Lee Briers pass.
Wolves have six more tackles after a Lee Briers kick is fumbled
Another great #wire try. When does the #wiganwalk start #grandfinal— @MartinDDean 05 October 2013
Stefan Ratchford converts this time and it is 10-2 after 31 minutes.
Warrington fans are all chanting 'We hate Wigan' as the cherry and white players gather behind the sticks.
TRY. Simon Grix crashes over from short range on the narrow side from Micky Higham's pass.
Wigan have kicked out on the full from the re-start
Stefan Ratchford is wide with the conversion from the touchline but Wolves are 4-2 in front after 27 minutes.
TRY. Joel Monaghan catches Lee Briers' kick with a juggle to sneak in behind Pat Richards. Came after a penalty when Richie Myler was dragged into touch by Josh Charnley and after Micky Higham was held up short, the kick was good for Monaghan to notch his 31st try of the season. That's now a season's record for Joel.
Adrian Morley and Mike Cooper have entered the fray
Scott Taylor now on for Lee Mossop, all change in the Wigan front row
Wigan have brought on fresh legs in the shape of Ben Flower
Chris Riley's blocked a kick from Darrell Goulding and won a penalty when his attempt at a quick play-the-ball was hindered. Riley's made a good start.
Blake Green's just kicked a magnificent 40/20 for Wigan. Pressure's on.
GOAL. Pat Richards slots Wigan 2-0 ahead after 15 minutes of play.
First penalty to Wigan for a ball steal by Micky Higham on Liam Farrell. Wigan have elected to go for goal from 42 metres.
Chris Hill's inches short, Micky Higham's held up over the line and Joel Monaghan is unable to win the ball back cleanly from Lee Briers' kick
Great break down the right from Chris Bridge led to Richie Myler hoofing the ball to the other flank where Ryan Atkins tackled Darrell Goulding over the try line to force a drop-out
First break from Wigan but Chris Riley got a hand to the pass from Darrell Goulding to Josh Charnley to force a scrum
Referee Richard Silverwood has placed the incident on report and Blake is back on his feet as the game continues
Safe opening sets from both teams but Wigan stand off Blake Green is in trouble, flat out on the floor with an oxygen mask over his face after a smack in the face from Ben Westwood
Wigan to kick off towards their own fans.
A final hug for Tony Smith from Lee Briers. Hope he said: "I'll do it for you boss."
Here come the teams. The flames go in the air, the atmosphere is electric. GAME ON.
C'MON WARRINGTON! #WIRE— @JSacondi 05 October 2013
A car owner has just been asked to return to their vehicle via the tannoy announcer....as if that's going to happen....this is the Grand Final and Jerusalem has just started
We're getting close to kick off. The trophy has just been brought on to the field and soon Laura Wright will chime in with the rugby league hymm Jerusalem to announce the entry of the gladiators
Wolves fans outnumbered here, Wigan end looking healthier. #Wire fans going have to be extra loud to counter that!— @Cterristaylor 05 October 2013
Not bad seats #wire http://t.co/rRZ69AZieg— @TheEmmaHumphrey 05 October 2013
Wolfie's here! He's lifting the crowd, the decibals are rising by the minute - as it should be for the Grand Final
Henderson Gill just popped his face up to say hello to some of the older members of the media pack - the Wigan winger was often a thorn in Warrington's side in the 1980s
Chris Bridge the only Wolves player making their Grand Final debut tonight, whereas Warriors have nine. Will experience tell? #Wire— @Cterristaylor 05 October 2013
Wigan end of the stadium is looking fuller than the Wolves end. Hope the Wire Choir is on its way but not stuck in traffic
Not bad these Conquer Rio boys - running through a few covers from the likes of Stereophonics
Teams are out. Getting nervous and excited now. Come on #WIRE http://t.co/kNCTScgY8N— @ollielloyd 05 October 2013
Now the team news is confirmed, expect Chris Riley to be peppered with kicks tonight.
