Wigan Warriors fought back from being behind twice against Huddersfield Giants to secure their first win of the season in a niggly encounter at the DW Stadium.
Two tries from Joel Tomkins, one in either half, alongside tries from John Bateman, Michael McIlorum and Ryan Sutton saw Shaun Wane’s side take the two points.
The drama started before the game as Wigan lost half-back George Williams in the warm-up. The hosts were already without the suspended Matty Smith and were forced into throwing Ryan Hampshire into the starting XIII.
Josh Charnley’s kick off went out on the full giving Giants early position and after early penalties they took full advantage when prop Anthony Mullally crashed over to score the first points of their season after being defeated 19-0 to Hull last Sunday.
Danny Brough added the extras. They held a 6-0 for ten minutes when Wigan full-back Matty Bowen found Joel Tomkins to score the hosts opening try and seven minutes later John Bateman cut through a gaping hole in the Giants defence.
Referee Richard Silverwood did send it upstairs to the video referees for a potential obstruction but the try was rightly awarded giving the Warriors a 10-6.
However they only held the lead for a matter of minutes as Jamie Ellis scored his first Huddersfield try after being picked out by Leroy Cudjoe. Again Brough did the honours with the boot to make it 12-10 to the visitors.
Wigan had conceded early penalties and when Sam Powell committed a ‘chicken-wing’ tackle on Eorl Crabtree he was sent to the sin-bin.
After Huddersfield shelled two excellent scoring opportunities it was left to Aaron Murphy five minutes before the interval to score after collecting a delicately weighted grubber kick from Jake Connor. That saw Huddersfield into a 16-10 half-time lead.
It took five minutes of the second half for Tomkins to get his second try of the night capitalising on a mistake from Luke Robinson, who tried to offload in his defensive third.
Both sides then had scoring chances but Joe Wardle spurned a glorious Huddersfield chance while Charnley spilled when all he had to do was claim the ball and cross the whitewash.
Chaos broke at in the 62nd minute at a head-and-feed. The aftermath of the petty handbags saw Sutton (Wigan) and Craig Huby (Huddersfield) sin-binned creating more space on a pitch, which seemed to be cutting up.
A break from Bateman saw him break through the Giants defence before off-loading to McIlorum who scored the simplest of tries. Hampshire missed the conversion meaning Wigan had a two-point lead with 11 minutes left on the clock.
But when Sutton returned to the field-of-play he sealed this hard fought victory for the Warriors by powering his way over before leaving it to Hampshire to round off the scoring, which he duly did to seal a 24 – 16 win.