Liam Marshall hails Wigan Warriors captain Sean O'Loughlin after '˜miracle' play
Sean O'Loughlin was hailed for his 'miracle' play which helped get Wigan back into the winning groove.
The Warriors captain produced a towering display in a 14-10 win, powering through 80 minutes against Hull FC - and even needed running repairs on a dislocated finger.
In the final few minutes, he launched a looping pass for Liam Marshall to jet over for a match-winner.
And the winger said: “He’s something else, that fella. He’s like a fine wine, he gets better every year.
“To put in 80 minutes, in those conditions, is just outstanding.
“If that was anyone else who’d played in the middle for 80 minutes and thrown that pass at the end, we’d be calling it a miracle ball. But we come to expect it, because it’s Lockers.
“I don’t think there are many in the game who could do that, and that’s why he’s one of the best.”
Saturday’s victory ended a three-game losing run and Marshall admits there was a different feeling in the build-up to the previous three weeks.
“The desire was definitely there (against Hull),” he said. “In the last three weeks, it’s been a bit low in camp and a couple of the losses have come from them wanting it more than us, which is like a dagger to the heart, it hurts your pride.
“We spoke about it and the effort was there today.
“The mood around the camp has been a bit low and a win will pick that up.”
Wigan breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when Thomas Leuluai was left out of New Zealand’s squad to face England in Denver this weekend. England trio O’Loughlin, John Bateman and George Williams flew out yesterday and will miss Friday’s trip to Castleford.
“Castleford is tough even with a full-strength team, but we’ll not speak about that - if the 17 players do their job, we give ourselves a chance,” added Marshall.
And O’Loughlin is delighted to be representing his country, despite admitting frustration at missing the Castleford test.
“I’m disappointed to be missing a game for Wigan but you don’t get many chances to play for England and they are always special, you can never turn them down,” said O’Loughlin.
Impressively, this was their 10th win in 11 trips to the KCom Stadium since 2010.
Second-placed Wigan have a two-point buffer on Warrington and three on Castleford, who beat Wakefield and drew with Hull KR respectively yesterday.
“Hull are a good team - they’re a bit busted – and it could easily have gone the other way,” said Wane. “But Tom Davies had a try ruled out, I’ve watched it again and it was a definite try, so I think we deserved the win.”