Wigan 13 Hull FC 12: Hull’s revival falls short as Smith drop-goal proves vital

Wigan ended a two-game losing run to see off Hull 13-12 in a game that the home side almost threw away in the dying stages.

Hull FC's Callum Lancaster scored a try at Wigan.
Hull FC's Callum Lancaster scored a try at Wigan.

Wigan led 12-0 at half-time thanks to tries from Joel Tomkins and Dan Sarginson but received an injury blow as Josh Charnley limped out of the action shortly after the half hour mark.

Hull gave themselves a fighting chance at the start of the second half with Fetuli Talanoa capitalising on a mix up between Matty Bowen and Anthony Gelling to half the deficit.

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Matty Smith then kicked what proved to be a crucial drop-goal for the Warriors as Callum Lancaster went over for Hull with Marc Sneyd’s goal taking them within a point and setting up a tight finish.

The opening stages belonged to the Warriors and after brave defending from Hull for three successive sets, they finally cracked under pressure when Tomkins opened the scoring as he collected a ball from Smith to go over. Smith converted for a 6-0 lead.

A mistake early in the tackle count from the restart gave Hull their first crack at Wigan’s line and they thought they had levelled matters when Dean Hadley went over from Sneyd’s pass but referee Ben Thaler brought it back for a forward pass.

In the final five minutes of the first half Smith slotted over a penalty before Tomkins caused havoc down the right and the ball was then spread left to Sarginson who threw a dummy to cross over. Smith was off target and Wigan led 12-0 at the break.

Hull needed to score first at the start of the second half and they did that as Bowen and Gelling got in each other’s way under Sneyd’s towering bomb and Talanoa was on hand to pick up the loose ball and score. Sneyd added the extras.

Joe Burgess then went over in the corner for Wigan but Thaler ruled that Bowen’s final pass had gone forward.

A drop-goal from Smith ended a period of 23 minutes without a score to see the Warriors lead by seven and, despite again dominating possession, the home side could not close the game out.

A bit of individual skill from Lancaster saw him collect his own kick through to put Hull deep in Wigan’s half and the winger was then on hand to collect a looping ball from Danny Houghton to touch down in the corner. Sneyd converted to make it a one point game and everything to play for.

Wigan still had chances to kill the game off but were not clinical enough and Hull almost snatched it late on as they piled the pressure on but Liam Watts’s ball to Talanoa was too high and the Warriors breathed a sigh of relief.

Wigan: Bowen, Charnley, Gelling, Sarginson, Burgess, Powell, Smith, Sutton, McIlorum, Mossop, J. Tomkins, Farrell, Patrick. Substitutes: Williams, Bateman, Clubb, Tautai.

Hull FC: Rankin, Lancaster, Michaels, Yeaman, Talanoa, Pryce, Sneyd, Bowden, Houghton, Ellis, Hadley, Minichiello, Westerman. Substitutes: Green, Watts, Paleaaesina, Thompson.

Referee: B Thaler (RFL).

St Helens needed a supercharged second half show to maintain their 100 per cent record with a 30-20 win at Widnes.

Lance Hohaia crossed for two of the visitors’ five tries, with others from Atelea Vea, Luke Thompson and Jordan Turner.