WARRIOR CLASS Wigan legend Wane given the Grandest of send-offs
DOM MANFREDI’S double gave Shaun Wane the fairytale finish he craved, as Wigan lifted the third Super League title of their departing coach’s tenure.
Wane’s 30-year association with his hometown club now ends as he prepares to join Scotland RU in a consultancy role – and he leaves having again lifted rugby league’s biggest prize.
An emotional Wane (right) said: “I’m not bothered about the performance I just wanted the win.
“It was the perfect way to finish and I’ve got so much respect for the players. I’m a Wigan lad, born and bred so it’s an outstanding feeling.”
Wigan winger Manfredi added: “I’m lost for words, I can’t believe it. Full credit to the boys, all I had to do was put the ball down. The defence was outstanding, if you don’t have it, you have no chance.”
Warrington coach Steve Price said: “Credit to Wigan, their defence was outstanding. We could have executed better but I’m super proud of the effort.”
In many ways Manfredi’s performance typified Wane’s whole approach – brave and passionate above and beyond the call of duty.
The winger – who was only playing his fifth game back in the side having missed two years through horror injuries – sustained an horrific cut to his eyelid in making a try saving tackle on Tom Lineham.
But after being stitched and bandaged up he returned to the field and then scored the decisive try in the closing stages. Wane’s side – which also sees exits to players Sam Tomkins, John Bateman and Ryan Sutton – certainly played for each other and the club, something he has strived for throughout his time in charge. A Josh Charnley try aside – and despite the efforts of Harry Sunderland Trophy winner Stefan Ratchford — the Wolves failed to make the most of arguably the better attacking platforms during the game. Their 63-year wait for a topflight title goes on. The game still developed into a low-scoring arm-wrestle, with defences that conceded only a single try between them in 160 minutes of semi-final action again
DOUBLE UP: Dominic Manfredi (bandaged) celebrates his second try