Many thought he was vulnerable to missing out tonight after dropping a Danny Brough kick in the semi-final win against Huddersfield, but also letting the Yorkshiremen off the hook when he allowed a drop-out to bounce and the ball bounced awkwardly into touch.
But, he has held the position all year. It would have been a big call tonight to strike up a new left-side partnership between Ryan Atkins and Stefan Ratchford, which would have allowed for Brett Hodgson's return at full back.
The faith has been placed in all the men who did the job last week and it is up to them to respond accordingly. They certainly have the capability.
RT @elgan22: Goodluck Warrington Wolves! Win for superfan @danbissett76 #wire— @danbissett76 05 October 2013
Birchwood boys Conquer Rio have started their 20-minute set entertaining the growing crowd inside the stadium, and a big roar has just bellowed out of the Stretford End as the Wolves team entered the arena for their warm-up
Divided loyalties in a political household. Former deputy council leader Paul Kenny in his blue suit and wife and now a Wigan mp Yvonne fovargue, resplendent in a cherry and white dress. Could be a quiet drive home!
First chanting has started inside the stadium - you've guessed it 'Oh, Warry Warry!'
@beth3096 wire wire wire come on wire!!! #wire— @Bexy_bwfc 05 October 2013
The tu-tu boys
IT is clear to see why a win against Wigan Warriors would mean so much to a generation of Wolves fans tonight, especially those who followed the club in the 80s and 90s.
Wigan always seemed to be the team getting in the way of Wolves lifting more silverware than they did, but with Wigan being the only full-time team of the time the odds were stacked in their favour and resentment grew.
It was also a period when rugby league ‘showmen’ were born, with try celebrations from the likes of Shaun Edwards, Ellery Hanley, Martin Offiah, Joe Lydon and Henderson Gill making Warrington fans feel as though their noses were being rubbed in the turf.
They monopolised rugby league’s national profile, becoming the glamour club that the rest of the rugby league fraternity loved to hate – and for many primrose and blue followers, those feelings remain in place.
Tonight, is the first time the two teams have met in a final since those days.
And you have to go back to 1980 – 33 years and one day - since Wolves’ only win in 10 finals against Wigan.
PREVIOUS FINAL MEETINGS:
Challenge Cup Final
1990 Warrington 14, Wigan 36 (at Wembley Stadium)
1926 Warrington 10, Wigan 22 (at Knowsley Road, St Helens)
1987 Warrington 0, Wigan 8 (at Old Trafford, Manchester)
John Player Special/Regal Trophy
1995 Warrington 10, Wigan 40 (at McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield) (RT)
1987 Warrington 4, Wigan 18 (at Burnden Park, Bolton) (JPST)
1987-88 Warrington 16, Wigan 28 (at Knowsley Road, St Helens)
1985-86 Warrington 8, Wigan 34 (at Knowsley Road, St Helens)
1980-81 Warrington 26, Wigan 10 (at Knowsley Road, St Helens)
1950-51 Warrington 5, Wigan 28 (at Station Road, Swinton)
1948-49 Warrington 8, Wigan 14 (at Station Road, Swinton)
What a view! Come on the Wire! @rockyturner93 @paulw1908 #OldTrafford #GrandFinal #WarringtonWolves http://t.co/yOTmPMB303— @addzzy92 05 October 2013
Spotted outside, former hull and widnes full back Shaun briscoe. Good player
Wigan: Sam Tomkins; Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, Iain Thornley, Pat Richards; Blake Green, Matty Smith; Gil Dudson, Michael McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Harrison Hansen, Liam Farrell, Sean O'Loughlin. Subs: Jack Hughes, Ben Flower, Scott Taylor, Dominic Crosby.
Plenty of confidence among wire fans as they enter the ground. Including five year old Rhys Palmer who is predicting a 50-0 win. If only...
