Sutton KO rubs salt into Warriors' wounds
Shaun Wane is keeping his fingers crossed that a knee injury sustained by Warriors prop Ryan Sutton hasn't compounded the misery from a Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat at Warrington.
The big prop limped off just before the hour mark of the 23-0 defeat at the HJ Stadium with a pained expression on his face.
And having only recently confirmed his departure to the NRL at the end of the season, Wane is hoping the 22-year-old hasn’t played his last match in cherry and white.
“He’s not so good,” acknowledged the Wigan coach.
“I’m not sure of the full details, he will be scanned over the next 24 hours.
“But I think we can say he won’t be playing on Thursday against Wakefield.”
The loss of Sutton capped a miserable afternoon for Wane and Wigan, who were ‘never at the races’ against a Warrington side that were on top from pretty much minute one.
“It’s probably not possible to put into words how disappointed I am,” recognised Wane.
“We got beat in every facet of rugby league, and that is just not like a Wigan team that I coach.
“Early in the game there were a couple of poor penalties that went against us, we just seemed gassed, and we never, ever recovered from it.
“Even when you’re gassed, you have to do certain things right, and we certainly didn’t do that.
“They wanted it more, they were by far the better team...they were a better team from a few weeks ago - and so were we.”
Warriors have now lost both matches since the confirmation Wane will be moving on at the end of the season.
However, on the back of last weekend’s shock Super League defeat at lowly Hull KR, Wane isn’t reading too much into the dip in form.
“I hope that’s not the case,” he countered. “We’re a professional side, we have to deal with things...players are going, I’m going.
“The players are professional sportsmen, and they have to dust themselves down and work hard.
“I know how good these players are, what they can do and what they can deliver.
“They just didn’t do that today, but I don’t think it was anything to do with any announcements.
Wane also refuted the notion his side would be doubly determined to win the Super League title to make up for their Wembley heartache.
“I’d be disappointed if it needed this to refocus us,” he added.
“The players were already firmly focused on winning the League Leaders’ Shield and the Grand Final, as well as the Challenge Cup.
“We won’t need refocusing, we just came up against a side that wanted it more than us.
“We weren’t at the races in so many areas, in our skill level and our detail in contact.
“We just couldn’t get any momentum, and we all need to be better - including me as a coach.”