Coach Reflects on Narrow Loss

Wigan coach Ian Millward refused to get drawn into the controversy concerning Solomona’s late winner.

The decision was passed on to the video referee who gave the try, and Millward said: “I’m not looking for any controversy to be honest. I’m just looking at both teams earning the right to win that game.

“It was a really good game, it would have been great to watch, and a draw probably would have been a fair result.

“But we only had one replacement in that second half, and we had to work really hard. And they were key personnel too.

“If we could have had a couple more replacements it would have been interesting at the end.”

Millward also had praise for returning full-back Kris Radlinski, who was making his comeback after several weeks out through injury.

Millward added: “His contribution was good, he gave us some enterprise.”

Meanwhile, Wakefield coach Tony Smith revealed he sent an injured David Solomona back onto the field “because we needed him to win us the game” after the nail-biting victory at Wigan.

Solomona had left the field after being winded in the second half but was sent back on by Smith with the Warriors 28-22 in front - and he duly provided two touches of genius to grab the points for his side.

After Danny Orr and Dennis Moran had combined to put Wigan in charge, Solomona first broke through to put Rob Spicer over and then, in the very last minute, he reached through a crowd of Wigan defenders to score a hotly disputed winner, with a Warriors defence convinced he had been tackled.

Smith said: “I sent the message down: ’Tell Solomona to get back on because we need him to win us the game’. And he then set up one and scored the other.

“I knew it would take someone of his class to unlock the defence and it did. They’d said on the bench that he couldn’t go back on, he was badly winded, but I just told them I needed him.”

Despite the controversial finish Smith was adamant his troupe had deserved the spoils.

He continued: “I couldn’t hear Karl Kirkpatrick call held from where I was sat, you’ll have to ask him what happened.

“But, over the 80 minutes, it would have been an injustice if we had not won that game. At 10 points up with 25 minutes to go we looked good, but you don’t throw long balls out with Dennis Moran about.”

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