WIGAN Warriors came from behind to pick up their first victory of the new season with a gutsy 24-16 win over Huddersfield Giants.
Man-of-the-match Joel Tomkins scored a try in each half, with Mike McIlorum and Ryan Sutton also getting over late on.
Josh Charnley’s fluffed kick-off allowed Huddersfield to pin Wigan deep into their half, and after six minutes of incessant pressure Anthony Mullally dived over between the posts.
Wigan responded positively, and eventually Matty Bowen’s dummy allowed Joel Tomkins to touch down to finish off a sweeping move.
And they went 10-6 ahead in the 24th minute as John Bateman cut inside a Giant’s defender before diving over with Ryan Hampshire, playing after George Williams was injured in the warm up, converting.
But Huddersfield responded immediately when Leroy Cudjoe broke a Wigan tackle before offloading to Jamie Ellis to score as Danny Brough again kicked the points.
And with Wigan pinned back on their own line Brough’s kick eventually found Aaron Murphy with acres of space to put Huddersfield 16-10 up five minutes before half-time.
The Cherry and Whites survived an opening onslaught in the second half and they closed the gap to two points after Tomkins’ bullying run saw him rush over in the corner.
And they should have gone in front midway through the half, but Bowen wasted a glorious chance to put Wigan ahead midway through the second half, when he could not take in Sam Powell’s pass after the scrum-half ran free of the Huddersfield defence.
Both sides were temporarily reduced to 12 men as Craig Huby and Ryan Sutton were shown yellows for throwing fists after fisticuffs broke out in the scrum.
Warriors then wasted another chance to go ahead moments later as they pushed the Giants back, but Huddersfield, desperately holding on their lead, forced the knock-on.
But with 10 minutes remaining the home side took a decisive lead after Bateman’s winding run set up Mike McIlorum, returning after missing the draw with Widnes because of a hand injury, to cross over.
Ryan Sutton then finished off the scoring after Joe Burgess evaded the Huddersfield defence with a long run inside from the sideline.