The Warriors followed up their 22-0 win at Castleford a fortnight ago with a 10-0 victory over Hull to clinch a fourth-place finish in Super League and with it a home tie in the play-offs
Wigan knew they could still be overtaken by Castleford if they lost their last two games and they kept their fans waiting for the all-important victory as the teams played out a lacklustre scoreless first half.
Leading scorer Jake Bibby and full-back Zak Hardaker finally got the tries that secured a fourth successive win at the MKM Stadium.
“It had a real semi-final feel about it,” Lam said. “It’s exactly what we needed.
“It wasn’t the prettiest win but I’m proud of our efforts defensively. That’s twice in the last three weeks we’ve managed to shut out the opposition on their own ground.
“I loved the mentality of the players, we were mentally tough and quite physical today.
“If you have got your defensive system right at this time of the year, you’re a chance in every game. We lacked cohesion on attack but I’m more focused that we got our defence right. We were committed to each other.”
Wigan will now finish off the regular season at home to League Leaders Catalans Dragons next Friday and Lam is getting excited about his team’s Grand Final prospects.
“It’s been a long year,” he said. “We’ve played more games than anyone but we’ve kept our players fresh over the last few weeks and we get our reward for that now if we’re locked in fourth.
“It’s important you have a confident team at this time of the year and we didn’t have that earlier in the year.”
The defeat snuffed out the Black and Whites’ lingering play-off hopes as they went down to an eighth defeat in nine matches and now look certain to finish in a disappointing eighth place in Brett Hodgson’s first season in charge.
“It’s deflating,” Hodgson said. “The effort was there, I don’t question that.
“But we’re not helping ourselves with way too many errors. We wanted to get cheap points in the second half when we needed to be a bit more patient.
“Rather than build pressure, we went away from what we had planned.
“There is obviously a lack of confidence in the group at the moment. We’ve got to be a lot smarter with what we’re doing.”
Hodgson acknowledged that he needs to strengthen his squad for 2022 but, in the meantime, is hoping they can at least end the season on a high in their last match at Wakefield next Friday.
“We’ve got another performance we have to put in,” he said. “We don’t want to go into the off season on the back of the form we’re showing.
“We are going through a review of everything, like all teams do. We haven’t reached the heights we wanted to this year and we’re all accountable for that. We all have to work harder to get out of it.
“We need some strength in depth and we are looking for a couple of key positions to fill. We need to make sure we’re at a better level next year.”