Warrington Wolves star George Williams pinpoints exactly where Challenge Cup final was lost

Ben Olawumi
Lachlan Fitzgibbon, George Williams

Lachlan Fitzgibbon (left) comforts Warrington Wolves team-mate George Williams (right) following their defeat to Wigan Warriors in the 2024 Challenge Cup final

Dejected Warrington star George Williams paid credit to former club Wigan Warriors following their Challenge Cup triumph, admitting that their kicking game trumped the Wolves.

Having trailed 2-0 early on, Wigan hit back with 18 unanswered points courtesy of tries from Zach Eckersley, Bevan French & Liam Farrell at Wembley.

Warrington struggled to ever really get going, and their only response came through a late consolation try for full-back Matt Dufty.

The Australian had earlier followed Warriors ace – and ex-Wire man – Mike Cooper into the sin-bin under the arch following a frantic opening five minutes of the clash.

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Warrington Wolves star George Williams pinpoints exactly where Challenge Cup final was lost against former club Wigan Warriors

In lifting the trophy, Matt Peet’s side extended their record in the competition to 21 Challenge Cup lifts, and the Cherry & Whites now hold all four major honours available having picked up every one since last September.

Warrington’s wait for silverware meanwhile goes on having not won a trophy since their previous visit to Wembley in 2019, meaning Williams‘ own personal wait to earn silverware in the Wolves’ colours also goes on.

And post-match, the half-back explained how he thought that the game had been lost from a tactical point of view out on the field, telling LoveRugbyLeague: “We didn’t play how we planned, I’ll have to watch it back, but it felt like one of our worst of the year.

“(We were) just so disconnected with everything we did, and Wigan are too good of a team for you to not play at your best.

“We started well, but we then made too many errors and they kicked better than us into corners. There’s simple things you’ve got to do in big games and we missed the jump, so it’s disappointing.

“We were far from our best, but credit to Wigan, they beat us. It’s a disappointed changing room, but I think it’s a good lesson for us, it’s our first year under Sam and I think we’ll be better for what has just happened.”

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Williams in agreement with Wire boss Sam Burgess on Wembley experience

In his own debrief with the media following Saturday afternoon’s 18-8 defeat, Warrington head coach Sam Burgess vowed they would come back stronger, and would be better equipped next time a game like it came around having had that experience.

Vice-captain Williams was in agreement with that, re-affirming: “100%. It’s really disappointing.

“The final is a great occasion, some of the boys have never been here before, so it’s good for them to get the experience.

“We’ll review the game and it’ll hurt like it is now, but I think we’ve got to use it as a lesson. If we want to be a good team and a top team, then we’ve got to learn and get better, so that’s what we’ll try to do.

“Obviously everyone had the hopes and ambition to win, but that’s not to be, that’s sport sometimes.

“If you play good and lose, then you can cop it, but I just don’t think we played our best.

“I’m not taking anything away from Wigan, they always find a way to win, so good on them.”

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