Why Wigan Warriors' win at Huddersfield Giants was one of Adrian Lam's best
Adrian Lam hailed Wigan's 14-12 win at Huddersfield as one of his best wins as coach.
The Warriors were without a dozen frontline stars to either injury or suspension and had four teenagers in their side, including Amir Bourouh who was recalled from a loan spell at Halifax and didn't even train with Wigan in the build-up.
Both sides scored two converted tries and ultimately Harry Smith's penalty in the second-half proved decisive, as Wigan registered their second win against the Giants in the space of a week, drawing a line under a run of five successive defeats.
"I felt it was a really tough game," said Lam. "I'm just pleased and it was a brave effort. It was one of my better wins as a coach, I was really pleased with the resilience we showed.
"I thought we played pretty well for the majority of the game, the two tries we let in were quite soft, and it kept them in the game.
"But we've been down in confidence and we were back to a lot of Wigan ways in terms of the energy and work ethic and we can only get better.
"We missed the captain's run because we needed to get testing done, so we only had one session on Wednesday - it was a half-hour session - we were already down on bodies and we had players dropping out in the week."
Hooker Sam Powell (head injury assessment), Joe Bullock (illness) and Liam Byrne (ribs) withdrew in the build-up to the match.
Of the youngsters, Lam was particularly pleased for winger Sam Halsall who was assured under the high ball and made some strong contributions - just days after the funeral of his proud dad, Dave.
"I just praised him in the dressing room and introduced him as 'Sam The Bank Halsall', because he's so safe," said Lam. "What he and his family have been through has been heartbreaking, the boys rallied around him and it's nice to see him do so well in the air."
Huddersfield - themselves relying heavily on youngsters due to a list of absentees - twice pegged the score back to two points to set up a thrilling finish.
But Wigan dug deep and had the character to cling on to the victory.
Giants coach Ian Watson said: "We took a bit of time to get into our stride, but I thought you showed in the second-half some good stuff from the spine. It came down to small margins.
"We started off well defensively, we had two slip-ups, but at the moment our attack isn't as fluent as you'd like but you've got to remember Olly Russell is 21, Will Pryce is 18... the effort they're putting in, we've just lost on one of our own mistakes.
"We will get better."
Wigan host Wakefield next Friday night in their first game without any Covid-enforced crowd restrictions.