Wane hoping for winning run
Hometown coach Shaun Wane wants to lead Wigan Warriors into another era of domination after they won a record-extending 19th Tetley's Challenge Cup at Wembley - but was unaware of chairman Ian Lenagan's offer of a new contract which could help him achieve it.
The Warriors were given the perfect gee-up ahead of their 16-0 win over Hull FC when it was confirmed that Wane had taken a one-year option to remain with them until the end of next season - ending talk of a move to the NRL.
Lenagan went one step further in the euphoria that followed the win by saying he had told the former Cherry and Whites prop that a two-year extension was his upon delivery of the famous trophy, adding: "It was in the letter that I sent with his extension that it would be two years if we win a trophy.
"It could be three years, four years... All he has to do is carry on winning what Wigan expects of a trophy a year. He could be here for 10 years."
That could well be music to Wane's ears, but he knew nothing of it, saying: "I'm happy until next year. Now let's crack on with that."
Naturally, Wane - who will now be eternally bound to his rugby-mad town - took extra pride in the victory which was his first trophy as coach of his boyhood club, which in the past has been synonymous with success.
Winning at Wembley was Wigan's birthright in the 1980s and 1990s and the 48-year-old made sure his charges knew that ahead of the kick-off.
When asked if this could be the beginning of another run, he said: "Definitely, I love the heritage we have here.
"We have the best record in the competition and that is something we embrace. It was hidden away at one time, but I was keen on making sure the players know we're the most famous club in the world.
"I wanted the players to write their own name in history."
Wane replaced Michael Maguire after serving as an assistant to the Australian for the Grand Final win of 2010 and the Challenge Cup triumph of 2011.
Maguire's outfit was a ruthless machine, whereas Wane, a former coach of the club's academy, has invested heavily in the youth he knows so well, with the rewards visible today.
"It's a great feeling to be in charge of a lot of local lads. We showed real character and spirit and that is what I am really proud of," he said, after Iain Thornley and Sam Tomkins scored tries and Matty Smith won the Lance Todd Trophy for man of the match.
"I woke up today thinking to win would be a dream and it is. We won nothing last year and got hammered for it, so to do this is outstanding. I just try my best in every session, every day and I am so proud."
A clearly-disappointed Hull coach Peter Gentle accused his men of going down without "firing a shot".
There was truth in that too, with Jamie Shaul's length-of-the-field run, which Josh Charnley halted, their only contribution of note.
It was the most unforgiving of platforms on which to freeze and for Gentle, the reason was simple.
"Because of the amount of possession we gifted them, we had to tackle our backsides off, which meant when we had the ball we had nothing left," the Australian said.
"We spoke all week of making sure we had 50-50 possession, but we ended up giving them 54 more play-the-balls. You can't tackle like that and then be able to attack. We are so much better than that."
It was reported before the final that Gentle was close to being sacked - something the club denied - but with their league form patchy at best, that question returned to the table at the national stadium.
Gentle said whoever thought that to be true was a "boofhead" but did concede he now had a job on to galvanise his men ahead of the play-offs. Their league season resumes with an instant rematch against Wigan next weekend.
"We might as well use the same gameplan because it didn't get used today," he said.
"We now have to pick ourselves up and stamp ourselves on the semi-finals."