Bevan French Shines in Wigan's Challenge Cup Victory! - footballivenews
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Bevan French Shines in Wigan’s Challenge Cup Victory!



Bevan French continues to etch his name into rugby league history for Wigan, following his standout performance in their World Club Challenge victory over Penrith with another exceptional display in the Challenge Cup final.

French earned the Lance Todd Trophy as the player of the match in the English rugby league’s premier event at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. He led Wigan to their 21st victory in the knockout tournament with an 18-8 win over Warrington.

The 28-year-old Australian was outstanding, setting up an early try and scoring a brilliant try himself, helping England’s most famous club secure all the major titles: league leaders’ shield, Super League championship, world club championship, and now the Challenge Cup.

“It’s crazy,” smiled French, the Man of Steel winner who has now collected every individual and team honor in the British club game.

“We started the week talking about what we could achieve as a group – not many teams have won the grand final, league leaders’ shield, world club championship, and the Challenge Cup, so that was our motivation.

“It’s going to take a while for it to sink in with all the trophies now, so we’ll sit down and enjoy it for a few days.”

French, a former Parramatta Eels player, proudly carried an Indigenous flag at Wembley after the victory. He was joined by his Australian teammates Jai Field and Jaide Ellis, also draped in national flags, marking another day of international celebration for the cherry-and-whites.

In contrast, there was disappointment for Warrington, coached by former NRL star Sam Burgess in his first season and featuring four Australians: Matt Dufty, Josh Drinkwater, Paul Vaughan, and Lachlan Fitzgibbon.

French set the tone early, assisting Zach Eckersley for Wigan’s opening score and then using his magical footwork to score a superb try himself, even managing to touch the ball down while facing backwards.

“You’ve got to pull the trigger at the right time,” said French, who also praised his team’s defensive strength, which he believed was key to their victory, sealed by captain Liam Farrell’s second-half try.

The match began chaotically with referee Chris Kendall issuing yellow cards within the first three minutes, first to Wigan’s Mike Cooper for a high challenge, and then to Dufty for a similar offense.

It was a mixed day for Dufty, the former St George Illawarra fullback, who scored a try midway through the second half, but it was too little too late for Warrington.

The day was also emotional, with a crowd of 64,845 participating in tributes to Leeds legend Rob Burrow, who had passed away earlier in the week.

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