Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson insists the absence of Sam Tomkins should not deflect attention from his side's 22-10 win over Wigan which took them to the top of Super League with the only 100 per cent record after three rounds.
- Related Content
Warriors coach Shaun Wane was forced to re-shuffle his side after Tomkins failed to recover from a shoulder injury sustained in last week's draw against Warrington and he admits the England full-back could be missing for some time.
"He copped a knee from Adrian Morley and thought he had broken his scapula but we've had him scanned and it's just really bad bruising, muscle damage," Wane said.
"We'll assess him as we go along but he's unlikely to play next week."
The visitors initially made light of the absence of their talisman as they split the Huddersfield defence twice in as many minutes to score tries through Liam Farrell and make-shift full-back Josh Charney and surge into a 10-0 lead.
But the Giants hit back to keep the Warriors scoreless for the last 70 minutes and clinched victory with Brett Ferres' 90-metre interception try in the last play of the match as Wigan fought desperately for a draw.
"Sam's a great player but I don't want his absence to take away from the spectacle, whether we win, lose or draw," Anderson said.
"It was a great game and Sam being there would have only added to it. He wasn't so you've got to give credit to the 34 blokes who were out there.
"It was played tough by two very good teams. It was the sort of game we needed to make sure we actually believe in the things we are putting in place.
"It was a real arm wrestle. It wasn't pretty but who cares if you win it?
"The amount of pressure that was applied to us and our calmness under it was a credit to their belief in each other and also the conditioning. We had one play-the-ball in the last 11 sets."
Winger Jermaine McGillvary and second rower Jamie Cording scored Huddersfield's other tries and captain Danny Brough kicked five goals as the Giants continued their impressive start to the season, which began with a stunning victory at St Helens.
Anderson added: "Wigan are a great team and this gives us a helluva lot of belief going forward.
"There is massive room for improvement in this group. I am not going to get carried away by three wins. My thoughts are now on Wakefield next week and the improvements we can make."
Wane refused to use the absence of Tomkins as an excuse for his side's first defeat of the season.
"Any team would miss someone like Sam but there are no excuses," he said. "We came here expecting to win and I thought we had the game plan to win.
"We played well in parts but you have to commend Huddersfield. They played well. Paul has done a great job and I'm really pleased for him, being an Englishman as well.
"I thought their defence was outstanding because we did throw a lot at them. For them to hold us out for so long was outstanding.
"Overall, the best team won. Their defence on the line was better than ours.
"They're the form team of the comp. They had a great game plan but I see it as a missed opportunity."
Wane said winger Anthony Gelling suffered knee ligament damage on his first appearance of the season while stand-off Blake Green was taken off before the end after suffering with tonsilitis during the week.