Wigan Warriors points machine Pat Richards insisted he will be fit to face Wakefield Trinity Wildcats after receiving more than 20 stitches in Wigan’s win over Leeds Rhinos.
Richards cut his left eye in a nasty collision with 15 minutes to go in the Magic Weekend finale but continued to make the match-winning tackle with 56 seconds left.
Richards – delighted with the tight win – was typically modest about his heroics, insisting there are far tougher men in Super League than himself.
“It was alright – there are plenty of other tougher blokes in the side than me,” said Richards.
“I was just doing my job out there and everyone has played their role today – it was just good to get the win.”
In his last season with the Warriors before heading back to Australia to rejoin Wests Tigers, the towering winger scored 12 of Wigan’s points in the 20-16 victory.
With defences on top, the Warriors were forced to rely on the boot of Super League’s leading goal kicker but Richards insists taking penalty shots at goal was essential.
“Leeds were doing the same thing –with games like this you have to take the two points when you can get them and we did that tonight and it worked out well for us.
“I think we ground it really and we did well to shut them out near the end. With a quality side like Leeds we are pretty happy with our defence.”
Richards also scored a try 22 minutes into to titanic battle to reclaim the lead which remained slender until full time.
He was twice treated for the cut in the final ten minutes but remained on the field to play his role in ending Leeds’ unbeaten Magic Weekend record.
The 2010 Man of Steel admitted he was only comfortable once he had made the vital tackle in the final minute.
“It was probably around the time of the last scrum with 50 seconds to go I knew we had done enough,” said Richards.
“We are just glad to finish off a really good weekend here in Manchester and it was good for all the fans to be involved as well.”
Image courtesy of Tetley Challenge Cup, via YouTube, with thanks