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Men's Rugby League Hill says Warrington must improve in Grand Final

WARRINGTON Wolves captain Chris Hill says his side will need to go up another level if they are to end a 63-year wait to be crowned champions.

Hill was delighted with a rare 80-minute performance that earned them a shock 18-13 victory over Super League leaders St Helens in the semi-final, but believes they will need to find yet more improvement if they are to topple Wigan Warriors at Old Trafford in the Grand Final tonight.

“We’ve got to go up again,” he said. “The bar’s going to be raised again this week and we’ve got it in us.

“We’ve put 50 or 60 minutes together in regular games and probably got away with a scrappy 20 minutes and won but you can’t do that in finals.

“It was an 80-minute performance in the semi-final that got us the victory over St Helens and I wouldn’t mind doing it two weeks in a row.”

Although they have not won the title since 1955, the Wolves have been knocking on the door over the last decade.

They have won the Challenge Cup three times since 2009 and have reached three of the past seven Grand Finals, losing once to Leeds and twice to Wigan.

Hill has played in all three defeats at Old Trafford and was also in the side that lost 20-14 to Catalans Dragons at Wembley in August, which still rankles.

“It does hurt and we want to right those wrongs,” he said. “But that’s a totally different game.

“Catalans performed and we didn’t. We’ve got to learn lessons and we have. It’s about taking our chances like we did last week, that’s what semi-finals and finals are all about.”

Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s 21st Grand Final, Warrington can be proud of their achievements in reaching both major finals, having finished in the bottom four in 2017.

Hill says new coach Steve Price, who succeeded the long-serving Tony Smith, deserves much of the credit for bringing in a new defensive structure that has enabled the team to get themselves in positions to win the big games.

“Toughness and gritty determination in our defence will win finals, as it showed last week,” he said.

“As long as your defence is in order, your attack will come. Wigan showed that against Cas too.

“Wigan will be favourites, deservedly so as well — they finished higher than us in the comp. But form goes out of the window, doesn’t it?

“We’ll get our own back yard sorted. I don’t think anyone gave us a chance at Saints.”


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