As the Grand Final excitement comes to an end, and the wait for the Four Nations begins, here’s how I rated the players and coaches from Saturday night’s thrilling encounter.
Stefan Ratchford – 7. Ratchford was solid under the high ball and had a solid game at the back. However, he could have linked more with Gidley, Sandow and Patton to create more chances.
Tom Lineham – 6. Defensively solid, however we didn’t see anything special in his attack. Ran when he had to, but didn’t do much more.
Rhys Evans – 6. A quiet game from Evans earns him just a 6, making just 93 metres in 17 carries.
Ryan Atkins – 6. Another quiet game from a player who’s usually solid for Warrington. While, like Lineham, defensively good, his attack was lacking and had two chances to score but missed them both.
Matty Russell – 7. The Scotland fullback ran hard when asked, but again didn’t see much of the ball on the wing. His strength and power was on display when escaping his own half, but never got the chance near Wigan’s try line, arguably a fault of his half-backs.
Kurt Gidley – 7. One of the most experienced players on the pitch, Gidley was a massive influence and this was clear to see. However, Warrington’s attack was lacking at times and sometimes the veteran chose the wrong options.
Declan Patton – 9. Easily Warrington’s best player of the night, Patton had a solid first half and opened the scoring in the 2016 Grand Final. The youngster played some good rugby.
Chris Hill – 7. A leader on the field, Hill played a solid game. He ran hard and tackled well. However it just wasn’t meant to be.
Daryl Clark – 8. Every time Clark ran with the ball, Wigan fans would panic. He was deadly in attack and worried the Wigan defence many times. Clark made 142 metres and 48 tackles.
Ashton Sims – 7. Not one of his most impressive performances, but Sims still managed 35 tackles, but made just 88 metres.
Sam Wilde – 7. Arguably the biggest game of his career so-far, Wilde hardly went wrong. However, he didn’t do too much to impress.
Jack Hughes – 6. Facing his former side, Hughes would have been pumped for this one. While he did come close but lost the ball over the whitewash, Hughes made just 45 metres in 10 carries.
Joe Westerman – 7/8. Westerman made more tackles than anyone else for Warrington, playing a solid game in defence.
Chris Sandow – 7. Sandow came on and instantly gave the Warrington side some energy. His first touch of the ball led to a knock on by Wigan, but unfortunately he couldn’t get his side over the try line.
George King – 6. I don’t believe G.King got much time on the field, and made just 18 tackles and 6 carries.
Toby King – 6. King made 37 tackles all game, but made just 41 metres in 11 carries (less than 4m a run).
Ryan Bailey – 6. Having previously played in the Grand Final many times with Leeds, Bailey added experience when he came on. However, he made just 7 runs.
Tony Smith (Coach) – 8. I believe one of the biggest mistakes Smith made on the day was moving Patton out of position. When Sandow entered the field, followed by fans’ support, Patton was moved to hooker, giving Clark a rest. However, Patton was performing well in attack and I believe this change of roles really impacted the Warrington side.
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