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Page last updated at 22:26 GMT, Saturday, 2 October 2010 23:26 UK

Coach Michael Maguire wants new Wigan dynasty


Wigan coach Michael Maguire praises 'special' players

Wigan coach Michael Maguire is hoping that his crop of young Warriors can establish a new era of dominance.

The Warriors won their first Super League Grand Final in 12 years after a 22-10 win over rivals St Helens.

And Sam Tomkins and Darrell Goulding both scored tries at Old Trafford to offer the club's fans an exciting glimpse of what the future may hold.

"The boys are hungry and there is no reason why the club can't continually move forward," said Maguire.

"I couldn't ask for any more commitment than they've shown this year. What they showed tonight really tells the story of that team."

In his first season in Super League, Maguire guided Wigan to their first major trophy since their 21-12 Challenge Cup final victory over Saints in 2002.

Keiron Cunningham is a bit emotional, with the realisation that it's all over

St Helens coach Mick Potter

The Australian has combined the experience of the likes of 2010 Man of Steel Pat Richards, hooker Mark Riddell and Stuart Fielden with the nascent talents of the Tomkins brothers, Sam and Joel, winger Goulding and Liam Farrell.

And scrum-half Thomas Leuluai, who won the Harry Sunderland Trophy when he was named man of the match, admits that Maguire's extensive knowledge brought over from his role as assistant coach with Melbourne Storm, has helped him develop as a player.

"I needed someone like Madge who understands the game," said World Cup winner Leuluai. "I've learned heaps this year.

"It's a feeling of relief that all the hard work has paid off. It was a good team performance.

"We felt relaxed because we all had a job to and it was pretty simple at the end of the day."

Record-breaking points machine Richards celebrated Wigan's success on crutches after he tore his Achilles tendon in the final minutes of the first half.

No excuse for defeat - Potter

But he admitted: "Victory definitely numbs the pain.

"I couldn't be happier. To be part of this win is something special."

St Helens suffered their fourth successive Grand Final defeat at Old Trafford, a loss which leaves outgoing coach Mick Potter without a trophy in his two-year spell at Knowsley Road.

"We did some things we didn't practise for, though there was certainly no lack of effort," said Potter, who now prepares to join Bradford Bulls next season. "We started off on the back foot.

"We burned a lot of energy in the first 20 minutes. I wouldn't say it was won or lost then but it certainly contributed.

"It's hard to pull back a hefty score and against a quality team it makes it double hard.

"Even though we did make some breaks, we probably forced a couple of balls and made some uncharacteristic errors.

"I thought up until 10 minutes from the end we were still in the game. We just needed something to go our way and it didn't happen tonight but I don't want to take anything away from how well Wigan performed."


As well as Potter, centre Matt Gidley, prop Bryn Hargreaves and substitute forward Jake Emmitt are all leaving the club.

And an emotional Keiron Cunningham, who ended an illustrious 18-year career as a player, addressed his team-mates in the Old Trafford dressing room after playing the last match of his career.

"He spoke about how he's loved every moment of it," added Potter. "He knows he's had enough, he's going to move on.

"He's a bit emotional, with the realisation that it's all over. It's probably just starting to hit him."

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see also
Cunningham bows out a good loser
03 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Richards ruled out for six months
03 Oct 10 |  Wigan
St Helens 10-22 Wigan Warriors
02 Oct 10 |  My Club
Super League Grand Final as it happened
02 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Super League Show
17 Feb 08 |  Rugby League

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