Ratchford keeps his Wigan neighbours sweet with cup final win

Wigan's fiercest rivals St Helens were beaten by Stefan Ratchford's Warrington Wolves in the Challenge Cup Final
Wigan's fiercest rivals St Helens were beaten by Stefan Ratchford's Warrington Wolves in the Challenge Cup Final

People living on a certain street Wigan may have a little extra work to do after their neighbour helped conquer St Helens.

Normally when Stefan Ratchford appears in finals for Warrington, talk over the garden fence is at a minimum as it is the Warriors he is facing.

This time, though, it will be a very different tale after he played a starring role in the Wolves’ surprise Challenge Cup final success on Saturday.

“They’ll be happy,” said Ratchford about his neighbours. “I’m sure the Wigan-supporting ones will certainly be!

“I’m hoping they’ve cleaned my back garden for me!

“It’s all a bit of friendly banter. Us, Wigan and St Helens have a nice little rivalry going on but it’s all good and what we need in the sport.”

Ratchford was not the only Warrington player from Wigan to get one over on the old enemy as the Wolves ran out 18-4 winners, despite being written off by many people.

Jack Hughes said before the game that seeing how the Warriors’ squad went about its business in 2013, when he was 18th man for their final win over Hull, would still play a role in how he approached the big day.

One thing is certain, though, playing stand-off in the absence of star Blake Austin would definitely not have been in his plan.

“It’s on the CV, I’ve won the Challenge Cup as a stand-off,” Hughes said. ”It’s there but I’m the kind of guy who’ll always do what’s best for the team.

“It wasn’t too adventurous and pretty basic but I thought I’d give it a good shot.”

Now Warrington have won one trophy, all eyes switch to Super League where they are again battling Saints and the Warriors are coming up like a train on the outside.

But Hughes feels getting his hands on one piece of silverware can put Steve Price’s side in the mood to clinch others. He added: “It’s amazing. We felt as a team that was the next step, to bring a trophy home.

“The hunger’s there but to actually win a trophy and get your hands on one, it really gives you that bug.

“Hopefully moving forward we’ll bring a few more trophies home over the next few years.

“It was a big effort. It was hot and humid and the game was end to end.

“We said before the game that if we can get on top of their pack and get at their back three, we can go a long way to winning that game.”