Noble quits Wigan after St Helens defeat - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Noble quits Wigan after St Helens defeat

By Nick Webster 04/10/2009 03:47:52 PM Comments (0)

Wigan coach Brian Noble quit the Super League club after his side slipped to a 14-10 play-off semi-final defeat to St Helens at Knowsley Road.

Noble, whose contract at the DW Stadium expires at the end of this season, will leave immediately after crunch talks with Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan.

Francis Meli's double did the damage for St Helens while Sean Long also scored on his final appearance in a Saints shirt at Knowsley Road.

George Carmont and Pat Richards scored for Wigan but it wasn't enough to prevent Saints sealing their ticket to the Grand Final against Leeds and Noble paid tribute to his side.

"I'm not going to be at Wigan next season but the players didn't know that," said Noble.

"I've known for a week now and met with Ian last week and we agreed a change was needed for both of us.

"I'm really proud of my players and they've once again proved what a top team they are.

"It was a game of so many close calls that went against us, that gave them good field position and they had the better moments of the back of that.

"I thought the players were awesome and it was about them not me. I wanted them to concentrate on this game and focus, but they can all be very proud of what they've achieved through the season."

Leeds coach Brian McClennan insists there is more to come from his Rhinos side after they booked their ticket to a third successive Grand Final.

The Rhinos held off a spirited second-half charge from Catalans Dragons to record a 27-20 victory at Headingley on Friday with Danny McGuire and Ryan Hall scoring doubles and ex-Manly wing Scott Donald crossing the try-line.

Dragons wing Duport scored a hat-trick but New Zealander McClennan insists his troops were far from their best.

"We hold our hands up - we could have done better. But in some ways it's good that we didn't fire all our shots," he said.

Catalans had been the surprise package in the end-of-season play-offs this year, picking up away victories at Wakefield and Huddersfield to book their place in the semi-final after finishing eighth in the regular season.

But Dragons coach Kevin Walters admits their luck finally ran out against the Super League favourites.

"I don't think we took our opportunities but I thought Leeds' defence was very good," the former Brisbane half-back said.

"Leeds are a good side and they showed that.

"I still thought even at half-time we were still in the game. We fought back well in the second half but not quite well enough."

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