ONEWe waited for a train north of N17 on Saturday, during tea time, an hour after Judge James Child blew the whistle – if there was a faint sound, few people would hear it in the ecstasy cacophony heard from the end of Wigan – somewhat drunk, moderate – Huddersfield’s old friend said: “We will be a better team for it. We’ll go to the Grand Final later – just watch. “Although his head was a little light, he neither believed nor believed. And that’s the Giants’ problem.
Most agreed with Huddersfield coach Ian Watson’s assessment that the team lost better, but his pre-match goal of “becoming a top-four club in everything we do, start achieving a high level of cohesion” in the long run is more important. The speculation that Huddersfield – or Watson – will win the Challenge Cup or Super League in the near future has not been explored.
Before wage pressures prevent them from leaving low-paying skills, with increased performance, there is a very short chance of a Super League small chance – be it players or coaching staff. Watson led Salford to two finals in two seasons before he left and he went to Huddersfield; Daryl Powell formed two different sides of Castleford and came home from three finals without a winning medal; Hull KR has flirted without putting his hand on the silverware. When their iron is hot, the Gray will need to be beaten in the near future.
The assumption that Wigan were great gaming experts and Huddersfield keskhorn was misleading. Yes, this was Wigan’s eighth grand final since Huddersfield last time in 2009, but the final experience of the Challenge Cup was evenly balanced on both sides and both coaches almost had their hands full to go with them. play. There were few excuses.
If Huddersfield wanted to work out how they lost the final, they might look to the chaotic opening season when, in addition to the penalty in the first few seconds, it took 17 minutes to convert their entire dominance to points, Wigan’s impressive defense after being suspended . Huddersfield placed a few feet from the test.
More than half an hour passed when Tui Lolohea hit second-placed Australian Chris McQueen on the center right channel. Long-sleeved flowers tied with a pony tail, his soles tucked around his feet, the old McQueen staring at Jermaine McGillvary’s side before showing that he could score. So he did. The 10-6 lead, which in no way showed Huddersfield’s field position in the first half, was never enough against Wigan.
Huddersfield needed to seize every opportunity. The four consecutive shots of the lost goal by Lolohea who is otherwise influential, hardly match the job description. His first attempt at transfer hit the left post; the second was a failure of McQueen’s attempt; A simple penalty went 40 meters in front of the goalposts; and a third conversion from the series failed. Threats from Huddersfield’s exhibits and Wigan outside backs increased so much that, if it was a football match, there would have been extra time and penalties, despite Lolohea expanding.
Other things came out against the Giants. They lost their most experienced Cup Challenge finalist – Chris Hill to four of the team’s seven previous finals – after just 20 minutes of injury, and Wigan executor Morgan Smithies was very happy not to sin late. front break.
Tottenham’s stands, which stood much closer to Wembley’s, seemed to play a role in the drama. When Wigan pilot Jay Field threw himself on an unsteady ball and 50 yards up the goal line, and avoided McQueen’s hopeless run, Huddersfield’s spectators jumped out of their seats in the first few rows, as if reach the Field and put your feet up. Instead, they found that Lolohea was on the surface to kill the danger of death.
But despite the large bank of their spectators who seemed to be silent and failing, there was a sense of urgency in Wigan to win. Shortly before Liam Marshall achieved a late victory, the debate in the press box was that – if not – Field or Bevan French would pull a punch out of the box. Instead, Harry Smith turned to Houdini. Happiness in the red zone was almost accompanied by deflation among the nations, let alone despair in the key and gold.
Huddersfield is just the latest Super League match to get a chance to change the scenario but it won’t. Nine clubs have reached a grand final in the last five years, suggesting a return to balance, albeit with a rapid return to ice, and a different victory in each of the last seven Challenge Cup finals. But anyone familiar with the history of the game knows that giants pass in death, not Giants.
My vote helped McQueen become the 11th defeated player to win the match man award. Not that he really resisted. Despite looking at his usual tired look from the first minute until the last minute, he only stands in Wigan defense every time he gets the ball and he does more than most.
The McQueen Renaissance was silent. Ten years ago, when he was regularly with South Sydney, he rejected the British interest in where his father was born, in order to pursue his chances with Queensland and Australia. He played in two series of State of Origin but was never captured by the Kangaroos. Wayne Bennett brought McQueen to his England squad in 2017 but lost one of his appearances in the World Cup. As his 35th birthday approaches, days like this – especially in his hometown – are an unexpected reward for McQueen.
McQueen left for his TV interviews after accepting the glittering Lance Todd Trophy, McQueen sat on Lake Tottenham, opened his tape recorder and fell on his back, staring at the blue sky. He must have wondered: “How did it happen?” He quickly raised himself, held the cup in one hand, the medal in the other, and walked towards the audience, as if it always hurt. Maybe he did. On the other hand, when the successful Wigan players marched with the trophy to their large bank of spectators, the air waves turned pink.
Another 80 minutes passed when the straggler got off the train at the Hertford East terminal. A wedding of Wigan clothes and coats took its toll on the victory, a family of unfortunate Leigh spectators filled with Centurion helmets crossed the road in front of the confused looks of the residents. Finally an old woman who proudly wore a Fartown dress and gold from head to toe in the park came out. Maybe he and the Giants will be at Old Trafford on September 24 for the Grand Final. Maybe.
Watch World Cup: Jon Dutton
Saturday’s two-legged match at a Premier League stadium was one of the things that will be in the World Cup this autumn. “We will learn a lot, from the arrival of a new venue and a few new team members watching their first rugby league event, to the BBC announcement,” said Jon Dutton, CEO of the upcoming World Cup. watch his hometown club Leigh win the 1895 Cup. “When there is a tribal element, there will be a lot of spectators here who do not support any of the teams that play, which gives it a sense of festival. What we are looking for is this, especially in games that do not play England.
“We want to look at the rugby league community and get excited but at the same time we need to reach new audiences,” Dutton said. “We know we’ve cut in London: 70% of the voting applications for the entire tournament are from newcomers who are on our database, and one of them has by far the largest postcode from London. “Those who want to return come from that group, the event-going community. We need to reach out to them again, so this is a sporting event.”
One last thing
Unless there is a perfect shock in the Champions League game, one of the clubs in Saturday’s 1895 Cup final will be in the Super League next season. For all the criticism that Huddersfield receives for its spectators, it is worth acknowledging that although it will take a few hundred more on the road, Featherstone or Leigh would do very well to take the average from the Giants – and the Toulouse or Wakefield drop options – . at home games. Their support at Tottenham was fierce, making fun of anyone who thought the 1895 Cup was not important. “You hit a bus stop,” Leigh fans joked, insulting the owner – something very familiar to Spurs fans.
With a seemingly stronger team now than they could have put together for the Super League last year, Leigh options remain a chance to come back straight. But the arms race the two finalists are currently running should leave financial worries for anyone left behind in the 2023 Championship.
Follow No Helmets Required on Twitter and Facebook