Wigan Warriors 14 Warrington Wolves 40: Five talking points
Five talking points from Wigan's 40-14 defeat against Warrington...
1. Adrian Lam has often been on point with his post-match observations, but he raised more than a few eyebrows when he stated Wigan are "close to where we want to be".
Yes, Wigan scored in the first-half - something they hadn't done in their last three matches - and added two more during a hint of a fightback.
But to leak 40 points, at home, was not good enough and it was not typical of Wigan - even when they are beaten, they are rarely buried.
2. Jake Mamo took the plaudits for three of Warrington's seven tries but Wigan players were credited with the 'assists'.
Twice he plundered intercepts and raced away, a third came from a short drop-out. Add in Jack Hughes' stroll over and that's four tries they were handed.
The Wolves, in current form, are too good without being gifted such glorious chances.
3. With no Bevan French, Jai Field or Zak Hardaker due to injury, Jackson Hastings resumed duty at full-back.
Choosing a halfback in the No.1 role was no surprise, given their role in the attacking line, and Hastings was one of Wigan's better players (along with Kai Pearce-Paul), laying on both their second-half tries.
But in hindsight, perhaps they needed his involvement at halfback which would also have eased the burden on 21-year-old Harry Smith.
4. While Lam is copping the brunt of the criticism, some are beginning to ask questions of club chairman Ian Lenagan and executive director Kris Radlinski.
These young forwards are having a dig, but they need support; why was marquee prop George Burgess not replaced? When centre and goal-kicking have been persistent issues, why has Chris Hankinson not been recalled from London?
So far, there have been no answers.
5. When was the last time Wigan lost five in a row?
A question some have already asked, ahead of the Grand Final rematch against a rested St Helens team on Sunday.
This defeat was Wigan's fourth straight loss, following a mauling at Catalans and narrower defeats against Hull KR and Wakefield.
So? Five in a row? It was early in Lam's tenure as coach in 2019. Shaun Wane also went five games without a win - one was a draw - two years earlier, the season they won the World Club Challenge and reached Wembley.
Perhaps that last line supports the argument that these defeats, while painful, don't matter in the grander schemes if they are still in the mix, and in form, come the end of the season.