SHAUN Wane admits shell-shocked Wigan were the architects of their own downfall as they were gunned down 17-6 at Warrington last night.
He cursed the “basic errors” which saw them cough up an alarming amount of possession, and saw them cross for just a solitary try by Dom Manfredi in the second-half.
The defeat ended an impressive five-game winning run against the Wolves which trailed back to the 2013 Grand Final.
Warrington were missing several frontline stars last night and Wane believes that may have impacted on his players’ approach.
“Perhaps it would have been better if they were at full-strength - I think it got to us mentally,” he said.
“Anyone with any rugby league knowledge could see we didn’t give ourselves a chance.
“Our completion was poor - 62 per cent - and we were out-enthused. We didn’t deserve it.
“If we’d sneaked it I’d have still been upset.
“But that happens sometimes - my job is to make sure we fix it.”
Wigan only trailed 6-0 with five minutes before the break - courtesy of a dazzling Richie Myler effort - but a drop-goal and converted try had them 13-0 down at half-time.
Gareth O’Brien added a third touchdown in the second-half, but Micky McIlorum’s return from the bench added spark to the visitors, leading to Manfredi’s consolation.
Although Wane says Wigan were well outbeaten, he took a thinly-guised swipe at referee Ben Thaler.
“You need a strong referee,” he said. “The game was slow and it was allowed to be that way. But they got away with it, and fair play to them.”
The loss stretched their chances of climbing to the top of the Super League table before the Super 8s begin.
Wigan have just three games left - starting with next Thursday’s clash against Leeds - before the season splits. The home/away split of the remaining seven fixtures favour the sides which finish higher up the ladder.
Tony Smith described the Wolves’ performance as the best defensive display for several weeks of a stuttering campaign.
But he conceded the visitors’ misfiring attack eased them to a morale-boosting victory, just five days after overcoming Leigh in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
“We dug deep for each other,” he said. “But some of Wigan’s execution wasn’t as good as it has been. They weren’t at their very best.
“You have those off-days when the ball doesn’t go to hand, and had it done, it would have tested us more.”