Shaun Wane admitted he was struggling for the right words to describe completing his collection of trophies as Wigan Warriors boss.
His sixth season in charge of the club is barely underway, and the only trophy to have eluded him is now safely tucked away in the DW Stadium’s trophy cabinet.
I was really, really pleased with the manner and the way they stuck at it.Shaun Wane
He watched as his Warriors defended for their lives to secure a 22-6 win over NRL champions Cronulla, and was most pleased to see them trust in his plan.
When asked how the win compared to his experiences of the 1987 win over Manly, Wane admitted his latest triumph was more satisfying.
“I’d say (it’s better) as a coach because you have 17 players trusting you and what you say about your game plan,” he said.
“I’ve absolutely drowned the players with information and to see them trust it and defend everything they had in attack - that was just gameplan stuff.
“It was nice as a player I must admit. We partied for days after that.
“But we’re playing on Friday. We’ll have a good day today.”
Hat-trick hero Joe Burgess had struck twice by the break to fire Wigan into a 10-0 lead despite defending their line for long, nail-biting periods.
And fans dared to believe when Oliver Gildart ducked through the Sharks’ defence to help his side into a 16-0 lead before Jesse Raimen’s response on the hour dialled-up the tension.
“We did too much defence but the quality of the defence was good. I was very proud,” said Wane.
“I was really, really pleased with the manner and the way they stuck at it.
They showed some real desire to defend. Especially to defend our line on so many sets.
“It was a great effort.”
By the time Burgess’ third try was awarded the final hooter had sounded and the 21,000 fans inside the DW Stadium were in party mode, with Wane particularly proud for the home-grown talent in his ranks.
“It’s hard to put into words how that makes me feel,” he explained.
“You must think George (Williams) and Lewis (Tierney) and people like that, Sam Powell, to win a Grand Final and then become world champions on your own pitch in front of your own fans and all your family - it’s up there.”