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Maguire confirms South Sydney switch after Wigan victory

Wigan returned to winning ways with a 28-16 triumph at Hull KR on the night that their Engage Super League-winning coach Michael Maguire announced he was leaving the club.
Maguire confirms South Sydney switch after Wigan victory
by NRL

Wigan returned to winning ways with a 28-16 triumph at Hull KR on the night that their Engage Super League-winning coach Michael Maguire announced he was leaving the club.

The victory ended a three-game winless run for the Warriors, but it was followed by the Australian`s announcement that he is to join South Sydney at the end of the season.

Maguire, who joined Wigan last year and won the Super League at the first attempt, has been linked with a move back to his homeland for some time.

While Maguire's departure is sure to dominate the aftermath of the game, it had seemed like the coach's future would take a back seat to the players' efforts when Joel Tomkins capitalised on a Scott Murrell error inside his own 10-metre line to open scoring.

Pat Richards failed to convert but Rovers found themselves 10-0 down after 21 minutes as Ryan Hoffman strolled his way through their defence to score.

The score owed a lot to some poor KR defending in which Liam Colbon knocked on and Blake Green conceded a penalty, both within 20 metres of their try line. Richards found his accuracy kicking the goal.

The home side replaced Willie Mason with Matt Cook and the latter quickly scored, stretching out, for the second game running, with Murrell improving the try.

In an open half of rugby, Wigan extended their advantage three minutes after Cook's try.

Josh Charnley, who became a fan favourite at Craven Park at the end of last season after scoring five tries in five games during a loan spell, scored in the right-hand corner, with Richards slotting the goal.

Both sides were guilty of making mistakes, but Rovers' errors were occurring deep inside their own half. Kris Welham, on a 20-metre restart, and Cook, on the first tackle, coughed up cheap possession but Wigan were unable to capitalise thanks to some gritty defending by the hosts.

Rovers started the second half strongly with the restored Mason scoring his first Super League try. Murrell missed the goal attempt.

But Wigan showed why they are champions with a try shortly afterwards. Thomas Leuluai scored from close range from a typical run from dummy half and Richards' right boot made it 22-10.

With a 12-point advantage Wigan controlled the game with Leuluai and Brett Finch taking them forward. Richards thought he had scored himself in the left corner but Rovers full-back Ben Cockayne bundled the winger into touch before he could ground the ball.

Moments later Cockayne set up a grandstand finale when he grounded Green's kick close to the posts. Murrell's kick left a converted try between the two sides.

When Mason was penalised for a grapple tackle on Hoffman, Richards gratefully accepted the cushion of two extra points that meant Rovers needed to score twice.

The outcome was finally decided when George Carmont slid over three minutes from time. Richards missed the conversion, but at that stage it was academic.

On the final hooter, Cockayne and Jeff Lima were put on report by referee Thierry Alibert after a late incident between the players.

Wigan Warriors in a brief statement said, "Wigan Rugby League Club announces the decision by Michael Maguire, advised to the Club today, to leave his position as Head Coach of Wigan Warriors at the end of the 2011 season to return to Australia to take up the position as Head Coach at South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL.

"We thank Michael for his efforts in 2010 and in leading Wigan to win the League Leaders trophy and the Grand Final. We look forward to a second successful season under Michael in 2011."




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