Wigan crash to third defeat
A late try
from Richard Horne brought Hull from behind to win in Wigan for the first time
in ten years.
Wigan had done the hard work in clawing back a 2-14 deficit
to establish an 18-14 lead but very poor defence let the Airlie Birds take the
Horne's try came in the 73rd-minute to level the scores and
Matt Crowther calmly slotted over the match winning conversion, his fourth goal
from as many attempts.
Wigan are now left in a state of panic. This is
their worst ever start to Super League, just three wins from six games, but with
the Challenge Cup semi-final only a week away it would be a gamble to make
As against St. Helens, Wigan were in disarray
defending kicks. Toa Kohe-Love took advantage of Dallas's particular weakness in
this area to score Hull's first try. The New Zealand centre touched down Jason
Smith's cross field effort fumbled by Dallas. Crowther converted.
went further ahead on 22 minutes and exposed another of Wigan's weak spots,
defending around the ruck at the line. Lee Jackson burrowed his way over despite
terry O'Connor and Radlinski being in attendance. Again Crowther
A sloppy try brought Wigan back into the game. Hull full back
Steve Prescott was at fault in allowing Farrell's up and under to bounce. He
tried to stop it with his foot but it ricocheted behind him. Chris Smith dived
on the ball but rolled over it and Radlinski got a hand to it before it rolled
dead.Farrell kicked the conversion.
With each side converting a penalty
the half time score was 8-14
Wigan emerged from the dressing rooms a
greatly improved side but it begs the question why Stuart raper does not say
before the match what he says at half time or why the team do not take
Brett Dallas scored soon after the restart. Having made a 30
metre break to bring the Warriors close to Hull's line, Terry Newton fired an
accurate pass from dummy half back to Dallas to score on the blind side. A great
touchline conversion from Farrell, on his bad side drew Wigan
Wigan took the lead through David Hodgson, currently a better
centre than Ainscough, but this time Farrell failed to add the extra two
Sean O'Loughlin, making his first team debut, nearly put the game
out of Hull's reach but his deft kick to the right corner just eluded Connolly.
At this stage the home side looked in complete control and seemed sure to hold
their lead for the remaining twenty minutes but poor decision making, defensive
lapses and lack of concentration were their downfall.
With just seven
minutes remaining Wigan had to defend their line. Lee Jackson switched play and
Horne wove through a number of defenders with alarming ease to dive
Less than a minute from time Wigan were awarded a penalty just
inside the Hull half on the left wing. Two points would have again brought the
scores leve and a draw would have been a fair result.
Farrell kicked for touch and not goal.Whether this was confidence in his teams
ability to score or lack of confidence in his kicking only he knows, but with
hindsight it was the wrong choice.
Shaun McRae said, "When they got it
to 18-14, I thought jeez, is it going to be one of those days? Are we a 40
"I've got to say I think we have played better but we
played well enough to win, it was a great show of courage and
A worried looking Stuart Raper said, " We had a poor first
half and could have been even further behind but we did enough in the second
half to win the game."
"We gave them a sniff to come back and win the
game. They should have had the mental capacity to stay in control of the game.
It was more a mental thing than a physical one."
Raper must now be under
threat. Wigan do not have a history of giving coaches time. John Monie was
hastily shown the door when his side hit a poor spell despite all the past glory
he had brought to the club and Frank Endacott had a better start to the season
just before he was ousted.
For those seeking silver linings, the Wigan
youngsters played with conviction and showed good promise. Sean O'Loughlin was
creative, Bibey and Wild were among the better forwards and Mark Smith caused
the opposition problems.