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Bevan French leads Wigan to Challenge Cup triumph over Warrington

In a performance reminiscent of the legendary Rob Burrow, Bevan French showcased his half-back brilliance as Wigan Warriors triumphed over Warrington Wolves at Wembley, securing the Challenge Cup 8-18.

Man-of-the-match French orchestrated Wigan’s victory by setting up the first try for Zach Eckersley and scoring a stunning second himself, solidifying Wigan’s dominance in major finals.

Wigan skipper Liam Farrell, added the finishing touch with his first try in a final, ensuring a memorable victory. Despite a late try by Warrington’s Matt Dufty, which caused a brief stir, Wigan held firm to claim their third Wembley win in nearly three decades. This victory also marks Wigan’s record-extending 21st Challenge Cup triumph, adding to their collection of major honors, including the League Leaders’ Shield, Super League title, and World Club Challenge.

The match, attended by a crowd of 64,845—the largest for a Challenge Cup final since 2017—began dramatically with two early yellow cards issued by referee Chris Kendall. Despite this rocky start, Wigan quickly found their rhythm. French’s perfectly placed grubber kick allowed Eckersley to open the scoring, with Harry Smith converting. French then dazzled with a solo effort, displaying incredible composure to score while facing backwards.

Although a spectacular effort by French right before halftime was disallowed due to a double movement, Wigan’s momentum remained unbroken. Farrell’s breakaway try in the second half seemed to seal the win, despite Dufty’s late score for Warrington. Ultimately, Warrington never managed to regain their footing against Wigan’s relentless play and French’s exceptional performance.

The victory was bittersweet for Wigan alumni George Williams, Sam Powell, and coach Sam Burgess, who had hoped for a different outcome. However, with Warrington still well-positioned in the Super League, trailing Wigan by just two points, the season holds further opportunities for redemption.

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