Wigan 20 Hull 22
Match report as Wigan Warriors downed 22-20 by Hull FC at the DW Stadium on Friday night
Joe Bretherton and Nick Gregson replace Sean O’Loughlin and Jack Wells in the Wigan side
- Liam Forysth, George Williams, Tom Davies and Liam Marshall with Wigan’s tries
Wigan Warriors came from 22-0 down to narrowly lose out 22-20 to Hull FC as they went down to their first defeat of the season.
The Black and Whites dominated the first half and scored three unanswered tries through Steve Michaels, Albert Kelly and Jake Connor to lead 18-0 at the break.
The visitors started the stronger side again in the second-half and a fine solo effort from Jamie Shaul put Hull 22 points in front.
Wigan’s young side showed incredible determination as they edged their way back into the game after a first Wigan try from Liam Forsyth sparked energy and belief back into the Warriors outfit on the hour mark.
Late tries from George Williams, Tom Davies and Liam Marshall saw Wigan come right back into the game to make it a nervy finish but the visitors just held on for the win.
Shaun Wane named two changes to the Wigan side that picked up a point against Huddersfield Giants last week with Joe Bretherton and Nick Gregson replacing the injured Sean O’Loughlin and Jack Wells, with Gregson returning to first-team action for the first time in nine months due to a long injury setback.
Lee Radford’s Hull side were without Carlos Tuimavave and Fetuli Talanoa who have sustained injuries in recent weeks so Jake Connor was pushed out to centre with Steve Michaels being brought in on the wing.
Owing to traffic problems for the visitors the match commissioner moved kick-off back to 8:10pm and when the game finally got underway Wigan started the quickly and put pressure on Hull in the opening minutes with a couple of sets on their line but the visitors held out.
Hull were the first team to score though when they had numbers on the left side as Marc Sneyd put a smart chip into the corner for Steve Michaels to run onto and score. Sneyd converted his 28th try of the season to put Hull 6-0 up after 12 minutes.
The Airlie Birds were in again just minutes later after Albert Kelly burst through the Wigan defence to be knocked down but get back up again and dive over. Sneyd added the conversion and the score was 12-0 in favour of Hull.
Lee Radford’s side were making good metres in every set and scored their third midway through the first-half. Tonga captain Sika Manu got a fine offload away to the supporting Jake Connor who darted over. Sneyd’s conversion was on target and Hull led 18-0.
With ten minutes to go until half-time, Wigan had three straight sets attacking the Hull line. Academy product Tom Davies crossed the whitewash for the second time in two games but the try was ruled out by the touch judge for a foot in touch.
Wigan had another set on the Hull line right at the end of the half but the attack fizzled out and the Warriors trailed 18-0 when going into the sheds.
HALF TIME: Wigan Warriors 0–18 Hull FC
Wigan were caught off guard in the first set of the second-half when Jamie Shaul made a quick break as he weaved in and out of the Wigan defence before scoring near the corner. Sneyd missed his conversion attempt for the first time this season but Hull were 22-0 in front.
Liam Forsyth came close to bringing Wigan back into the game when he went over in the 50th minute but it was ruled out by referee Phil Bentham.
Davies, great grandson of former Wigan player Gwynne, then came just inches short of the line after making a rapid break down the right channel but was held just short by Shaul.
Forsyth then had another chance and converted as he leaped higher than Mahe Fonua to catch the ball and touch down. Morgan Escaré’s conversion attempt went just wide of the mark but Wigan were 22-4 behind after 53 minutes.
Shaun Wane’s men really pushed on in the latter stages of the game and another break from Davies saw Wigan in good field position. The ball then went through quick hands to Liam Marshall who chipped it over the top for Williams who pounced on the ball over the line. Escaré converted and Wigan were only down 22-10.
The Warriors were fighting back and the home fans were really starting to get behind them. Wigan went the short side through Tommy Leuluai and it fell to winger Davies who finished nicely in the corner past Michaels. Escaré converted from the touchline and Wigan were just six points behind.
Wigan were all over Hull in the final moments and Lee Radford’s side seemed to be struggling with the pace and fluidity of Wigan’s attack. The Cherry and Whites had an overlap on the left side which saw Williams throw a cut-out pass to Liam Marshall who finished acrobatically and scored his fifth try of the campaign. Escaré’s touchline conversion just off the target on this occasion.
The home side had a couple of sets late on but errors meant Hull were able to hang on for a 22-20 victory.
FULL TIME: Wigan Warriors 20–22 Hull FC
Wigan Warriors – 20
Tries: Forysth, Williams, T Davies, Marshall
Goals: Escare 2/4
Hull FC - 22
Tries: Michaels, Kelly, Connor, Shaul
Goals: Sneyd 3/4
Wigan Warriors: 22. Moran Escare; 36. Tom Davies, 3. Anthony Gelling, 32. Liam Forsyth, 35. Liam Marshall; 6. George Williams, 7. Thomas Leuluai; 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 16. Sam Powell, 10. Ben Flower; 11. Joel Tomkins, 20. Willie Isa; 15. Tony Clubb.
Interchange: 17. Taulima Tautai, 23. Nick Gregson, 24. Joe Bretherton, 26. Romain Navarrete.
Hull FC: 1. Jamie Shaul; 2. Mahe Fonua, 14. Jake Connor, 4. Josh Griffin, 19. Steve Michaels; 6. Albert Kelly, 7. Marc Sneyd; 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 22. Josh Bowden; 21. Sika Manu, 12. Mark Minichello; 13. Gareth Ellis.
Interchange: 29. Masi Matongo, 15. Chris Green, 16. Jordan Thompson, 17. Danny Washbrook.
Referee – Phil Bentham