23rd December 2017, 10:43 | membership

2017 season review: Wigan Warriors

2017 season review: Wigan Warriors

Betfred Super League: 6th
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup: Runners-up
Top Scorer: Liam Marshall (21)

This season was a huge disappointment for the Warriors in terms of the Super League as they suffered their lowest finish since 2009, though there were certainly positives in the Challenge Cup and World Club Series.

After Warrington had beaten Brisbane the previous evening, the Warriors were pumped for their World Club Challenge clash with Cronulla Sharks and became the first Englis side to win the clash in five years.

In the league, Wigan had gone unbeaten at the start of the campaign but cracks had started to appear as more and more of their first team became injured.

It had become a running joke amongst Super League fans that their injury-list was an excuse for their run of eight Super League games without a victory over the May-June period, although at one point they were without 14 first team players.

The absences allowed Wigan’s youngsters to get their chance and two superb wingers, Liam Marshall and Tom Davies, both impressed during the whole campaign.

As more players returned from the treatment room, Wigan secured their Super League Super 8s spot with three wins in their last four regular season games.

Progress was also made in the Challenge Cup with the win over Championship side Swinton Lions followed by a thrilling 27-26 win over rivals Warrington Wolves.

The Warriors were then too strong for Salford Red Devils in the semis, winning that clash 27-14, to set up their first Wembley final in four years.

Wigan were 18-10 down inside the final ten minutes but Joe Burgess gave them hope with a 73rd minute try and also pinched a winning try in the closing seconds, but a dropped ball cost the Cherry and Whites dearly.

Attention could now focus on attempting to reach the play-offs but defeats in the final weeks of the Super 8s to Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity saw them miss out on the semi-finals.

 

The Coach: Shaun Wane

There was plenty of pressure on the Wigan coach as they suffered their worst Super League season in recent memories but he was certainly hindered by the Warriors’ injury list.

After leading them to Super League glory in 2016, Wane will be looking for a more successful campaign in 2018.

Player of the season: Sean O’Loughlin

He’s certainly not the flashiest player in the Wigan team but experienced skipper Sean O’Loughlin proved his worth in the Warriors line-up.

Wigan lost all nine fixtures when the 35-year-old was absent for them over the course of the campaign – he’s much missed when not in the XIII.

 

Game of the season: vs Cronulla - World Club Challenge

Returning winger Joe Burgess was on form as he bagged a hat-trick, with Oliver Gildart scoring another in the 22-6 victory as Wigan became the first English side to win the World Club Challenge since 2012.

The victory over the 2017 NRL Grand Final winners completed a 2-0 series win for Super League.

Try of the season: Lewis Tierney v Hull FC

A superb team move!

Off-the-cuff stuff from the Warriors as the ball passed through the hands of most of the team before Lewis Tierney found a hole in the Hull line to cruise over.