Sam Tomkins showed just why his omission from the England elite training squad had raised eyebrows in some quarters as Wigan overcame Wakefield 30-18.
Tomkins played the full game at full-back - rather than switch into the halves - and had a key role as the Warriors claimed their fourth win from five matches to move to second in the table.
As well as kicking four second-half goals, he showed some nice touches in attack as Joe Burgess finished with a hat-trick.
Shaun Wane said: “He seems to have fallen out of favour (with England) but I don’t think he’s stressing about it, I just think he wants to play well for Wigan which is to my liking.
“I want to leave Sam at full-back for a bit.”
Morgan Escare, instead, played at halfback when he came off the bench as Wigan battled back from a 12-10 half-time deficit.
Wane was disappointed with some of their errors in the opening half but overall, he felt they were good value to the win against a side which had won their previous four games.
“It was a good win, they’re a solid team and they’re going to be hard to beat,” said Wane.
“They openly said they waned to come here and get five out of five, which was motivation for us. I thought we played well. There were a couple of poor edge errors defensively - we will work on that - but apart from that we looked solid.
“In attack we got them a few times and, had we been a bit more clinical, that could have been a fair win.
“But I’d be worried if we were killing it in round one. We’re showing improvements, we were worthy winners.”
Wane felt Romain Navarrete went “alright” in his first outing this year and praised John Bateman, Willie Isa and props Tony Clubb and Ben Flower for their contributions. He reported no fresh injuries and suggested Joel Tomkins may be available for next Sunday’s trip to Castleford.
Wakefield coach Chris Chester had no complaints with the result.
“I thought it was a good contest, it was a spirited performance,” he said. “I’m proud of all of my players, we just came up short. I’ve no issues, we were beaten by the better side.”
Wane had said in the build-up his counterpart had ‘thrown down the gauntlet’ in the build-up - something which bemused Chester.
“Shaun made a bit of a deal of it in the press, but I wasn’t going to say I wanted to come here and lose,” said the ex-Warriors player.
Wigan’s first-team squad players Callum Field and Craig Mullen scored tries on dual-registration for London Skolars in their 60-16 defeat by Newcastle Thunder in League One. Hooker Josh Ganson also played.