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Super League: Shaun Wane says Challenge Cup final will be a different test for Wigan
We were well below our best today, that was the slowest game of rugby league I've ever seen in all my career, which is disappointing, but it was allowed to be that way by the officials.
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Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane admitted his troops were far from their best following a surprise 22-8 loss to the Catalan Dragons on Saturday.
The former league leaders can no longer retain their League Leaders' Shield trophy after the loss, although they can win silverware against Hull FC in next weekend's Tetley's Challenge Cup final.
Wigan welcomed back Sam Tomkins and the star full-back completed the 80 minutes and Wane expects his troops to be up for the occasion when they turn out at Wembley.
"It was good to have Sam back this week, he'll be good this (coming) week," Wane said.
"Obviously next week is a massive game for us and it will be a different challenge for our players but it is one we're looking forward to immensely."
Wane was unhappy at the way the game in France unfolded, accusing the officials of allowing it to be played at a slow pace.
"We were well below our best today, that was the slowest game of rugby league I've ever seen in all my career, which is disappointing, but it was allowed to be that way by the officials," he added.
"It was unbelievably slow, but we turned over too much ball, we didn't complete our sets and our wrestle was poor. We were giving penalties away and we were putting ourselves under the pump all the time.
"Catalan attacked well, but I think they had the majority of the ball, and when we did have the ball, we turned the ball over early in the sets, so it wasn't like having a full set. That is the important thing. We needed to get to the end of our sets but we couldn't do that."
There was an upbeat mood in the Catalan camp, with the French side having overcome a shocking mid-season to secure their place in the play-offs. They won at Bradford last week and now after this win, the Bulls cannot surpass the Dragons.
Coach Laurent Frayssinous said: "I'm very happy, especially with the way we built the win today. In big games what wins you games is defence, defence and more defence and today we saw that we can defend in a big game.
"The boys can be proud of their performance today and especially their defence. At one point we defended 11 sets in our 20-metre zone and a team like Wigan with the attacking players they have didn't score against us until one minute before half-time.
"That is a big effort from us. We have to play games like that in the play-offs, that kind of game, where our defence will win us the games.
"That was a very good result for us today and a good stepping stone now towards the end of the season."
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
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