Victory V

Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins
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HE may have waded into a cup final controversy, but Sam Tomkins wasn’t going to allow that to sour his first Wembley experience.

The electric No.1 had dominated the build-up to Saturday’s encounter, and while he was never really allowed to showcase his breathtaking brilliance, he more than played his part in a thrilling classic.

But Tomkins could find himself in hot water with the RFL, which confirmed after the game it was investigating a report that he made a two-fingered sign to Leeds fans after Josh Charney’s ninth-minute opener. The gesture was captured, briefly, by the BBC cameras.

Tomkins – booed by Leeds’ fans while in action for England at Headingley in June – shrugged off the affair.

“Someone else has mentioned that to me,” he said. “I really don’t know what it is. I’ve no idea what you’re on about.”

The incident was the latest example of a deepening rivalry between these two sides.

Tomkins’ brother, Joel, said the full-back came in for some “disgraceful” treatment during the game.

“It’s disgraceful when you’ve got people like Ryan Bailey flying in (at the end of the first-half),” said the centre.

“He’s not doing it to anybody else. He’s doing it to our smallest bloke on the field.“

Tomkins was far more willing to talk about the euphoria of winning Wigan’s first Challenge Cup since the 2002 victory over St Helens at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield.

“It was a great feeling at the final hooter,” he said.

“Walking around at the end was amazing, and it was nice to show off the trophy at the end to the fans.

“They follow us around the country and it was for them.”

Wigan dominated the opening stages and took a commanding 16-0 lead, only to be pegged back by a Leeds resurgence.

“It was a tough game, and we were never comfortable until Tommy went over at the end,” said the 22-year-old.

“All credit to Leeds. They were outstanding.

“They’re no mugs, they showed up to play.

“We had our purple patch and they had theirs.

“But we weathered their storm and we managed to hold them off at the end.”

Tomkins was happy to let his brother take the limelight for a stunning, 80m try, which he helped create with a weaving run across the pitch.

“I gave him the ball and he showed what he can do,” said Tomkins.

“He is a bit of a unit and he can shift as well.

“I was always confident he would make it.

“He is a key player for us – when he plays well, usually the team does too.

“On the big stage he was impressive throughout, and all credit to him.

“He’s had a tough time switching from back row to centre but anyone who is in any doubt, should just watch that try again.”

Tomkins admitted he may consider having Saturday’s achievement etched on to his body if other team-mates get tattoos as well.

And he is hoping to complete a dream year with another piece of silverware with his club. He added: “It’s hard to do, winning both, but it’s everybody’s goal and we’re hoping to win the Grand Final again this year.”