11th September 2018, 17:47 | grand final
An underdog winner, father-son stories and the game that changed in a minute - as Wigan and Warrington meet this weekend, we look back at the 2016 Super League Grand Final, which ranks as one of the best in the Super League era.
Chasing a first Championship in 61 years, the Wolves were buoyed by a tremendous season, winning their first seven consecutive games and ending the season with the League Leaders Shield.
Wigan however, suffered a sluggish season but improved coming into the Super 8s, beating St Helens, Hull and Warrington and picking up 10 points from the last 7 games.
Wire were first to book their place in the Grand Final, beating St Helens for just the second time at the Halliwell Jones Stadium 18-10, Wigan booking their place the next day, dispatching Hull FC impressively, 28-18.
Leading up to the showpiece, Wigan suffered a serious injury crisis, with Dom Manfredi, Lee Mossop, Michael Mcilorum, and Sam and Joel Tomkins all out for the match at Old Trafford. Sean O’Loughlin was deemed fit to partake but played only a limited role.
On the pitch, Lewis Tierney lined up on the wing, writing his name in history as the first son of a Grand Final participant, Jason Robinson, to play in the Grand Final.
After 8 minutes, Matty Smith opened the scoring, kicking for two after Warrington failed to release a tackle on John Bateman. Declan Patton responded for the Wolves with a converted try in the 21stminute in a half dominated by the Primrose and Yellow.
Wire went into the break 6-2 ahead and looked in certain control of the game – restricting Wigan to very few chances, the most notable a Charnley effort chalked off for a forward pass.
The momentum then changed within the space of 60 seconds. After Ryan Atkins try was chalked off for a knock-on, Liam Farrell broke through the line to set up Oliver Gildart for the 100th try to be scored in a Grand Final.
The score by the son of Wigan Championship winner Ian Gildart completely changed the game. Matty Smith failed to make the conversion, but the scores were level.
Charnley, denied in the first half, latched onto a Dan Sarginson kick eight minutes later to seal the match. Smith missed another conversion, but the Warriors took the lead for the first time in the match.
Smith kicked a penalty, conceded by Daryl Clark, with 6 minutes remaining to make the scores 12-6. In the final five minutes, Wigan’s defence stood resolute and they held on to win their fourth Super League title, with Liam Farrell winning the Harry Sunderland Trophy.