Wigan Warriors 16 Hull FC 14: Racial allegation made as Hull suffer first defeat

HULL FC saw their unbeaten start to the season ended tonight in a Super League game of high controversy at DW Stadium.

Hull FC's Adam Swift scores their first try. (JONATHAN GAWTHORPE)

Zak Hardaker’s 66th minute penalty proved the difference as Wigan Warriors made it five wins from five ahead of facing Hull again in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals on Saturday week.

However, a fiercely-fought game was overshadowed by a claim of a racist remark.

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Hull second-row Andre Savelio made the allegation in an incident that was put on report in the 35th minute.

Hull FC's Chris Satae takes on Wigan. (JONATHAN GAWTHORPE)

Referee James Child brought the captains together and, on television footage, Savelio appeared to cite Wigan prop Tony Clubb who was not on the pitch at the time.

Hull coach Brett Hodgson said: “He (Savelio) is not good; he’s pretty upset.

“I don’t want to speculate on what was said; we need to work out exactly what happened and see what progresses.”

Hull were down to 12 men when the claim was made, Jake Connor having been yellow-carded for a swinging arm high on Hardaker, during one of numerous flashpoints in a highly-physical contest.

Hardaker, bloodied and furious at the challenge, got up and pointed his finger at his Great Britain colleague and had to be restrained from colleagues from taking his own action.

Although they were the Lions’ centre pairing against the Kiwis in 2019, the in-form duo are now, of course, both making a bid for the England full-back spot at the World Cup.

However, you can imagine Sam Tomkins sat at home last night with a wry little smile to himself as both his rivals for that No1 jersey showed some areas of fallibility in among their obvious class.

Wigan’s Liam Farrell was high on Mahe Fonua, too, when Hull were down a man, and that gave Marc Sneyd the chance to put his side 8-6 ahead.

Nevertheless, Jackson Hastings sent Farrell through a gap for the veteran to angle over.

Hardaker missed the conversion attempt and then bombed a chance after the hooter when slicing through only to throw wildly into touch, leaving Hastings seething.

Hull - who saw England prop Scott Taylor leave the stadium on crutches and centre Carlos Tuimavave depart with a head knock - trailed 10-8 at the interval.

Josh Griffin crossed within 25 seconds of the restart only for his effort to be ruled out by video referee Ben Thaler.

Connor returned to loft a fine kick for Fonua to expertly rise above the shaky Bevan Hastings and score in the 46th minute but Sneyd was wide with his conversion attempt.

He did add a penalty following Ethan Havard’s late hit but Wigan levelled via Jake Bibby’s try just before the hour mark.

Once more, Hardaker was off target with his kick but he was gifted a penalty from next to the points when Connor erred again in the 66th minute, needlessly interfering as Hastings tried to play the ball.

Defeat was hard on Hull who had shown their defensive resilience once more, especially in the first period.

Man-of-the-match Hastings dummied over in the tenth minute after a poor spill by Fonua, the recalled winger who soon recovered from that early mistake to prove a forceful presence for the visitors.

Hardaker converted but his England rival Connor came up with his best piece of skill, sending out a lovely cut-out pass for Adam Swift to score after running from dummy-half.

Harry Smith did pierce Hull’s line with a classy break but sent a wayward pass inside when he could really have gone himself.

In the end, it did not matter for Wigan.

Wigan Warriors: Hardaker; Bibby, Isa, Farrell, French; Smith, Hastings; Singleton, Powell, Clubb, Bateman,Smithies, Partington. Substitutes: Bullock, Byrne, Havard, Shorrocks.

Hull FC: Connor; Fonua, Tuimavave, Griffin, Swift; McNamara, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Sao, Savelop, Lane, Cator. Substitutes: Fash, Johnstone, Satae, Scott.

Referee: James Child (Dewsbury)