Wane praises his champions

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SHAUN Wane had one last hurdle to jump in order to speak as a champion head coach.

His Warriors side trailed by 14 points late in the first half, before Darrell Goulding slid over to cut the deficit before the break.

Shaun Wane with skipper Sean O'Loughlin and man of the match Blake Green

Shaun Wane with skipper Sean O'Loughlin and man of the match Blake Green

And his Warriors, the Challenge Cup holders, shut out the Wolves in the second 40 to record a 30-16 Grand Final win to become champions for the 20th time.

“I just said that performance wasn’t us, we can play better, when I arrived they were already talking about that,” Wane said about the half-time team talk.

“I have to say I admire the players so much with the character and mental toughness to do that against a really tough Warrington team.”

The result also means Wane, who was man of the match in Wigan’s first World Club Challenge victory, by 8-2 against Manly in 1987, gets to be involved in the fixture once more.

“I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that - it’s a pity it’s not South against Madge (Michael Maguire, South Sydney Rabbitohs and former Warriors boss).

“To get two wins like that in two big games after being written off by everybody - especially in this game is really satisfying.”

Wane was also keen to praise his captain, Sean O’Loughlin, appearing in his first game since the Challenge Cup Final, having missed the last month though an Achilles injury.

“I’ve driven the players hard this year - I’ve been into them a few times,” he said.

“For him to do what he’s done in two huge games is outstanding. I can’t tell you how highly I regard him.”

O’Loughlin added: “ It was one of those injuries I knew once I’d had the team run with the lads I knew it was in good shape.”