Written by John Davidson
Morgan Smithies says his high shot on Ricky Leutele in the Challenge Cup final was “a bit dumb” and insists he will learn from the incident.
The Cup final’s most controversial moment came in the second half when Smithies caught Huddersfield centre Ricky Leutele high when making a cover tackle.
The Wigan forward was penalised for the offence but avoided a yellow card. Earlier in the game Smithies was also penalised for a high tackle on Giants prop Joe Greenwood.
“It wasn’t intentional,” he said.
“It was just a bit dumb. It was a dumb play. I’ll learn my lesson and won’t be doing that again.”
The back-rower said he wasn’t nervous about getting sin-binned after the shot on Leutele, with the game in the balance.
“I wasn’t too nervous,” Smithies said.
“It was a bit in the moment. I didn’t get sent off. So that’s the main thing.”
— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) May 29, 2022
Smithies described winning the Challenge Cup as the best moment of his career.
“I can’t really put it into words,” he admitted.
“All I want to do is win. That’s why I play the game. I love winning.
“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had on a rugby pitch. To win the Cup, it’s massive. It’s all I ever dreamed of as a young kid so to go out there and do it is massive.”
Wigan had to fight back late to secure victory, with Liam Marshall’s late try confirming the win at Tottenham Stadium.
“100 per cent I always believe in this team with the players around me from Faz, Jai all the players,” Smithies said.
“I always have the belief we can do something and it’s never over whatever time of game.”
Smithies believes the competition for places at Wigan has improved his game, and with this Cup win the Warriors can now challenge for more silverware.
“100 per cent,” he said.
“That competition for places has brought the best out of me this season. I’ve really tried to knuckle down and improve my performance every single week. I’m just buzzing. Buzzing.
“It was a tough game. There’s plenty to build on. It was probably the worst performance we’ve had all year but somehow we’ve managed to get the win.”