Tautai: We’ll be stronger for our WCC win

Wigan celebrate their 22-6 win against Cronulla
Wigan celebrate their 22-6 win against Cronulla

Taulima Tautai believes Wigan will be galvanised by the manner in which they claimed the World Club Challenge title.

The players return to training today to begin preparations for Friday’s visit of Widnes – still buoyed by their epic 22-6 victory against Cronulla on Sunday.

“Everyone went above and beyond, and the desperation we showed, I honesty think that will be good leading into this season,” said Tautai.

“It was one of the most physical games I’ve played in, they are huge players – very big boys – and to come away with the win, and the way we did it, was awesome.

“The Aussie clubs came over last year and battered us, so it’s also good for Super League to show we’re a good competition.”

Tautai’s first involvement was cut short after a heavy head knock, but he was given the all-clear to return to the pitch in the second-half.

“My wife came to me and said I was knocked out, and I said, ‘I wasn’t, I was just tired!’” said Tautai.

“I passed the test and got to go back on.”

Tautai says the significance of the WCC victory, against his former club, has already sunk in.

“It’s a privilege to do it with this club,” he said.

“In the build-up to the game, Waney brought in some of the players from the ‘87 win, and some of them hadn’t seen each other in years but they still had that common memory and unique bond, and that’s what we have now.

“In 30 years when I’m old and grey, struggling to walk, I’ll still have great memories of what we did.”