Wigan Warriors 32 Toronto Wolfpack 10: Five things we learned
1. Many will right say Wigan were not convincing for 80 minutes. Many, though, would have taken a 22-point win before kick-off.
To use the car analogy, they moved through the gears as the game unfolded. They stuttered and stalled in second for a large part of a dull first-half, before grinding into third and finishing pedal-to-the-metal in fifth.
Having been level 10-10 approaching the hour-mark, they finished with an ultimately comfortable win to move to four points. Consider this; it was March 31 when Wigan had four points on the table last year!
2. Adrian Lam was pleased they had limited their opponents to two tries for a third successive week - a solid defensive foundation.
But he acknowledged many fans judge a team on the attack and, in glimpses, Wigan showed their potency.
Jackson Hastings imposed himself as the match unfolded and linked well - especially - with Bevan French and Liam Farrell, who both finished with two tries.
And it was pleasing to see Joe Burgess atome for a couple of spills with a breakaway long-range effort from French's quick tap.
3. Joe Bullock got his first chance this season and grabbed it with both hands.
Fans showed their appreciation, applauding his strong carries after coming off the bench. Bullock, who arrived from Barrow more than a year ago, was making his comeback following a knee injury last July.
Kiwi recruit Mitch Clark also made his debut - the two props replacing Liam Byrne and Ethan Havard - and showed some strong touches.
With George Burgess and Ben Flower close to a return from injury, the competition for prop spots is about to get intense.
4. Sonny Bill Williams wasn't Toronto's only absentee.
And their injury woe deepened in the minutes sandwiching kick-off, with Jon Wilkin withdrawing after warm-up and then James Cunningham going off early into the match.
How they will cope with such a thin squad remains to be seen but, to their credit, they showed an admirable amount of grit and style for most of the match.
If they play like that, their first win will soon come... though they face a daunting immediate run against Warrington, St Helens and Hull FC.
5. Were Wigan denied a penalty try? Sean O'Loughlin seemed destined to score when a stray finger across his eye from Hakim Miloud dropped him as if he was shot.
Miloud, who was apologetic, was sinbinned but the Warriors didn't get a penalty try. And a point raised by the Sky Sports team later; Burgess' try came from a 20m tap which was allowed by Chris Kendall. Those long-range attacks, against scattered and retreating defences, often light up matches yet sometimes quick taps aren't allowed by the official until he is in position on the 30m line - some consistency on the issue would be welcomed.
O'Loughlin was taken to hospital for checks on his eye injury.