Wigan kept in touch with the Super
League pace-setters despite a battling performance from Hull on Sunday
Shaun McRae's men, 14-4 winners in the Challenge Cup
quarter-finals in March, pushed the Warriors all the way before going down
to a fourth defeat in five games.
While Hull lost more ground in their pursuit of a top-five spot, Wigan
moved to within a point of joint leaders Bradford and St Helens - but they
It was only a try two minutes from the end from wounded Warrior Denis
Betts, who had to have his head bandaged after clashing with his captain
Andy Farrell early in the game, that secured the precious points for the
Hull, bolstered by the return of five of the players who missed last
week's 56-6 mauling at Bradford, put the Warriors under intense pressure
throughout most of the first half but had little to show for long periods
They almost scored after three minutes when Wigan defender Gary
Connolly got a hand to Will Robinson's kick to the line.
The hosts deservedly went ahead two minutes later when Robinson
repeated the trick, and half-back partner Richard Horne grabbed the vital
Ben Sammut's conversion made it 6-0, and Stanley Gene - playing out of
position in the second row of the pack - almost added a second try on 21
minutes when he won the race to a grubber from Mick Jenkins but failed to
gain full control of the ball.
It was against the run of play when Wigan drew level, scrum-half Willie
Peters racing over directly from a scrum after Robinson had knocked on
attempting to gather Steve Renouf's kick.
Farrell kicked the conversion and edged his side in front eight minutes
before the break with a penalty after winger David Hodgson had the ball
stolen in a two-man tackle.
Hull were forced to switch young Horne to full-back for the second half
following the loss of Sammut with an ankle injury, and substitute Paul
Cooke took over the key pivot role.
Cooke also took over the goalkicking and he levelled the scores on 48
minutes with a penalty after Lee Gilmour held down Steve Collins in the
But Wigan regained the lead four minutes later when Farrell, who had
one of his quieter games, put Gilmour through a gap deep in the Warriors
half and the supporting Renouf held off Craig Poucher's chase to score his
side's second try. Farrell goaled.
Peters then put Wigan two scores ahead with a fourth drop goal in his
last four games before Hull ran the ball on the last tackle and neat
handling by Horne, Paul King and Craig Simon sent winger Matt Daylight
squeezing over at the corner.
That set up a nerve-tingling finale.
But Betts calmed Wigan's anxiety when he romped through for the
clincher, and Farrell kicked his fourth goal from as many attempts.
Hull FC 12
Wigan Warriors 21
||Andy Farrell (4)