As 2016 draws to an end, Phil Wilkinson counts down his 10 favourite Wigan games from the last year.
10: World Club Series, February 20 - Wigan 12 Brisbane 42:
Sure, Wigan lost. Indeed, it’s the only defeat on this list. But it was good to play such quality opposition – Anthony Milford was sensational – and to see some big NRL stars at the DW Stadium.
9: Super League, July 2 - Catalans 6 Wigan 26:
The French outfit lost just twice at home in 2016. This was one of those occasions. It was a gutsy win for Shaun Wane’s outfit, who flew in and out in a day and put a dampener on the Dragon’s 10-year party celebrations.
8: Super League, March 25 - St Helens 12 Wigan 24:
A week after ending a proud, long unbeaten home record with defeat against Widnes, the Warriors showed their character with a gutsy and deserved Good Friday derby at Langtree Park. Great stuff.
7: Super League, March 4 - Hull FC 25 Wigan 26:
What a finish to a barmy game! Matty Smith hit a late drop-goal, only to have it cancelled out by a Marc Sneyd one-pointer... and then Smith put Wigan ahead again from long-range. George Williams scored a dazzling try.
6: Magic Weekend, May 21 - Leeds 8 Wigan 40:
Shaun Wane preserved his perfect record in the Magic fixtures as his Wigan side put Leeds to the sword. Willie Isa scored twice to light up the headlining game at Newcastle – and go some way to answering questions about their stuttering attack.
5: Super League, September 9 - Hull FC 12 Wigan 18:
A week after a shock home loss to Widnes, Wigan reignited their campaign with a gutsy win at the KC Stadium. Taulima Tautai thundered over for the match-winning try late on – and from that point, the Warriors never lost as they marched all the way to Grand Final glory.
4: Super League, August 19 - Wigan 25 St Helens 0:
It wasn’t a classic derby. But claiming their first ‘none-Easter’ derby win in a long time, and nilling St Helens, deserve acclaim. Anthony Gelling scored a hat-trick.
3: SL semi-final, September 30 - Wigan 28 Hull FC 18:
Wigan were just pipped to the league leaders’ shield, but this was the win which sent them to the Grand Final. The match was in the balance until Anthony Gelling’s late try – which prompted wild celebrations.
2: Super League, September 16 - Warrington 28 Wigan 35:
What a game. What a win. Wigan were on the ropes when Ben Flower was red-carded, but conjured a remarkable comeback with four well-crafted tries in the last 20 minutes including Gelling’s late breakaway intercept. Based solely on the 80 minutes, this was the best...
No.1: Grand Final, October 8 - Warrington 6 Wigan 12:
But based on the prize on offer, this took the mantle as Wigan’s best game.
Sean O’Loughlin returned to the side after more than two months out, as the Warriors battled from behind to win. Having trailed 6-2 at the break, Oliver Gildart crossed for the 100th try ever scored in a Super League Grand Final, before Josh Charnley sealed victory with a touchdown in his farewell appearance.
Liam Farrell was a deserved man of the match, though makeshift full-back Dan Sarginson and winger Lewis Tierney also impressed.