Warriors will bounce back, vows Wane

Shaun Wane surveys the damage from the dugout during the semi-final of the Challenge Cup against Leeds

Shaun Wane surveys the damage from the dugout during the semi-final of the Challenge Cup against Leeds

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SHAUN Wane vowed Wigan will come back stronger from their Challenge Cup heartbreak.

The holders had the silverware stripped from their grasp on Saturday after going down 39-28 to Leeds in a free-scoring semi-final in Huddersfield’s Galpharm Stadium.

Wigan were the favourites going into the encounter, but were 16-0 down early on as a catalogue of errors were ruthlessly punished by a white-hot Rhinos side.

It means there will be no dream return to Wembley – where they beat Leeds 28-18 to win the trophy last year – for Wane in his debut year as coach.

But he is adamant his squad will be galvanised by the weekend’s misery as they amp up their bid for a place at Old Trafford.

Wigan are three points clear at the top of the ladder and desperate to get their hands on the Super League title.

Wane said: “I’m desperately disappointed we’re not going to Wembley.

“But we’ve got Old Trafford to focus on now, we have some big games ahead of us and some important games to play.

“We will learn from this – and we will get better.

“In big games, you can’t turn up and make so many errors.

“We’re better than that, and this will make us a stronger team – I promise you that.”

Skipper Sean O’Loughlin added: “We’re all disappointed, but we can’t spend the week kicking stones and feeling sorry for ourselves.

“We have to look at where we can get better, and we will.”