Wigan coach Michael Maguire hailed teenage winger Josh Charnley for his match-winning performance at Huddersfield.
The 19-year-old scored one try and set up others for Sean O’Loughlin and Ryan Hoffman in the under-strength Super League champions’ hard-fought 20-6 victory at the Galpharm Stadium which sent them top of the table for the first time this season.
“He’s a talent,” said Maguire. “I always knew at some stage he was going to pop his head up and he is taking his opportunities. It’s credit to him. He keeps working hard.”
Charnley also became the Warriors’ fourth-choice marksman in the absence of Pat Richards, Paul Deacon and Sam Tomkins and kicked four goals from five attempts as Wigan maintained their unbeaten record.
“We had a bit of a shoot-out in the week and Josh put his hand up,” revealed Maguire. “It was good to see him kick well tonight.”
Huddersfield drew level midway through the first half when former Wigan half-back Luke Robinson scored with his first touch of the ball on his comeback from injury.
They also had other chances to win the game but could not breach a superb defence.
“It was up there with one of the best performances defensively I’ve been involved with,” added Maguire.
“The way the boys stood up when they needed and put their hands up on certain plays, they all worked extemely hard for each other, so it was a very pleasing win.”
Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown was upbeat despite watching his side lose for the first time at home since Wigan triumphed at the Galpharm Stadium last May.
“I don’t think there was a great deal in it,” he said. “With two or three minutes to go, they had got two from kicks and we got one from kicks.
“They are obviously very good defensively. We had two real good chances to score in the first half and when you’re playing Wigan you’ve got to take them because generally you don’t get to create too many.
“There were another four or five times when against a lesser defence we would have scored tries.
“I’m planning on it being a good lesson for us. We just need to be a touch better when we’re playing Wigan.”