The Wigan coach Stuart Raper saluted his scrum-half Adrian Lam after his outstanding show set up Wigan's 46-24 win over Salford yesterday. The Reds trailed only 16-12 at half-time before a Lam-inspired Wigan displayed their superiority and romped to an impressive victory.
The Papua New Guinean grabbed a hat-trick of tries and was in devastating form to consolidate third spot in the Super League for Wigan.
"Adrian was in magnificent form and I'm really happy the way he's playing," said Raper. "But if the forwards don't lay the foundations, the backs can't do the business.
"It was nice for the experienced players to do something special with so many of our first team out. We had 14 English players out there today which augurs well for the future."
The bottom club Salford, who beat the Warriors at The Willows last season, took a surprise 12th-minute lead when Graham Holroyd's kick was fumbled and Alan Hunte went over. Holroyd added the goal before Lam fed Julian O'Neill to cut the gap to 6-4. Salford continued to battle but the genius of Lam clinched the vital two points for Wigan.
The Salford coach Karl Harrison said: "Adrian Lam was the difference between the sides. We tried very hard and our front row were outstanding but we didn't get the rub of the green, although we can take some positives out of the performance."
The Castleford coach Graham Steadman was unhappy despite his side's 38-14 win over Halifax Blue Sox at The Jungle. The Tigers came back from 14-8 behind at half-time to stay in the hunt for a play-off spot.
"If we are going to be serious contenders for the top six, we are going to have to improve on today," said Harrison.
The turnaround – aided by two tries apiece from Waine Pryce and Michael Smith, and seven goals from Wayne Bartrim – enabled Tigers to avenge their 19-8 defeat at Halifax three months ago.
Referee Karl Kirkpatrick put two incidents on report. The first involved the Halifax full-back Stuart Donlan being flattened and in the second half the Halifax substitute Jamie Bloem was allegedly bitten by a Castleford player.
Huddersfield remain unbeaten in the Northern Ford Premiership but were made to work hard by struggling Keighley. The Giants eventually ran out 34-10 victors at Cougar Park, mainly thanks to a hat-trick from former Keighley player Rob Roberts, and stay 10 points clear at the top of the table.
Second-placed Leigh ran out comfortable 46-10 winners against Featherstone. Bobbie Goulding's stunning all-round display including a try as the Centurions gained revenge for last month's defeat against fourth-placed Rovers.
Doncaster showed their battling qualities as they came from behind to beat lowly Swinton 29-12.
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