Burgess: ‘I thought I’d flown in to save the day’

Joe Burgess makes a break at Wembley
Joe Burgess makes a break at Wembley

Joe Burgess admits he thought he was the “hero” when he swept over in the dying stages of Saturday’s Challenge Cup Final.

The winger had crossed in the 72nd minute to cut the score to 18-14 and keep alive Wigan’s Wembley hopes.

They chanced their arm as they chased the game and, with a minute to go, he swept over for a try which would have locked the scores – ahead of the conversion.

If the game had finished a draw, it would have been the first Challenge Cup Final to go to overtime.

But referee Phil Bentham called a forward pass by George Williams in the build-up.

“I thought I did it, I thought I was the hero,” admitted Burgess.

“But it got pulled back. It was forward.”

Moments earlier, he had broken the Hull defence and kicked the ball on – early in the tackle count.

“That was poor by me,” he admitted. “I thought there was less time – just poor game-awareness, on my part.

“There were times I could see they were gone. Their forwards were struggling. But they were smart with it - they got the ball, slowed it down.”

Burgess – hat-trick star in the World Club Challenge – has lost two Grand Finals and now a Challenge Cup final with Wigan.

He hopes the disappointment of Saturday will galvanise the squad as they try and keep alive their Super League campaign.

“We can’t say forget about it – we’ve just lost a final – but I know one thing, it’ll give us more of a boost,” he said.

“This Friday is a really big game in terms of the top-four.”

Forward Liam Farrell felt the period after half-time proved crucial – and not just because Hull extended their lead from 12-10 to 18-10.

“We spent a lot of time on our own line and causing ourselves some problems, and when we did that we drained ourselves of energy and it put us in a bad position when we got the ball near their line,” he explained.

“In saying that, I honestly thought Budgie had scored, but it was too good to be true. As disappointing as it is, Hull deserved it on the day. It was three tries each but in critical areas of the game they played better than us. It’s something we need to fix.”