Wane salutes “sweetest” win for 12-man Warriors

Sean O'Loughlin is sent off for the first time in his career
Sean O'Loughlin is sent off for the first time in his career

Shaun Wane hailed one of the “sweetest wins ever” as Wigan roared top of the ladder - despite Sean O’Loughlin being sent off.

The captain faced a red-card for the first time in his 15-year career for a high tackle on Chris Annakin in the 38th minute.

Warriors had already been shown two yellow-cards - to Josh Charnley and Dom Manfredi - leaving them a man-down for an hour of this match.

Wakefield took an 18-10 lead by the middle of the second-half, but two tries by winger Lewis Tierney - including a final-minute clincher - secured a thrilling 22-18 victory.

And Wane said: “I’m very, very proud of our effort.

“To be as to be as busted as we are, and to give two debuts out and to get a lot of decisions going against us, I can’t put into words how proud I am.

“It was one of the sweetest wins ever.”

Wane said he felt O’Loughlin’s red card was harsh, though hadn’t studied footage when he faced the media after his eighth-straight win.

He did, however, question several of referee James Child’s decisions.

He said: “There were some very very strange decisions, some obvious misses, worrying misses.

“So we had everything going against us and with the team we’ve got out and the sin binnings and sending off... to come up with that win was extra extra special.”

Tierney pounced on George Williams’ grubber in the final few seconds - before sliding into the advertising hoardings - to put Wigan ahead.

Asked how he reacted, Wane said: “Me and Rads (Kris Radlinski, rugby director) hugged like we’ve never hugged before!

“It was the strangest thing you’ve ever seen but it meant a lot to him and meant a lot to me, and you know it’s a very very proud victory, not for the club mainly for our junior department, junior coaches need to take a massive rap for that win.”

With Hull FC losing to Leeds, it sent them two points clear at the top of the table.

Wane gave out two debuts - to Macauley Davies and Kyle Shelford - who played a few minutes each in a tense second-half.

As well as waiting to see if O’Loughlin faces any punishment for the challenge for which he was red-carded, Wane will wait to find out the severity of Josh Charnley’s shoulder injury picked up late in the game.

But mid-season recruit Frank-Paul Nuuausala arrives on Monday and could make his debut at Leeds next Friday.