Played: 23 Won: 16 Draw: 0 Lost: 7 For: 455 Against: 440 Deducted: 0 Points: 32
After Super 8s (Includes regular season tally):
Played: 30 Won: 21 Drawn: 0 Lost: 9 For: 669 Against: 560 Deducted: 0 Points: 42
After the regular season: 3rd
After the Super 8s: 2nd
Player of the Year
Warriors Back-rower John Bateman was named Player of the Year after a fine campaign that saw him play 27 games and score 13 tries. The Player of the Year Award is decided in a poll amongst the coaching staff, supporters, sponsors and key stakeholders and Bateman took the accolade with almost twice as many votes as any other player.
Wigan Warriors finished off a battling season on top of the rugby league world, as Grand Final winners. It had been a season of real up and downs for the cherry and whites, as an injury-stricken squad struggled through the season. Wigan were knocked out of the Challenge Cup in the semi-final stage by eventual winners, Hull FC. Shaun Wane’s men managed to finish the regular season in third. Then, after wins against Hull FC, Warrington and Catalans in the Super 8s, they finished the season off in second place. They would meet Hull FC in the play-off semi-finals at the DW Stadium. It was a real tough game for both sides, but Wigan came out on top with a 28-18 win. They would then go on to meet Warrington Wolves in the Grand Final for the second time in four years. It was a real heart-stopping affair between to two, one which Wigan would win 12-6, and claim their fourth Grand Final victory.
Overcame all the odds
Wigan were favourites for ever trophy at the start of 2016. As the season began, they started off with a 12-0 win over Catalan Dragons, thanks to two tries from Micky Mcllorum, and all was looking good. However, Wigan faced Brisbane in the World Club Challenge a couple of weeks later, and their bad luck began. McIlorum sustained an ankle injury that kept him out for the remainder of the season. It was a huge blow for Wigan, as the hooker was a key player for them. From then on, the injuries became the norm for Wigan, as player after player was missing games. It seemed like they would get one player back and lose two.
However, despite all of the troubles and injury woes they had during the 2016 season. Wigan managed to finish it off as Champions. I’m sure it will be a season that everyone involved will not forget, for a long time.
“I’ve been here for 30 years, that’s the best win we’ve had”
As the full time whistle went in the Grand Final, I’m sure Shaun Wane was the proudest man in rugby. As he pointed out after the game, only people at that club knew the real troubles that wigan had last season. They were favourites at the beginning and written off towards the end. They suffered heartbreak in the Challenge Cup, and lost 62-0 to Wakefield. However, towards the end of the season is were the highs started to come in. They beat arch rivals St helens 25-0, and beating Hull FC and Warrington away from home in the Super 8s was crucial to their Grand Final glory.
Shaun Wane put it best…
“Even as a player, I’ve been here for 30 years, that’s the best win we’ve had. The adversity we’ve put up with is unbelievable, to get the win with this close-knit group of players, never say die attitude, I’m so pleased.”
A few big names leaving town
As the season unfolds, there are always stories circulating of who will be off to the NRL next season, or switching codes to Union. But for Wigan fans, the main story throughout the season seem to be that Matty Smith was going back home, to St Helens. The rumour died a death towards the end of the season, and many had forgot. However, only days after lifting the Grand Final trophy with Wigan, he announced that he would in fact be leaving, and moving back to his hometown club, St Helens.
Not only did Wigan lose Smith at the end of last season, but they also lost Josh Charnley. A player who’s scored 149 tries in 151 games for the cherry and whites. While Joe Burgess is returning next season, Charnley will be sorely missed at the DW.
2017 Ins and Outs
Joe Burgess (Sydney Roosters)
Morgan Escare (Catalans Dragons)
Liam Forsyth (Bath RUFC)
Thomas Leuluai (New Zealand Warriors)
Romain Navarrete (Catalans Dragons)
Josh Charnley (Sale Sharks RUFC)
Dom Crosby (Warrington Wolves)
Lee Mossop (Salford Red Devils)
Dan Sarginson (Gold Coast Titans)
Matty Smith (St Helens)
Ryan Hampshire (Leigh Centurions)