Hull 0 Wigan 46: Hull are floored as rampant Wigan hit them hard

HULL were expecting a backlash but nothing like this. For although the Airlie Birds' derby success last week was memorable, Wigan's loss against Warrington was gut-wrenching for the Super League leaders and so they were always likely to respond.

But the manner in which Wigan last night annihilated Hull – who had only lost once before at home all season – was frightening.

England coach Steve McNamara was in the 12,694 crowd, no doubt casting an eye over Hull's Tongan Willie Manu who he included in his latest squad get-together earlier this week.

But he may well now be checking on the qualification criteria of Pat Richards, the Australian winger who played for Ireland in the last World Cup and contributed a hat-trick to go clear at the top of Super League's try-scoring charts.

It was not just his finishing skills that highlighted the display but an all-round performance that had even the locals purring, constantly ripping holes in Hull's beleaguered defence to leave the East Yorkshire club grounded.

"We've had some fantastic Australians at Wigan in the 80s and 90s but he must rank as one of the best," said assistant Shaun Wane, who filled in for coach Michael Maguire while he was back in Australia to visit his ill father.

It was Hull's worst defeat at the KC Stadium since losing against St Helens by the same scoreline more than four years ago and if Leeds win at Salford tomorrow they will be ousted from the top four.

Missing the injured Richard Whiting and Mark Calderwood from the win over Hull KR, along with the suspended Danny Tickle, the Black and Whites were always going to find life difficult and twice conceding back-to-back tries in the first half left the contest over.

When Liam Farrell – the young cousin of ex-Great Britain captain Andy – quickly followed up Richards's 12th-minute opener, the hosts had a chance trailing 12-0.

However, when Sam Tomkins eased over two minutes before the break, directly after Darrell Goulding had done so, Richard Agar's men were staring at an unassailable 22-0 interval deficit.

Against a side of Wigan's quality and durability, they had to build pressure. Jordan Tansey missing touch with a penalty and Craig Hall fumbling a drop-out ensured that did not happen.

Winger Hall endured an awful evening coming in for Calderwood.

He was caught out of position when Deacon hung an inviting kick for Richards's score and was exposed again when swift handling from deep saw Wigan raid his right-hand side once more for Farrell to finish off, although Epalahame Lauaki's final attempted tackle was feeble.

Hall, apparently set for a move to Hull KR at the end of the season, also threw a terrible pass in front of his own posts to put pressure on his team-mates but they did galvanise after that slow start.

Shaun Berrigan made some promising excursions into Wigan territory and the burly Sam Moa bulldozed his way through but lacked support.

However, two crucial tackles in one set denied Hull and drained their spirit while shaping the contest.

First, Thomas Leuluai brilliantly cut down Danny Washbrook when the Hull loose forward charged to the line and then Sean O'Loughlin produced an outstanding effort on prop Peter Cusack when the big Australian seemed certain to score.

The is no wonder Wigan have the finest defensive record in Super League and that sheer defiance in repelling Hull's best moments proved crucial.

The visitors then seized on Hull's errors, Goulding latching onto O'Loughlin's lofted pass after Danny Houghton had knocked on to concede position before Richards' recovered Sam Tomkins' kick to set up Farrell.

Sam Tomkins got his second soon after the re-start benefiting from Richards' speculative kick back infield just as the Ireland winger was being dragged into touch by Jordan Turner.

Goulding had to depart after Kirk Yeaman - back in the England squad this week - leveled him with a ferocious tackle but it did little to inspire his team-mates.

Full-back Tansey made a hash of Deacon's steepling kick to concede a needless drop out which resulted in Deacon and Harrison Hanson combining to send Richards over for his second.

After Sam Tomkins skipped his way through the middle of Hull's defence once more, Farrell rounded off another and then Deacon - the veteran former Bradford scrum-half offering a real masterclass - delivered a marvelous weighted pass for Richards to run on to and complete his hat-trick.

Richards, typically, curled in his seventh conversion from touch and Agar admitted: "You have to be at the top your game against Wigan and we weren't."

Hull FC: Tansey; Hall, Turner, Yeaman, Briscoe; Berrigan, Horne; Dowes, Houghton, Radford, Manu, Lauaki, Washbrook. Substitutes: Moa, Cusack, Burnett, Nicklas.

Wigan: S Tomkins; Goulding, Gleeson, Carmont, Richards; Deacon, Leuluai; Coley, Riddell, Prescott, Farrell, J Tomkins, O'Loughlin. Substitutes: Fielden, Hansen, Paleaaesina, Tuson.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Mirfield)