HARRY Smith played the role often carried out by Spurs hero Harry Kane as he trod the same turf.
But Wigan’s match winner summed up the new modest attitude that has swept through the club by insisting: “I was just doing my job.”
The scrum half’s kick that set up Liam Marshall’s decisive try with four minutes left capped a display that saw him touch down himself and boot two crucial goals.
It ended a nine-year drought and reunited the Warriors with the trophy for a 20th time.
However, no-one is getting ahead of themselves, even though the first trophy under boss Matt Peet is in the bag – that may propel them to further glory.
Smith, 22, played down his big moment by saying: “It’s what I’m paid to do and what the team needs me to do.
“We spoke about it all week, about having composure through the game as half backs and backing ourselves if we see something.
“It’s just instinctive really – obviously you can practice it, but it’s what you can see in the moment. Liam read it well, put his hand up for the kick and it just came together just nicely.
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“Our improvement has been based on culture first and the togetherness of the team, being willing to play for the person beside you. Do everything you can to get that win.
“That’s the start of it, the base of it and the new style has also helped. Just having a bit more of an attacking threat and backing ourselves in the right moments.
“There’s a clearer message of what’s expected from me and everyone knowing their role makes it easier. With Lee Briers coming in as assistant coach, when we get to certain spots everyone knows what we’re doing, that’s the difference.
“And there’s an extra special bond. Stuff we do away from the field and the training ground has really helped gain that and that then shows on the field. Hopefully that can continue.”
Wigan’s players showed that bond away from the pitch and training ground as they returned the Challenge Cup to the town yesterday after Jai Field also finished off Bevan French’s break that had people in New South Wales cheering into their schooners.
The winger, who returned to the club after it stood by him by allowing him to stay Down Under as mother Tiffany Blair lost her battle for life, said: “It kicked off about midnight, so quite a few boys would’ve been on the beers and still going afterwards.
“Just imagine what they were doing – sitting watching TV and what the atmosphere would have been like when Marshy scored.
“Everyone spoke about what a win would mean to them. It’s crazy because my mum and I spoke about this sort of thing when she was still here.
“She wanted me to come back here and, I guess as a tribute in some kind of way, to bring some silverware to Wigan because of the way they supported me.”
While French’s motivation was clear after the year he went through, Smith also heard what it meant to his family.
His father was not the only ‘old man’ who played a role, there was Wigan veteran Tommy Leuluai – who returned just one month after suffering a knee injury supposed to keep him out for ‘a few.’
And the 36-year-old used his nous to help shatter Huddersfield’s hopes after scores from Ricky Leutele, Chris McQueen and Jermaine McGillvary looked set to end a 69-year cup drought.
Smith, who saw Tui Lolohea miss four of five goal attempts added: “Tommy’s a legend of the club and he’s done so many great things.
“He just brings calmness to the team and that’s what helped me produce the last play.
“It’s 100 per cent the realisation of a childhood dream. We had video messages and to hear my dad speak, and the family say how much it means to them, was fantastic.
“I’m so happy to give them that moment and the fans deserve it after not getting any silverware for a while.
“Hopefully we can kick on and do well in the league for many years as well.”
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