Sam Burgess' Warrington Wolves defiance speaks volumes after Challenge Cup deflation

Warrington boss Sam Burgess described a “deflating” experience in his first big match as a coach and admitted his side never looked likely to prevent Wigan from adding the Challenge Cup to their Grand Final, League Leaders’ Shield and World Club Challenge trophy collection.

The Wolves didn't turn up on the big stage, falling to an 18-8 defeat at Wembley as Wigan's recent dominance of the game continues. Josh Thewlis kicked Wolves in front with an early penalty but it took until Matt Dufty’s late try to trouble the scoreboard again, by which time their opponents had all but sealed a relatively straightforward success.

“I feel their pain in the changing rooms and I’m a bit deflated too,” said Burgess, who was experiencing his first Challenge Cup final having fallen just short in an otherwise glittering playing career.

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“I felt we were always behind, or that we just didn’t play the way we’ve played all year. That was the most disappointing thing but we’ve really just got to learn from that, take the experience and move forward. We’re not shaken by it because we made the final, and we just had a bad day at the office. Wigan are the champions for a reason and we’ve got a little bit of learning to do after today.

“We’ll get back to the drawing board. It’s not the end of us, we’ve got another great challenge ahead. There are 14 games left in the league, which are 14 opportunities to improve ourselves, and then we go again.”