Cup final omission driving Ollie Partington to play in more finals with Wigan
Wigan prop Ollie Partington has been left with a burning desire to play in more finals after not making Matt Peet’s team for the Challenge Cup final.
The 23-year-old has made 12 appearances for the Warriors this season. However, he was left out of Peet’s side for the final in which they defeated Huddersfield 16-14 at Tottenham.
Partington returned to the side in last week’s 32-12 win at Castleford with a standout display which impressed his long-time coach Peet.
Peet told Love Rugby League: “His performance last week I thought was very good.
“There have been times this year where his performance levels haven’t been good enough which he is aware of. He is a very open and honest player and I thought last week was one of his better games.
“I listened to his interview and I spoke to the players. His attitude as a player who has missed out on the games he wants to play in has been remarkable. He has not sulked for a second.
“He’s worked hard, he has supported the lads who have been picked and then taken his opportunity.
“He knows he has that shirt in the 17 now to keep hold of and it is his job to make it really difficult to leave him out in the future and I hope he does that.”
Ollie Partington motivated to play in more finals with Wigan
Despite only being 23, the England Knights international has already played in a major final for his hometown club. Unfortunately, it came in an agonising last-minute defeat to rivals St Helens in the 2020 Grand Final.
Partington says he was so pleased for the club to have clinched their first Challenge Cup in nine years. But next time he wants to be playing in the major final, and he is driven to achieve that.
He said: “It was tough to miss out on the Challenge Cup final but at the end of the day, if that is what is best for the team then that is what is best for the team. I’m all for the team.
“Wigan won and I’m part of that team and I’m still happy for the lads and happy that I’m involved. I’m very happy that we won and I’m glad I got a game last week.
“It has definitely given me more drive”
“I think it was a step in the right direction I think and I hope I put some thoughts in Matty’s head for the next part of the season and hopefully he’ll keep me in mind.
“I was a Wigan fan before I played for the club and I’m a Wigan lad, so it was good for the town bringing the trophy back where it belongs as we see it. Seeing the smiles on faces when we got back to Robin Park was great.
“It has definitely given me more drive being on the pitch when they won it and I do still feel part of it. I’ve had a taste of it and it is has given me more drive, so I want a piece of that.
“Matty is happy with me taking a step in the right direction. I’ve not played my best this year and I think that was a step towards getting back to my best. He has given me a lot of things to improve on as he has with the rest of the team.”
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Peet knows The Wigan Way
Partington was signed by Peet on Wigan’s scholarship as a 14-year-old from his local community club Orrell St James.
On Peet now being the club’s first team boss, Partington said: “He has grown as a person and a leader. His leadership qualities have come out massively now.
“I think the pathway he has come through has helped because we’ve all been together for so long. He has brought a few players through who are still here now so I think thats a massive benefit.
“He has always been straightforward with me and I think I can be straightforward with him so we both know where we stand all the time.”
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