Salford Red Devils 26 Wigan Warriors 30: Five things we learned
Five things we learned from Wigan's 30-26 win against Salford...
1. The talk before the game was about moving Zak Hardaker to centre.
And he ensured he dominated the conversations afterwards, too, scoring the match-settling try with four minutes to go and adding the conversion.
It was a dramatic finish to a nerve-shredding game which, while scrappy and niggly at times, was thoroughly entertaining.
2. After 12 rounds, half of Wigan's eight points have come against Salford.
The win was important in snapping a losing run and restoring a little feelgood factor and confidence.
It also moved them up a spot to ninth, two points away from the bottom spot, and gave them a solid platform to build on for the home matches against Castleford and London within the next 10 days.
3. But the win didn't hide issues which need addressing.
Once again, Wigan took a good lead - they were 14-0 up - but went behind, and once again they leaked soft tries from close range.
Lam has lamented their injuries but it isn't necessarily a personnel issue but the lack of cohesion, caused from the constant changing, as well as a lack of experience in the middle when the going gets tough.
4. Hooker Amir Bourouh became the fourth academy-graduate to earn a debut under Adrian Lam this year.
The 18-year-old was introduced before half-time and aside from a couple of sloppy passes, made a solid start to his senior career. His distribution was sharp and he was keen to get involved.
Joe Shorrocks, Liam Byrne and the impressive Morgan Smithies have also been given their chances.
5. Super League is lucky to have Jackson Hastings in the competition.
He is a supremely gifted halfback and was a constant menace against Wigan - always lurking, crafting, creating.
The Warriors made a move for him at the end of last season but he decided to stay with Salford; there is sure to be plenty of interest in him when he comes off-contract this year.