Late Challenge Cup triumph not sinking in for victorious Wigan coach Matt Peet

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Matt Peet has delivered a trophy in his first season in charge at Wigan (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)
Matt Peet has delivered a trophy in his first season in charge at Wigan (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Wigan head coach Matt Peet admitted his side’s Challenge Cup triumph “hasn’t sunk in” after winger Liam Marshall’s late try helped clinch a 16-14 win against Huddersfield.

The victory secured a record-extending 20th Challenge Cup crown for Wigan and a major trophy in Peet’s first season at the helm.

The Giants had looked on course to end their 69-year wait for a win in the competition when they led 14-12 until the 76th minute, only for Marshall to touch down and snatch glory for Wigan.

“I know it’s good, I know it’s positive, but it certainly hasn’t sunk in,” Peet said.

“I’m looking forward to it sinking in and I’m looking forward to the town and the families, the players and staff celebrating and enjoying the moment, because they’ve worked very, very hard. As far as support I’m proud.”

Peet paid tribute to the Giants and their head coach Ian Watson for their efforts at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in front of 51,628 fans.

“(It was) exceptionally tough,” the Warriors boss added.

“You can see what they’re building. Ian’s teams are so resilient, so well-structured with the ball, that you know that you have to be 100 per cent aware defensively to defend the plays that they have.

Liam Marshall, pictured hugging Matt Peet, scored the winning try (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)
Liam Marshall, pictured hugging Matt Peet, scored the winning try (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

“They executed for most of the game the perfect game plan, but I think where they were particularly impressive was some of the scramble efforts.”

Giants head coach Watson, whose Salford side lost by a point to Leeds in the 2020 final, believes Huddersfield were the better side for most of the 80 minutes.

“Massively tough, the boys put in an enormous shift. I thought we were outstanding as a group,” he said.

“I think we were the best team for large parts of the game and we’ve just not got what we deserve probably today, but it’s worse than the other time being here for sure because they deserved that today.

“I do (think Huddersfield were the better team), and that’s what hurts.

“Because they’ve put that effort in and it’s just come down to one little moment in the game where they’ve caught us and generally that’s what the big games are.”