23rd September 2017, 17:56 | super8
Wigan Warriors' Betfred Super League title defence was finally ended on a huge anti-climax as they crashed 32-0 to the season's surprise package Wakefield Trinity in the final Super 8s match.
The 2016 champions went into the game needing an unlikely 90-point victory margin to pip St Helens to a semi-final spot, but produced an uninspiring performance to be nilled for the first time this season as tries from Ben Jones-Bishop, Jacob Miller, Sam Williams, Scott Grix and Keegan Hirst - plus six goals from Liam Finn - handed Wakefield a comfortable win.
Trinity's second win of the year over the Warriors enabled them to leapfrog their visitors in the final table and condemn Shaun Wane's men to a sixth-place finish, their worst since 2009.
Team song in full flow!👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/OK9J3s5gEL— Wakefield Trinity (@WTrinityRL) September 23, 2017
Wakefield threatened to claim a semi-final place of their own for much of the season and, although narrow late-season losses proved costly, a fifth-place finish is a highly-creditable achievement for Chris Chester, who was chosen by Wigan boss Shaun Wane as his pick for Super League coach of the year.
The victory rounded off a good week for Wakefield after the local council unveiled plans to build a new stadium which will enable the club to stay at Belle Vue.
With the top four effectively beyond them, Wane opted not to risk England skipper Sean O'Loughlin's calf injury and they once more sorely missed their talismanic loose forward. Wigan, in fact, have lost all eight league matches that O'Loughlin has missed in 2017, but this performance underlined a steady decline since the euphoria of their World Club Challenge triumph in February.