A – What was meant to be a “pie-smashing” first match for Chris Sandow in front of his home fans at Warrington has instead ended in an embarrassing Super League defeat.
The Wolves were thrashed 28-0 by Wigan on Friday at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, their third straight loss in the Super 8s that put them out of the race for the semi-finals.
In their promotion for the derby, Warrington published a video featuring former Parramatta halfback Sandow smashing pies off a kicking tee in reference to Wigan – a northern city renowned for its pies and host of the the annual World Pie Eating Championships.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane acknowledged his rivals for providing ammunition.
“The players were motivated,” Wane said. “I thank the Warrington marketing department for doing my job for me. A few of the players thought it was a bit disrespectful.”
Makeshift Wigan centre John Bateman scored two of the Warriors’ five tries as they became the first team to keep the Wolves to nil at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Veteran fullback Matty Bowen was impressive for the Warriors while teenage centre Oliver Gildart scored a try on his debut.
Little went right for the Wolves after fullback Stefan Ratchford dived over the ball from George Williams’ grubber kick to present Wigan second-rower Liam Farrell with the opening try after just four minutes.
“It was a tough day, the second half was especially tough to watch,” Warrington coach Tony Smith said. “We needed to get some points on the board when we had field position in the first half.
“Once we didn’t score those points, a lot of frustration crept in. I didn’t see it coming. We felt really good heading into this game.
“Some of our individuals are down on confidence and some of our more experienced were not on their best of games.”
Wane called on his players to maintain their high standard after cementing their place in the top two.
“We played well and put a lot of things together,” Wane said. “Our defence was very impressive and that was the main focus for me. The most pleasing aspect was the way we forced errors with our contact.
“I’ve just told the players that the way we attacked and the composure we had with the ball in those conditions set the benchmark for us.”