Wigan coach eyes new era after victory - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wigan coach eyes new era after victory

By Tom Reynolds 03/10/2010 12:24:32 PM Comments (0)

Wigan coach Michael Maguire watched his side march to their first Super League title since 1998 then set his sights on making it a habit for many years to come.

The Warriors' 22-10 victory over arch-rivals St Helens, coached by Maguire's fellow Australian Mick Potter, never looked in doubt at Old Trafford after they opened up a 16-0 lead midway through the first-half, with former Saints centre Martin Gleeson haunting his old employers by scoring two tries.

Maguire - in his first full season in charge of Wigan - already had the Super League coach of the year award in the bag heading into the clash, having led the side to the league leaders' shield.

And Gleeson's swift double - coupled with a man-of-the-match winning performance from half-back Thomas Leuluai - ensured the plaudits will keep coming for the former Canberra Raiders player.

Maguire immediately eyed a repeat performance next year.

"We are all hoping that this can be the start of something great for the club," he said contemplating the prospect of Wigan returning to their glory days of the 1980s and `90s.

"There is no reason why we can't start something big here and the win is only down to the players and all the hard work they put it in.

"If we can keep doing that and keep putting the practice in and working on the little things then hopefully we can have more good times to come.

"The players were fantastic and I am so pleased for them."

Meanwhile Leuluai admitted he was struggling to come to terms with being a member of a Super League winning side.

"It feels really good to have won the game," said the Harry Sunderland Trophy-winner.

"But I don't really know what to say at the minute.

"It is a victory for all the team and especially the younger lads because they have been awesome this year.

"Faz (Liam Farrell) has been fantastic as has Sam Tomkins. The younger boys have stepped up," the former New Zealand Warriors winger added.

St Helens had little answer to the Wigan onslaught from the first whistle.

Gleeson's double, a Darrell Goulding score and two kicks from former Wests winger Pat Richards grabbed them a 16-0 lead they never looked like losing.

An Andrew Dixon try and an Achilles injury to newly-crowned Man of Steel (player of the season) Richards gave Saints hope before the interval.

But the second-half fightback failed to materialise with Super League young player of the year Sam Tomkins adding Wigan's fourth try and former Parramatta hooker Mark Riddell kicking a goal.

Francis Meli grabbed a late consolation but Saints never looked like getting back into it.

Defeat was made all the worse for Saints as it marked their fourth straight Grand Final loss following a hat-trick of defeats by Leeds.

"We burned a lot of energy in the first 20 minutes," Potter said.

"It's hard to pull back a hefty score and against a quality team it makes it double hard."

Defeat meant the Bradford-bound Potter became the first St Helens coach of the Super League era to fail to win a trophy after his two-year stint at Knowsley Road ended in frustrating fashion.

"It probably could have been worse," Potter insisted.

"We finished in both grand finals, so that's not too bad.

"I would have liked to have done better but I tried my hardest for the club. I don't have too many regrets."

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