WIGAN’S bid to finish top of Super League was ripped from their grasp at Warrington yesterday.
The Wolves inflicted a 39-12 victory on the Challenge Cup holders, leapfrogging the Warriors in the process to claim pole position in the race for the league leaders’ shield.
Wigan’s only chance of finishing the campaign in the No.1 spot is if they beat Crusaders this Friday and Tony Smith’s outfit lose at Hull FC.
Captain Sean O’Loughlin refused to blame the euphoria of Wembley for contributing to their poor display at the Halliwell Jones.
He said: “We’re not looking for excuses.
“We’re all disappointed. They started well, they got the points on the board early on, we were on the defensive and they managed to take control of the game.”
O’Loughlin scored Wigan’s second try after Paul Deacon had crossed in the opening half.
But they were well out-played by the hosts, boosted by the return of Adrian Morley.
While Hull have hit some good form, they are already secured a play-off spot and Warrington will be fancied to claim the league leaders’ silverware this Friday.
But regardless of that result, O’Loughlin says they are determined to bounce back with a convincing display against Crusaders in their final game before the play-offs.
“It was tough to take but we can’t let this affect the rest of our season,” he said.
GARETH Hock will discover today whether he will have to face the RFL disciplinary panel after appearing to gouge Ben Harrison’s eyes.
The prop was placed on report.
If found guilty he faces a suspension.
JACK Murphy and Matt Russell scored tries as Wigan’s Under-20s went down 29-12 to Warrington in the curtain-raiser at the HJ yesterday. Murphy also kicked two goals.
Darren Fletcher’s young Warriors – Championship-winners last year – still finished the regular season in first position despite the defeat, two points clear of the Wolves.