Wolves team: Stefan Ratchford; Joel Monaghan, Chris Bridge, Ryan Atkins, Chris Riley; Lee Briers, Richie Myler; Paul Wood, Micky Higham, Chris Hill, Ben Westwood, Simon Grix, Ben Harrison. Subs: Adrian Morley, Michael Monaghan, Garreth Carvell, Mike Cooper.
Team news is confirmed: Wolves fielding the same 17 as against Huddersfield, which means no Brett Hodgson and no Trent Waterhouse. Wigan skipper Sean O'Loughlin plays.
Taking in the atmosphere outside Old Trafford are former Woolston Rovers players Garry Bolton, left, Kevin Jarvis, right, with his son, Jack, aged 8
On the way to Old Trafford to Watch @wolvesrl beat Wigan. We hope #SLGF #WarringtonWolves— @thebridgedarwen 05 October 2013
RT @RugbyBridget: Mancuian way blocked come off two junctions earlier follow Stratford #GrandFinal #WiganWarriors #Warrington— @RTWiganRL 05 October 2013
More fascinating facts and stats behind tonight’s Grand Final.
Warrington have lost only one of their last eight meetings with Wigan.
Joel Monaghan has scored tries in each of the Wolves' last five meetings with Wigan (1-1-1-2-1). He needs one more try for a career-best season’s total. He has scored 30 so far this year, equalling his 2011 total for Warrington.
Tony Smith tonight equals Brian Noble's record of five coaching appearances in Super League Grand Finals. Noble was in charge of Bradford Bulls in the 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 deciders. Smith is the only man to take charge of two different clubs in Super League Grand Finals. As well as overseeing the Wolves for last season's defeat to Leeds, Smith was in charge of the Rhinos in 2004 (Won, v Bradford), 2005 (Lost, v Bradford) and 2007 (Won, v St Helens).
Skipper Adrian Morley is the oldest player to take part in a Super League Grand Final. Moz, the only British player to win Grand Finals on both sides of the world (with Sydney Roosters in 2002 and Bradford in 2005), is 36 years & 148 days old today.
Tonight’s game is the first final meeting between the clubs since Wigan's 40-10 Regal Trophy win at Huddersfield in 1995.
Warrington and Wigan have met only once before in Super League play-offs matches. Wigan won that game 25-12 at the JJB Stadium (as it was then known) on 27 September, 2003 – Wolves’ first appearance in the play-offs. Warriors captain Sean O'Loughlin and Wolves duo Ben Westwood and Paul Wood played in that game.
Paul Wood will be making his 300th Super League appearance for Wolves tonight, having made his debut in 2000.
Plenty to keep fans entertained in the car park. Inflatable rugby and the World Cup trophy. Seems to have been on tour for the past year non stop,
Thumbs up for the press food from Chris Terris Taylor. Cottage pie followed by rhubarb tart - Yum, yum!
@SuperLeague not at the game (sadly) but all my mates from Warrington that are there cheer on the mighty Wolves to a glorious victory! #wire— @MartynSeddon 05 October 2013
RT @saustin28: I personally can't wait to say that we will be the best rugby league team in the northern hemisphere after tonight #Wire #SL…— @CallumJMo 05 October 2013
Facing up to the duties of the fans in backing their heroes tonight are the Chilton family from Callands - Aron,aged eight, Kellie, aged 41, Alyssa, aged 10 and Sim, aged 43
@SuperLeague at grand final in stretford end come on you wire #SLGF #WIRE— @AlexMcQuill 05 October 2013
Fans have come from across the country to support the wire today. Met supporters from Isle of Man, kent and Birmingham
Wolves fans may find it useful to learn these words. They are heard every year after the final hooter at Old Trafford.
I've paid my dues, Time after time.
I've done my sentence, But committed no crime.
And bad mistakes ‒ I've made a few.
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face, But I've come through.
(And I need just go on and on, and on, and on)
We are the champions, my friends,
And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end.
We are the champions, We are the champions.
No time for losers, 'Cause we are the champions of the world.
Might have cramp before the game kicks off. These seats in the Old Trafford press box are a bit cramped - knees go under the chin!
