Wigan Warriors 20 Hull FC 22: Airlie Birds defy late Wigan surge to grab points

Wigan Warriors' Anthony Gelling is tackled by Hull FC's Marc Sneyd (left)  Mark Minichiello and Danny Houghton (right). Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.
Wigan Warriors' Anthony Gelling is tackled by Hull FC's Marc Sneyd (left) Mark Minichiello and Danny Houghton (right). Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.
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HULL FC ended champions Wigan’s unbeaten start to the season with this triumph, but were given a massive fright in the second half.

The visitors hit the Warriors with three tries in a nine-minute period in the first half, Steve Michaels, Albert Kelly and Jake Connor crossing to help Hull move 18-0 ahead, and a try from Jamie Shaul extended their advantage to 22-0 at the start of the second half.

The hosts showed some fighting spirit to finally make a go of it, with Liam Forsyth grabbing his first try for the club, and George Williams, Tom Davies and Liam Marshall also crossing to set up a grandstand finish, but Hull hung on.

Wigan dominated the opening exchanges, with Thomas Leuluai, Sam Powell and Tony Clubb all going close.

But Hull went ahead as a mistake from Liam Marshall saw them launch their first attack. Marc Sneyd noticed Davies and Anthony Gelling had moved in-field and the scrum-half sent over a sublime kick for Michaels to collect and score. Sneyd converted.

Hull doubled their lead when Kelly broke clear of attempted tackles from Marshall and Morgan Escare to touch down. Sneyd made it 12-0.

Wigan Warriors' Liam Forsyth is tackled by Hull FC's Albert Kelly (left) and Jake Connor. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.

Wigan Warriors' Liam Forsyth is tackled by Hull FC's Albert Kelly (left) and Jake Connor. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.

Hull made it three converted tries in nine minutes as Sika Manu produced an outrageous ball to send Connor in.

Hull needed just 49 seconds of the second half to get their next try. Josh Griffin broke through a poor tackle attempt to race clear before offloading to Shaul, who turned Escare and touched down.

The Warriors forced an error deep in Hull’s half and Forsyth jumped the highest to collect George Williams’s kick to score his first try for the club. Escare was off target as they trailed 22-4.

Wigan reduced the deficit to 12 heading into the final 10 minutes as Williams touched down. Escare converted to make to 22-10.

Hulls Mark Minichiello is tackled by Wigan Warriors Thomas Leuluai, Ben Fower and Tony Clubb (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA).

Hulls Mark Minichiello is tackled by Wigan Warriors Thomas Leuluai, Ben Fower and Tony Clubb (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA).

Davies scored in the corner following some good build-up play. Escare’s conversion made it 22-16.

With five minutes remaining, the gap was now just two as Marshall went over in the corner, Escare was unable to convert, leaving the score now 22-20 in Hull’s favour.

There only looked one winner at that moment, but a knock-on from Isa and then Forsyth ensured Hull FC managed to hang on to claim the win.

Wigan Warriors: Escare, Davies, Gelling, Forsyth, Marshall, Williams, Leuluai, Nuuausala, Powell, Flower, J. Tomkins, Isa, Clubb. Substitutes: Tautai, Gregson, Bretherton, Navarrete.

Hull FC: Shaul, Fonua, Connor, Griffin, Michaels, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Bowden, Manu, Minichiello, Ellis. Substitutes: Green, Thompson, Washbrook, Matongo.

Referee: Phil Bentham (RFL).