Official Match Report
England stand-off George Williams scored a hat-trick of tries to help Wigan Warriors to a much-needed 30-22 victory in a Super League thriller against Salford Red Devils at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The reigning champions went into the round seven clash on the back of four straight defeats but coach Adrian Lam will be breathing more easily after a hard-fought second win of the season.
Wigan looked to be well in command after running in three tries in an eight-minute spell from Williams, Thomas Leuluai and Joe Greenwood to lead 18-6.
HAT-TRICK FOR WILLIAMS!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/BOV4GGC1zL— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) March 24, 2019
But the Red Devils showed their danger by scoring three of their own either side of half-time through Derrell Olpherts, Niall Evalds and Adam Walker to go in front for the second time.
However, Wigan always looked to have the edge and Williams, whose form so far this year amid rumours of a move to the NRL had been a matter of concern for Lam, showed his class to put the result beyond doubt.
Wigan were also boosted by the return to fitness of wingmen Joe Burgess and Dom Manfredi, who were reunited for the first time since the 2015 Grand Final.
Interim head coach Lam said: "It’s been an emotional week. I’m exhausted now purely off the back of the win today and (his son) Lachlan making his debut yesterday.
"It was a pretty special moment and I’ve just got to make sure I don’t get emotional because they’re all bagging me for being an emotional father."
On his future, Lam added: "I haven’t talked about it at all, to be honest. I’m here for 12 months at the moment and I’ve got my focus on doing the best I possibly can here and then moving home."
Salford coach Ian Watson said: "Defensively we were not good enough. We let our standards drop.
"I felt once we got the lead again, Wigan were vulnerable but they did the basics well and we didn’t."
Watson says he expects winger Ken Sio to be sidelined for more than a month with a groin injury, while Wigan prop Tony Clubb is facing a fortnight out with medial knee ligament damage.
|62||goal||Goal scored for Wigan by Zak Hardaker||22-30|
|61||try||Try scored for Wigan by George Williams||22-28|
|50||goal||Goal scored for Wigan by Zak Hardaker||22-24|
|49||try||Try scored for Wigan by George Williams||22-22|
|42||try||Try scored for Salford by Adam Walker||22-18|
|42||goal||Goal scored for Salford by Ed Chamberlain||18-18|
|40||goal||Goal scored for Salford by Ed Chamberlain||16-18|
|40||try||Try scored for Salford by Niall Evalds||14-18|
|37||try||Try scored for Salford by Derrell Olpherts||10-18|
|33||goal||Goal scored for Wigan by Zak Hardaker||6-18|
|32||try||Try scored for Wigan by Joe Greenwood||6-16|
|30||goal||Goal scored for Wigan by Zak Hardaker||6-12|
|29||try||Try scored for Wigan by Thomas Leuluai||6-10|
|26||goal||Goal scored for Wigan by Zak Hardaker||6-6|
|25||try||Try scored for Wigan by George Williams||6-4|
|9||goal||Goal scored for Salford by Ed Chamberlain||6-0|
|5||try||Try scored for Salford by Josh Jones||4-0|