Dr Koukash is in the main stand. Better keep his hands off the rest of the Wolves players - already got Adrian Morley for his Salford Devils team for next year.
Come on Wire say the Hartley and Adamson families from Latchford and Orford
Fans are starting to filter into the stadium and find their seats, with Wolves supporters congregating at the famous Stretford End
SOME big calls again for Tony Smith tonight – wouldn’t want his job! Two of the players in the 19-man squad will be very upset. Does he stick with the same 17 that did the job against Huddersfield last week or does he make room for his Australian NRL Grand Final winners - Trent Waterhouse and/or Brett Hodgson. Both have been first choice all year but injuries cost them their spots and Wolves have done well during their absence. Bringing back Waterhouse, if the second rower has recovered from knee ligament damage, will mean finding a new spot for Simon Grix. Pitching Hodgson back in at full back will result in Stefan Ratchford having to switch elsewhere. Grix and Ratchford are Wolves’ utility kings. They can be relied upon to do a fine job wherever they are asked to play and provide Smith with luxury other clubs do not have. Any number of options are available to Smith and the good thing is Wigan have no idea what the final line-up will be because none of us do. We just want the boss to pick the fittest 17. Injuries will get found out tonight.
Nicole Saxon and Lucy Miller on their way to the match. Thanks to Sam for sending the picture. If you wish to feature, send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
Met one fan who has travelled more than most to be here today. David lomax, originally from wools ton, has travelled from Melbourne for the game
And the Warrington bus has pulled up too. All looking cool and confident
James is 44 and has been a ‘Wire’ all his life.
He spent 17 years in education and the majority of his working life has been on production lines, going from shift to shift, day to day, for close to 22 years.
In between he has got married, had three kids, got divorced and married again.
His first childhood memory is sitting on a little stool at his great-grandmother’s house when he was about three years old, but he can’t remember his first ‘Wire’ game it was so long ago.
And, getting to the point, it was 14 years before he even entered this world that Warrington were last crowned champions.
He has often thought it won’t happen in his lifetime, almost giving up hope.
Many with a lifetime of experiences behind them will share in his pain.
Tonight, 17 brave men and the supporting experts around them can put that right. It puts the years between titles into context, but highlights the responsibility and pressure on our boys on the field tonight.
Neil Clerkin, of Latchford, will stand out in the crowd
Good atmosphere outside. Lots of cherry and White and primrose and blue. And confused tourists. Not sure rugby league is too big in japan...
Early arrivals at Old Trafford - friends Phoebe Farrar, aged 11, of Penketh, with Jake Pinnington, aged five, of Whittle Hall
Spotted outside, cycling great Bradley wiggins. He wasn't for speaking, but it is ok, he is a Wigan fan. Former wolves coach Paul Cullen in great spirits outside though
Oh dear. We thought all the drama was supposed to be on the pitch this evening but the Wigan fans have already scored a 1-0 win over the 'Wire.
One of the double decker buses from the Lord Rodney broke down on the motorway with smoke billowing from the engine.
They were rescued in half an hour with a replacement bus, not before being the butt of jibes from passing Wigan coaches.
Fans waiting for the train at Central Station a little earlier. The barmy army's on its way
Just saw the Wigan coach arriving to great cheers
TWO hours before kick off and the Old Trafford arena looks surreal.
The calm before the storm. It’s almost eerie, I’m sure Fergie’s ghost has just slithered by.
Seat by seat, this Theatre of Dreams and Nightmares will fill up until the meanest, toughest and most brutal game of 2013 erupts in front of around 70,000 supporters – millions more on TV around the world.
Tonight, it has to be Wolves’ dream and Wigan’s nightmare. It has to be.
Wolves have waited too long for this opportunity, not only to be crowned champions but to stuff the Pies on the biggest stage.
From start to finish it is going to be one hell of a ride. Enjoy all the build-up with us and we’ll be reporting the match as-it-happens here too – no Wigan bias here (unlike on TV), it’s primrose and blue all the way!
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