THE game was good, the result was right and – thanks to Joel Tomkins’ incredible try – we have a defining image to remember the 2011 Challenge Cup Final from.
If there’s any justice, the short clip of him receiving a pass from his brother Sam, charging down the wing, fending off Danny McGuire and slicing between the cover to touchdown will be replayed for years to come. It will certainly burn bright in fans’ memories, the same way they can mentally recap the tries scored by Brett Kenny, John Ferguson and Henderson Gill. And what about Ellery Hanley crossing in ‘88 after Joe Lydon’s terrific break, or Hanley skittling Saints players in ‘89?
Yet when I watched the game back on Sky Plus on Sunday morning, another image caught my attention.
After Sean O’Loughlin had lifted the Challenge Cup and it was passed along the line of team-mates, Lee Mossop took the silverware and turned to Sam Tomkins for help.
After dislocating his shoulder early in the game, he didn’t have the strength in his arm to lift the Cup above his head unaided. Yet still, he put that pain aside to make sure he didn’t let his team-mates down. The fact Mossop managed to return to the pitch and play, after having the joint put back into place, underlined just how much determination these players had.
And it was great to see so many fans turn out and wait in the drizzling rain to greet them back to Wigan the following day. Let’s hope the Warriors can back it up this weekend – if they beat Warrington on Sunday, they will finish the Super League on top.
HOW disappointing that some have allowed Sam Tomkins’ daft mistake to over-shadow his brother’s great try and his team’s terrific victory.
The two-fingered salute he flicked at the same set of fans who had booed him while on England duty, occurred in the heat of the battle. It was wrong, and it showed a distinct lack of class on his part. He’s since done the right thing and apologised. Let’s hope others will now leave it be.
It’s been a long time coming, but it was nice to see Franco di Santo get off the mark for the season – and how – against QPR.
He’s had his critics, but the Argentine has all the tools to be a frontline striker in the Premier League.
The only thing holding Di Santo back has been a lack of goals, and hopefully the floodgates will now open. Five points from the first three matches of the campaign is also a great base for Latics to build on. With a bit of luck, it could have been nine.
The international break has probably come at a good time, allowing new arrivals time to bed in and Steve Gohouri and Antolin Alcaraz to continue their road to recovery.
It’s also as good a time as any to prepare to face Man City, too, in their next fixture.
With City’s stars all jetting around the world to represent their countries this weekend, Latics will be hoping to catch them off-guard when they return.