GRAND Final tries in Warrington Wolves versus Wigan Warriors showdowns are his speciality but for the first time last night Josh Charnley ended up a loser.

The 27-year-old winger broke The Wire's hearts with the 2016 winning try at Old Trafford, having also been among the scorers for Wigan when they came from behind to Warrington in the 2013 decider.

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He grabbed Warrington's only points last night as his 12th-minute try put his new team ahead before Dom Manfredi and Tom Davies replied to give Wigan a first-half lead that they never lost and sealed matters three minutes from time with Manfredi's second effort.

"It’s gutting. Against my old team it’s even harder to take," said Charnley, who spent 18 months in rugby union with Sale Sharks before returning to the 13-man code with Warrington in March.

"But we’ve been in two finals this year. The club is building in the right direction, so we’ll take a lot of positives from that.


Josh Charnley approaches disconsolate Kevin Brown as the stand-off is commiserated by squad member Harvey Livett after the final hooter sounded on the 2018 Super League Grand Final against Wigan Warriors at Old Trafford. Picture: Mike Boden

“When you think back to last year Warrington finished ninth in the league, so we’re doing something right this year.

"We can take a lot from it, but it’s gutting the club’s not won silverware again this year.

“We’ve got a good coach, we’ve got a good system, we just need to build on this now.

“We can regroup in five to six weeks’ time and put a plan together to see what we can do next year.”

The Wire did a lot of things right, enjoying huge chunks of territory and possession for periods in the game.

But the execution was poor at times.

“We stuck to the plan that we had. Wigan are just hard to break down, they’re well structured and well coached," said Charnley, who ended the season as Wire's top try scorer with 25 in 28 games.

"You’ve got to try and crack them and we tried everything but their defence was too good tonight.”

He knows better than anybody the emotion that would have been felt in Wigan's preparations.

It was there when he left the club as a champion in 2016, as it would have been for departing head coach Shaun Wane and players John Bateman, Sam Tomkins and Ryan Sutton last night.

But The Wire were also looking for a fond farewell for Tyrone Roberts, George King, Boden Thompson and head of strength and conditioning Jon Clarke.

“There would have been a lot of emotion in their camp," said Charnley.

"I know when I left Wigan in 2016 you want to win silverware and end on a high.

"There’s a lot of players leaving there, as have we and staff.

“There’s a lot of emotion going around but they were just too good defensively.”

Charnley will recover with a focus on his family as he and fiancee Zoe Louise are expecting their second child, a brother or sister for Arlo who is nearly two.

Thankfully all te excitement and drama of the season's finale did not prompt an early arrival and a mad dash to the hospital during the game.

“Nothing yet. Wednesday she’s due, so I can relax now and look after her," he said.

“I need some family time, because I’ve only had three weeks in four years. I need a break, spend some time with the family and relax.

“We don’t know what we’re having, it’ll be a surprise, fun and games."