SHAUN Wane couldn’t hide his emotions as Wigan’s Grand Final dream crumbled in agonising fashion last night.
The Warriors scored two tries to Leeds’ one, but Kevin Sinfield’s boot proved the difference as Leeds edged a nail-biting semi-final 13-12.
The coach said: “It’s a really disappointed dressing room.
“Two semi-finals is not good enough for me. We set our standards high – we need to do better than we did.
“When we were one point in front I knew it could come back and bite us, and it did.
“Leeds know how to win games, they know how to grind out wins, and they deserved the win.”
Wane was keen to stress his pride in his players for their efforts throughout the season – which saw them top the Super League ladder and reach two semi-finals.
“It’s not all doom and gloom, there have been some positives,” he said.
“The lads leaving have been great. In my first year, they have been a big help for me. Being in two semi-finals is no good to me because we need to do better – but there have been some positives.
“We’ve seen some kids come through to the team, we’ve had some good wins. So while I’m disappointed and while this isn’t good enough, I am proud of what my players have done – over the year they’ve been outstanding.”
Leeds were 11-0 up at the break but Wigan responded with tries from Harrison Hansen and Pat Richards to edge one-point ahead – before Sinfield stepped up to strike a 77th minute penalty which ultimately proved decisive.
Wane refused to use Sam Tomkins’ absence with an injury as a reason for the loss.
“We weren’t at 100 per cent best. If we play our first half like we did against Leeds, we gave ourselves too much to do,” he said.
“We put ourselves under pressure instead of building pressure and to lose Sam Tomkins is not an excuse to lose games. “
The game marked a farewell for George Carmont, Jeff Lima, Thomas Leuluai and Brett Finch, as well as Stuart Fielden who didn’t play.