Wane “not going to try” to defend Flower

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane

SHAUN Wane refused to defend forward Ben Flower after the forward was sent off in the second minute of Wigan’s Grand Final defeat to St Helens.

The forward threw two punches at Lance Hohaia – one while he was on the deck – leaving referee Phil Bentham with no choice but to show a red card.

Wigan did take a 6-2 half-time lead but the extra man told for Saints after the break as they went on to win 14-6.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Wane backed the referee’s decision and said Flower was “devastated” for his error.

“I’m not going to try to (defend the red card),” he said.

“It was a red, he punched him in the head and deserved to go.

“I’ve had a chat to him, he’s devastated. He’s done some good things for me but he made a huge error today. You can’t explain it. It was a rush of blood.

“The RFL deal with that, anything he gets I’ll stand by him. He’ll understand it cannot happen again.

“He’ll learn, nobody needs to have a go like that.”

Wane suggested the Welsh forward would not face internal punishment and would have to learn from the incident.

The Warriors coach did pour praise on his other players though, with the rest battling superbly as they tried to defend their Super League title.

It was not to be though as departing Saint Sia Soliola and Tom Makinson scored second-half tries to win the game.

“We had to change game plan,” he added.

“I’m very proud of desire we showed. We went at them time and time again and could have scored more tries.

“We could have won the game and it would have been a great victory for us. Saints were worthy winners though, the pressure of five losses I can’t imagine.”