trip was always going to be a difficult game, being sandwiched
between two massive cup ties against Warrington and St Helens. I
don't think the performance really mattered, it was all about
getting the result and moving on. Fair enough the league leaders
shield is a nice thing to win but it's chicken feed compared to a
potential trip to Wembley.
Coach Michael Maguire again chose to rotate his squad with
Harrison Hansen and Paul Prescott dropping out from the cup victory
at Warrington to be replaced by Liam Farrell and Ben Cross.
Hull got off to the perfect start with a third minute try from
their top scorer Kirk Yeaman. Bit of luck because Mark O'Meley
nearly dropped the ball but again our right side defence is being
punished. Not sure you can just lay the blame on Joel Tomkins and
Josh Charnley for this one though. They were left in a 2 on 4
situation and your not going to stop that. The defensive line
didn't slide well enough! Danny Tickle converted to make it 6-0.
Wigan continued to be on the back foot with a penalty conceded
by Sean O'Loughlin and a knock on from George Carmont giving Hull
more shots at our line but our defence was pretty solid.
Amazingly it took 12 minutes before Wigan got some possession in
the opposition half, following an error from O'Meley, but they
showed how clinical they are by scoring on their first real attack.
Nice grubber from Brett Finch was collected by Sam Tomkins and he
reached over to score under the posts. Easy conversion made it 6
That try had got Wigan into the contest and they had Hull on the
back foot for the period following that equalising try, but it took
a 95 metre intercept from Pat Richards to give us the lead.
It came in the 26th Minute. Danny Tickle threw a forward pass
straight into the arms of Pat and despite good chasing from Danny
Houghton and Tom Briscoe he went all the way for the score. He
couldn't convert though so the score was just 10-6 to Wigan,
Fate would continue to prove to be on Wigan's side with two more
scores in quick succession. First a lovely grubber from Sam bounced
wickedly for Hull but kindly for George Carmont to score from. Then
the mother of all brain farts saw Jordan Turner, almost on his own
try line, pass to absolutely no one. Finch scooped up the loose
ball and offloaded nicely to give Pat what was probably the easiest
try of his Wigan career. Hull must hate playing against Pat because
that was his 17th try in 11 Wigan appearances against them. Only
once has he failed to score when playing them. He converted both
tries to make it 22-6 to Wigan and we'd hardly broke sweat. It was
at this point, six minutes before the break, that coach Maguire
interchanged Sam Tomkins perhaps with next week in mind?
Maybe that contributed to Wigan being guilty of switching off
late in the half? Three penalties helped march Hull up field and
they managed to score right on the hooter. A grubber from Richard
Horne bounced everywhere and fell kindly for Turner to score.
Tickle missed a poor conversion though.
With a 22-10 half time score the first try of the second half
was going to be a big one and when Hull got it on 49 minutes it was
always going to be game on after that. It was a nice try with
Willie Manu scoring under the posts, although both Gareth Hock and
Ginger Farrell were guilty of poor missed tackles. Easy Tickle
conversion made it 22-16.
Maybe it was sheer coincidence but Hull had scored twice in Sam
Tomkins' absence so after that score he was sent back onto the
field and this settled Wigan back down. On 58 minutes Pat kicked a
simple penalty goal to make it 24-16 and although it proved that
Hull wouldn't score again in this game, we still very much needed a
try to seal the win.
It came from that man Sam on 72 minutes. He scored a classy one
against Warrington last week and this was better for me. He is 72
metres away from the try line. Hull had just gifted possession back
to Wigan and Sam noticed they are all at sea in defence. Such is
his confidence he barrels Carmont and Mike McIlorum away from the
play the ball area as if to say "sod off, this is mine!". Why's he
done that? Because he has spotted the gap and he just gets the
ball, darts through it and goes all the way under the sticks. You
cannot teach quick thinking mentality like that, you either have it
or you don't. Tickle and Houghton were both too tired to deal with
him and, especially after his long rest earlier in the game, he had
the pace the burn. He is just getting better and better and better
isn't he? Pat converted and a 30-16 lead sealed the two points. Job
done - bring on next week!