Wane: We never thought it was Rover

Matty Smith
Matty Smith

Shaun Wane was ‘ecstatic’ after seeing his Wigan Warriors side steal a last-gasp victory at Hull KR to move up to second in the Super League table.

The visitors had looked dead and buried after seeing an early 8-0 lead – thanks to Dom Manfredi’s brace – turn into an 18-8 deficit inside the final quarter.

But Anthony Gelling’s touchdown gave Wigan hope of a comeback, and a moment of magic from Sam Tomkins with just over a minute remaining levelled the scores.

Matty Smith held his nerve to boot over a difficult conversion and extend Wigan’s winning run to four matches, leaving the coach with a huge smile on his face.

“We somehow found a way to win,” said Wane.

“We put ourselves under a fair bit of pressure.

“But we did a good job in the end, we showed some good composure.

“To do it on the back of 16 errors, and kicking the ball out on the last play so many times, I’m ecstatic.”

Wane reserved special praise for full-back Tomkins, who is starting to show exactly why Warriors were so keen to bring him back from his injury-plagued spell in the NRL.

“He did a lot of good things in the game, which people maybe won’t have noticed – like the pass for the try in the first half,” added the Warriors coach.

“The competitor he is, he wanted to win, and we found a way in the end to get there.”

Wigan’s win was all the more impressive given they were forced into an 11th-hour change after Dan Sarginson pulled a quad in the warm-up, meaning a late call-up for Lewis Tierney and a switch to the centres for Josh Charnley.

“It was huge, it was massive,” said Wane.

“Fair play to Lewis, who was walking off the field, and then called back to play out of position.

“We’d ran all week with Dan in there so it was a massive disruption.

“But I thought we did well to stay in the game after having to do so much defending.

“With 18 minutes to go, we were defending our line but I said to John Winder we’ll snatch this one.

“I just felt with a bit of composure, a bit of knowing how to grind out games, we could do it.

“We made hard work of it, like we did at Castleford and Salford, but we didn’t win by the margin we deserved.”

Hull KR coach James Webster said: “It’s was a really gutsy effort but we made too many errors.

“We were unbelievably tough to repel our try-line for 80 minutes. To lose in that manner was gut-wrenching.”