So Wigan who had needed a Featherstone loss to help them
in to the play offs three Saturdays ago were now contesting the Championship
Final against Wakefield in front of an amazing crowd of over 83,000 at Odsal
in Bradford. Wakefield had won the cup final against Hull the week before so
were looking to complete a league and cup double here.
It was a warm sunny day for the match and Wakefield
started far better than Wigan with a try after just two minutes from Fred
Smith putting them into a 3-0 lead after being sent in following a long run
by Ken Rolli. Wigan responded with penalty goal from Fred Griffiths on 8
minutes for 3-2 but it had been a sloppy start by them.
However, in the 12h Minute came a major moment.
Wakefield's influential Neil Fox got injured so badly he became a hobbling
passenger for them on the left wing for the rest of the match. Their Stand
Off Rollin also got hurt and this was helping Wigan enormously.
Wakefield began to quickly look tired from their Wembley
exploits the week before and would have been delighted to go in at half time
only 4-3 down, after Griffiths kicked a second penalty to give Wigan the
lead, but a try scored on half time broke the game. Billy Boston was gaining
great ground with Fox no longer up against him and he went sent dashing
towards the line by a pass from Dave Bolton, Griffiths converting for a 9-3
lead at the break.
Wigan went further ahead on 51 minutes when Ashton
collected his own chip over the top to score for a 12-3 lead. Griffiths
missed the extras this time but added a penalty goal five minutes later for
Wakefield now had no answers and Wigan pushed on to
demoralise a tired Wakefield in the final quarter with further tries from
Sayer and then Boston and Ashton claiming their second each of the game,
completing a 27-3 triumph.
This was Wigan's ninth title success but surely the most
remarkable seeing as they were so close to not even making the play offs on
the final day of the season.