Smith sees Grand Final loss as motivation for future success

By Tom Webber at Old Trafford 8 October 2016
Smith sees Grand Final loss as motivation for future success

Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith wants his players to use their Super League Grand Final defeat to Wigan Warriors as motivation to succeed next season.

Smith suffered his third defeat in the Old Trafford showpiece, with Wigan coming from behind to take the title after successive defeats in 2014 and 2015.

Declan Patton's try sent the Wolves into half-time with a 6-2 lead, but scores from Oliver Gildart and Josh Charnley clinched the 12-6 win for Shaun Wane's team.

Having missed out on the Challenge Cup title to Hull FC in August, too, Smith is hoping his players, who have the League Leaders Shield as consolation from a strong season, can take something positive away from their Grand Final heartbreak.

"We want to win them all, we are trying to and that is all you can expect from human beings," said Smith. "Hopefully we can try that little bit next year and get smarter from today - use it.

"If you go to listen to one of the greatest sportsmen ever, Michael Jordan, and let him tell you how many games and finals he lost in order to become the great player he is - they're inspiration and they're things sports people need to use and learn from.

"Tough defeats like today make you more determined, more strong. Maybe that the last couple of years was the difference for Wigan. I don't think you have to lose a final to win one, but sometimes it can spur you on to go that extra bit."

Ryan Atkins had a try disallowed for a knock-on before Gildart crossed to bring Wigan level and Smith felt it could so easily have gone the other way.

"We had a few opportunities throughout the game, where we were close to the try-line or needed to take tries, that we needed to take. It was not to be tonight," he continued.

"Whether it's that one or some others, we like to get a few of them, but sometimes you do and sometimes you don't. It probably hurt us in what was a tight match, I knew it was going to be a tight match.

"If you can't handle losing the final then don't compete in one. It's tight. We gave ourselves a chance and some things changed or decisions go the other way we would have had big smiles on our faces. There was not much between the two."

Despite the setback, Smith's belief that Warrington will soon claim their first Super League title remains unwavering.

He added: "We'll get one soon. I thought it would be today. We prepared well, we went into that game feeling good. We gave ourselves a chance. It could've been, it wasn't, so I'm pretty confident we'll get there soon."