Outspoken Nathan Brown has issued a World Club Challenge warning to Sydney Roosters: Wigan's props are cheap shot merchants.
The St Helens boss and former St George Illawarra coach made the comment after his new signing, former Penrith half Luke Walsh, finished his first night as a Super League player in hospital undergoing X-rays for a possible facial fracture after a late challenge from Wigan's Welsh giant Ben Flower.
The 28-16 Wigan win also marked the English debuts of North Queensland icon Matt Bowen and former South Sydney and Wests Tigers forward Eddy Pettybourne.
''He got hit in the head - without the ball. You know that's going to happen when you play Wigan,'' a fuming Brown said. ''That's standard with their front-rowers. It happened to Gaz O'Brien last year.''
Brown was otherwise complimentary to the side that will meet the Roosters at Allianz Stadium on February 22, calling it ''effective'', ''fluid'' and ''terrific''. The starting props in Sydney are likely to be Flower and Scott Taylor with Pettybourne off the bench.
New signing Jordan James, a former Royal Marine, will push Gil Dudson for the final bench spot.
That's if Flower, 26, escapes the wrath of the judiciary. Walsh played on after the 70th-minute hit and was taken straight to hospital afterwards for scans.
Pettybourne, who played for the United States in the World Cup, had fans chanting his name after a couple of big hits off the interchange bench. ''He's got good footwork and a hit on him,'' coach Shaun Wane said.
''There's a few technical things EP can work on. He'll get better.''
Bowen had few opportunities, St Helens scoring one try after he lost the ball in a tackle. He was replaced at half-time. ''That was always the plan,'' Wane said, joking: ''He's the same age as me.''