Shaun Wane has become a beacon of hope or despair, depending on your point of view. Over the 6 and a half years he has led the troops at Wigan, he has been under much scrutiny both by opposition and Wigan fans, alike. Was his treatment deserved or was his leadership undervalued?
In 2012, after the departure of (arguably) Wigan’s finest coach, Wane took over to hopefully continue the form that Michael Maguire had left behind. His first trophies came in 2013, and it was a famous double that took Wane to new levels, and made him a figure to aim abuse at for opposition fans, but it was the years 2012, 2014 and 2015 that led many of the Wigan faithful to question whether the former front rower had what it took to coach at the top level.
This season Wigan look set to compete for every trophy in the domestic game, leaving Wane in the comfortable position of ending on a high, depending on his team doing the business for at least one of the three trophies available. But should the Wigan fans look back in hesitance or remember the legacy that graced the DW stadium turf.
Wane has always been a forefront member of the ‘prop forward union’ in that, his play style as a coach comes from dominance in the ruck, meaning his front and back rowers must compete to allow Wigan the chances they need to win matches. At times, it becomes frustrating for many Wigan fans but this is the style he choose to adopt and over the years has served him well.
Wigan fans have come to accept this style despite major criticism, but should Wigan fans be optimistic about their future?
Today Wigan compete in the Quarter finals of the Challenge Cup, and whether you like Wigan’s style or not, you have to believe they have a chance to win BUT tomorrow has a big outcome in the history of Wigan RLFC and whether Wane will be remembered. A treble/double winning season is always remembered more fondly and that is what Wane will be aiming for.
Whether the decision came as a shock or not is irrelevant, what does count is the trophies and winning attitude Wane has brought to the Cherry and White outfit and that is something that shouldn’t be forgotten as the years go by.