Wigan made the most of the extra player as they saw off 12-man St Helens 29-18 in the Good Friday derby at the DW Stadium to gain their first win in five Betfred Super League matches.
Saints played all but the first 12 minutes with 12 men following the dismissal of prop Kyle Amor for a high tackle on winger Liam Marshall and, although they played with tremendous spirit and trailed only 15-12 after 57 minutes, it eventually took its toll as the Warriors ran in three tries in the last quarter.
Despite a fifth defeat in nine matches, St Helens fans will be encouraged by the way their team began the post-Keiron Cunningham era and be particularly thrilled with the debut of 20-year-old winger Regan Grace.
The Wales international got his chance in the absence of Jonny Lomax, who was ruled out with a dead leg, with Tommy Makinson switching to full-back, and took it with aplomb, producing two outstanding breaks as well as a spectacular finish to score his side's second try that kept them in contention.
Wigan fans, too, had plenty to cheer, most notably the return of popular hooker Michael McIlorum from a 14-month injury nightmare and, although he played only 20 minutes, coach Shaun Wane was delighted to see the player back in action.
A bumper crowd of 23,390 crowd, the seventh highest in the history of Super League, lapped up the action, although the early sending-off threatened to ruin the spectacle.
Wigan created the first scoring opportunity but second rower Liam Farrell was brought back for a forward pass by skipper Sean O'Loughlin and Saints opened the scoring with a 19th-minute penalty from Mark Percival.
The lead lasted just two minutes, however, as Joe Burgess, playing at centre, marked his return from a five-match injury absence with his third try in as many Good Friday derbies, getting a finger tip to George Williams' grubber kick.
Morgan Escare kicked the conversion and added a penalty three minutes before half-time to make it 8-2 but it was a tenuous advantage and 12-man Saints drew level two minutes into the second half.
A break from Grace took his side deep into Wigan territory and stand-off Theo Fages went close before substitute hooker Morgan Knowles forced his way over from dummy half for Saints' first try.
Grace then finished off a flowing move to notch a second try on 57 minutes but Wigan always seemed to be in control.
Left winger Marshall edged his side back in front after profiting from a cut-out pass by Williams and the Warriors sealed the victory with three tries in a crushing seven-minute spell as their opponents began to fade.
Farrell sliced through a tiring defence on the hour, Marshall came up with a spectacular dive, eluding the last-ditch tackle of former Wigan favourite Matty Smith, to take his total to eight tries in just six Super League appearances and Burgess touched down an inch-perfect Williams kick for his second.
Escare took his goal tally to four from six attempts and to add to his 55th-minute drop goal but Saints battled to the end and were rewarded with a third try through Makinson.
In the afternoon's other games, Salford beat Leigh 12-6 while there were big wins for Castleford over Wakefield, 42-24, and Leeds Rhinos' 52-24 win away to Hull.