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Wigan seal rugby league double

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These are heady times for Wigan. The football team won the FA Cup in May and won their first European competition match last week. Wigan has always been a rugby league town though and the local team reasserted that status with victory in the Super League Grand Final to complete the Challenge Cup and Super League double.

Wigan matched the achievement of St Helens in 2006, beating Warrington 30-16 in a Grand Final that was no place for the squeamish. The sides set about each other from the start, with a crunching tackle from Ben Westwood of Warrington leaving Wigan's Blake Green in need of lengthy medical attention.

Wigan responded with a bone-shaking lunge by Harrison Hansen on Stefan Ratchford, that left the Warrington player with ankle ligament damage. That, like Westwood's assault, went unpunished, setting the tone for a match that was a battle for much of the time.

Ratchford's departure allowed Wigan back into the match after trailing 16-2 in the first half. Warrington coach Tony Smith was concerned that the tackle went unpunished. "I don't like those sorts of tackles," he said. "We just tap people on the wrist about it. That's why it still happens, and that's what our players have to put up with." He didn't think it was the decisive point in the game. "Wigan were very good, relentless with what they did, they just kept banging away through the middle and then came up with the plays near our line."

Wigan coach Shaun Wane highlighted the resilence shown by his players in coming from behind. "I admire all the players so much for the mental toughness they've had to show all year, and again tonight," he said.

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