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Departing Warrington Wolves prop Mike Cooper points to mental toughness and composure issues
MIKE Cooper feels that Warrington Wolves did not learn the necessary lessons from 2012’s Grand Final defeat to Leeds Rhinos.
And he says that is partially why they were destined to repeat that painful experience when returning to Old Trafford to face Wigan Warriors.
“We started pretty well, we completed well early on and we don’t normally do that, so coming into half time we were flying,” he said.
“We all know what happened second half, we did not control the ball enough and a quality side like Wigan will come back at you.
“We lacked some mental toughness and composure we should have learnt from last year and we let ourselves down.”
‘How could this happen again?’ is a question many of Wolves’ players will be asking themselves after once again letting a lead slip away under the Old Trafford lights.
The pain of last year’s Grand Final debut was supposed to be enough to inspire a different outcome this time around, a chance for redemption and to cement Wolves as the Super League powerhouse the players and fans both believe the club to be.
But for Cooper and five other departing players, they will also be feeling the pain of knowing that they will never be part of Wolves’ first Grand Final-winning side, of not leaving the club on the high note they all wanted.
“It is devastating,” said Cooper, who starts his two-year stint with NRL club St George Illawarra Dragons before the end of the year.
“Everything was on the cards for a victory and a real comfortable one at that in the first half.
“But instead this is going to take a long time to get over, I am just absolutely devastated.”
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