Wigan Warriors boss Adrian Lam 'a little bit devastated' but encouraged after Challenge Cup exit

Zak Hardaker celebrates his try against Warrington
Zak Hardaker celebrates his try against Warrington

Adrian Lam says Wigan were "really close to being really, really good" after they crashed out of the Challenge Cup.

A Stefan Ratchford penalty ultimately proved decisive in edging a 26-24 Round Six thriller at Warrington.

Lam cut an emotional figure as he addressed the media minutes afterwards, saying he felt his side did enough to secure a quarter-final spot.

But he was proud of his players' character and declared this performance as showing that Wigan will be a force in Super League.

He said: "I'm a little bit devastated, I thought we played well enough to win the game.

"I wanted to be involved in the Challenge Cup because I love the competition. It's not to be.

"But the exciting part is we're getting to where we need to be.

"We're a different team to six weeks ago and in six weeks we'll be different again. So here we come. Here we go."

Wigan battled back from 24-14 down in the second-half to level the scores before Ratchford poked the hosts in front.

"We missed the kick for touch, we were flying and I don't want to point the finger but we didn't get the ball back for 13 minutes, they got the two points during that period, so a couple of little individual errors were pressure-releases," he said. "We were really close to being really, really good.

"There were some soft tries - when we score 24 points we should be winning the game.

"But they were very courageous. I can't question the character."