Maguire relieved as Wigan clinch shield - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maguire relieved as Wigan clinch shield

By David Jordan 23/08/2010 10:39:58 AM Comments (0)

Michael Maguire guided Wigan to the Super League leader's shield with victory over Hull KR - and then blasted his side for shredding his nerves.

Wigan should have wrapped up their first piece of silverware in eight years last weekend but fluffed their lines in the 18-16 defeat to Huddersfield.

The Warriors looked set to be frustrated again after Hull KR fought back from 14-0 down to lead 18-14 before Pat Richards converted Sam Tomkins' try to put the visitors back in front.

The 28-year-old Australian made sure Wigan grabbed their second chance with both hands by storming over for his second try of the game before converting it and two more late tries to wrap up the 38-18 win.

But after seeing his side surrender their early advantage in a shocking start to the second-half, Wigan coach Maguire admitted he was expecting better.

"The first half was a bit special and we wanted to do the same for the second period but we had that setback," the former Melbourne Storm assistant coach said.

"For 20 minutes in the second half we lost our way and could not get the ball back.

"We put pressure on ourselves but I thought the side showed great strength in getting back to what was needed."

Leeds boss Brian McClennan says his side's warm-up for the Challenge Cup final could not have gone any better with their 52-6 demolition of Catalan Dragons.

Ryan Hall and Danny McGuire both grabbed hat-tricks but it was the latter who was the star of the show that lifted the Rhinos to fourth place to leave ex-New Zealand coach McClennan in buoyant mood ahead of their tip to Wembley.

He said: "We have come through reasonably okay and were able to rest a couple of guys as the game went on.

"It was a long second half but it's out of the way now and good to be able to solely focus on our preparation for next week.

"Danny was jumping around there with great anticipation and scored a great hat-trick.

"He can run and once he gets clear he's hard to stop. He's got good speed endurance and it was a good effort, but Danny wasn't on his own."

Leeds' Challenge Cup final opponents Warrington were equally impressive in their 36-18 win over Hull with five players crossing.

But coach Tony Smith is relieved to finally focus on Leeds after two weeks of anticipation.

He said: "The final has been a distraction, there is no doubt about that.

"The chance to play at Wembley is massive, we try to treat it like any other game but it is hard not to think about the what-ifs."

Elsewhere, former North Queensland man David Faiumu continued his impressive season by grabbing two of Huddersfield's nine tries in the 52-4 demolition of Salford.

And after losing twice in the play-offs last year, Salford head coach Shaun McRae has tipped the Giants to be the dark horses this time round.

"Huddersfield work hard, attack and have X-factor players who can come up with the unexpected," he said.

"If they are fully fit then I think there's a good chance of them being the team that gets out of the bottom half of the play-offs to reach Old Trafford."

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