Adrian Lam: Winning a first Grand Final would be highlight
Adrian Lam is hoping to make it third time lucky as he seeks his maiden Grand Final victory.
The 50-year-old – preparing his side for Friday’s showcase against St Helens – had a stellar playing career but failed to add a winner’s ring to his accolades.
He scored Wigan’s only try in a 37-6 defeat to the Bulls in the 2001 decider at Old Trafford.
And the previous year, he had departed the NRL with a 14-6 Grand Final loss for the Sydney Roosters against the Brisbane Broncos.
Lam said: “As a player, you have memories of why things went well for you in the big games and why they didn’t go well for you, and you want to take those moments and use them when you coach.
“I’ve done that at certain times as a coach, it’s handy if the players don’t have to experience what you went through.
“There were many highlights in my playing career – winning the Challenge Cup was certainly one – but in regards to coaching winning this Grand Final would be the highlight, without a doubt.”
Lam is in his second year as Wigan coach, and is widely expected to be retained for 2021 after guiding the side to the League Leaders’ Shield and into Friday’s Grand Final. He was also voted Super League’s Coach of the Year by his peers and is determined to end a disrupted and drawn-out season on top.
“It’s been a different year, not having the crowd there in the semi-final was weird,” he said.
“But I think this game will be as good a game we’ve seen all season. I think it’ll be a gold medal for Super League after a hard year for everyone.
“I thought three weeks ago it had the intensity of any game I’d seen in the last 12 months, here or in the NRL.
“And I can’t see this being any different.”
Hooker Sam Powell, an influential figure in the side, was missing from last Thursday’s semi-final with Lam putting his absence down to family issues. But Lam expects him to return, probably in place of Harry Smith.
Friday’s game, played behind-closed-doors at Hull’s KCOM Stadium, kicks-off at 8pm and is live on Sky Sports.
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