Bevan French has marked his return to action with two tries in his first match of the season as Wigan Warriors beat Castleford 22-12 in a thrilling and tough encounter.
The return of his star Australian back French on Thursday delighted Wigan head coach Adrian Lam, who smiled: "It's great to have him back."
Back in the side after missing the opening three weeks of the season, the Australian flyer demonstrated no signs of rust as he went over for a try with three minutes left in the first half.
He ploughed over again in the second after a measured kick from Jackson Hastings.
"We joked in the week about him scoring a hat-trick, it wasn't quite there!" said Lam.
"He looked sharp, and that's Bevan French. Like everyone, he'll get better over the next couple of weeks and we're all excited about where he will get to."
Wigan had been far from impressive in the opening period but they outscored the Tigers by two tries to one before the interval.
The Tigers were first to score after the break, with Derrell Olpherts going over for his second of the match but Wigan soon hit the front, however, as Jackson Hastings sent a kick over for French to grab a made-in-Australia try.
Both teams had chances to win the game, but defences were on top and it took a late score from Sam Powell to put clear daylight between the sides and make it four wins from four at the start of the season for Wigan.
French also featured in what had appeared to be a brilliant piece of defence in the 47th minute.
Referee Chris Kendall had deemed Olpherts to have been held up over the line following a great tackle from French before changing his mind after a chat with his in-goal touch judge.
The try was awarded and the scores were levelled at 12-12 but Wigan did not let that disappointment get them down and they hit back almost immediately to go back in front.
Hastings showed some great vision to spot that Olpherts was out of position and he sent a kick over for French to collect and touch down.
Australian Associated Press