Richards hobbles to Super League success - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Richards hobbles to Super League success

03/10/2010 12:25:56 PM Comments (0)

Former Wests Tigers winger Pat Richards finished his memorable season with a hobble and a big smile following Wigan's 22-10 Super League grand final win over St Helens.

Not even an Achilles injury that kept him from playing in the second half at Old Trafford could stop him from fully embracing his team's success.

The 2005 NRL premiership winning player's leg was put in a boot in Manchester but he tossed away his crutches after the fulltime siren, getting his hands on the trophy and limping around with his teammates during their lap of honour.

It was Wigan's first Super League title since 1998 and rounded out a brilliant season for the 28-year-old after he was named the competition's Man of Steel for the player of the season last Monday.

Richards had a hand in the opening try and booted two conversions in front of the record crowd of 71,526 crowd to lift his season tally to a record 392 points.

But just before the halftime break, he grimaced in pain after sustaining the injury that forced him to watch the second half from the sidelines.

Charismatic former St George Illawarra and Parramatta forward Mark Riddell finally tasted title success, the man nicknamed "Piggy" playing his role off the bench for the Warriors.

It was St Helens' fourth straight grand final defeat after losing three deciders on the trot to Leeds and a sad way for Super League great Keiron Cunningham to exit the game after 496 matches for the Saints.

Wigan's win handed former Melbourne Storm assistant coach Michael Maguire victory in his first grand final in charge of the Warriors and disappointment for departing St Helens coach Mick Potter.

Having put the famous club back at the top of the heap in English rugby league, Maguire tried to hose down talk of a new dynasty.

"This is something the boys have worked very hard for," Maguire said.

"It's great to see them celebrate this because way back when I first got here there was a lot of work for Wigan.

"To be in this position now is quite unbelievable."

Two tries from centre Martin Gleeson set up the comfortable victory.

The former Great Britain international returned to haunt his former employees, he spent three seasons with the Saints between 2001 and 2004 but his time at the club was marred by his involvement in a betting scandal six years ago.

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