Wane: Victory would even top beating Manly
Shaun Wane says Grand Final victory would be his greatest achievement '“ as a player or coach.
He memorably won the man of the match award in the 8-2 World Club Challenge win against Manly in 1987.
The year later, he was a member of the side which triumphed at Wembley – the start of a golden eight-year Challenge Cup run – and as a coach he registered a double in 2013.
But he reckons a win against Warrington at Old Trafford this Saturday night would top the lot.
He said: “We’ve got a million pound of our salary cap on crutches.
“That’s why, if we win, it’ll be my greatest achievement – better than winning the double, better than beating Manly – the adversity we’ve had has been unreal.
“But there’s a lot of desire, if we lose it won’t be a lack of trying.
“If we can win this, it’d be outstanding.”
This campaign has been particularly testing for the Warriors head coach, who has had to deal with a persistently long injury-list and is likely to be without seven players tonight.
“It’s not just about how many we’ve got out now, but what we’ve had to deal with all year,” he said.
“People can see who’s been missing but they’ve not seen how many players have been unable to train, and just played games – that has such a big impact, because you don’t get to work on things.
“This year has been tough, it’s not been enjoyable.
“It seems every day the physio has said: ‘Such-a-body can’t train, someone else is injured’ – it’s been a slog.
“That’s why it’s hard to hear the negativity.
“To get the win wouldn’t get away from it, but it would make it a nice ending.”
He kept the side on course for a top-four finish despite their difficulties, but came under fire for their spluttering attack.
While disruption to the side, and the absentees, provided some mitigation for their inability to rack up the points, Wane admitted the criticism stung.
“But it’s part and parcel of the job,” he said.
“I knew the real reasons, but I have to take it on the chin, I’m a Wigan head coach – it’s what you get with this job.
“I think the majority of the fans understood the position we’ve been in.
“And now we’re at Old Trafford, and we’ve got a chance to win a trophy.”
Wane will give captain Sean O’Loughlin until as late as possible before deciding whether to include him.
The England skipper has not played since August 5 due to a leg injury.
Kick-off is 6pm.