There was an old song that said
"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, senses working overtime...." Well our right side of
defence (Brian Carney and Kevin Browns side of the field) need to do overtime
on defence as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Hull FC tries were scored in that corner.
Hull tactically annihilated us. They pinpointed our defensive weaknesses to
perfection. Those being our right hand side and also our makeshift full back,
which tonight was surprisingly Dennis Moran.
They bombarded Moran with some quality high bombs. You could have a go at
Moran for his positional sense but for me that would take away from how good
those kicks were.
For all that bombardment though, it was not that tactic that led to this
Hull win. It was plain and simply the weak defence on the right.
Hull began the better side scoring after just five minutes. Paul Cooke sent
Kirk Yeaman bursting through and Shaun Briscoe was in good support like all
good full backs. Cooke goaled, 6-0 Hull.
Wigan replied on the quarter hour. Danny Tickle sent Brett Dallas into the hole vacated by
Tom Saxton, was was being taken off the field injured, and after the winger had drew Briscoe he was able to feed the supporting Moran who cantered in to score. Tickle added the
extras to level the scores.
Then, either side of the half hour, bang bang two quick tries for Hull.
First Cooke and sub Kirk Dixon combined to send Richie Barnett, back at Hull
after a loan spell at Widnes, over in the corner. This was a controversial one.
The corner post was uprooted but the ref judged he touched down first. Hard for
me to tell as it was in the far corner from my seat today which was in the West Stand
instead of my usual East Stand vantage point. Anyway it stood
An error from Moran led to Hull registering their third try. A kick from
Danny Brough was allowed to bounce and Nathan Blacklock dragged Danny Orr in touch to hand Hull another set of six, which they made no mistake in converting. Ewan Dowes offloaded in the tackle to find Cooke and his ball allowed Yeaman to power over the line.
Both tries were unconverted so the score was only 6-14.
Wigan made them pay for those missed kicks after Hull had knocked on. Moran
broke a Stephen Kearney tackle of Stephen Kearney for his second try. Tickle's goal meant Hull went in 14-12 ahead at the
break, a scoreline that perhaps flattered Wigan.
Into the second half it became a cat and mouse battle. Wigan huffed and
puffed but you always felt it would be Hull that got the breakthrough, and they
did. Kevin Brown's failed intercept handed Hull another set and so Cooke and Briscoe combined to send Barnett in at the corner for his second try.
Cooke kicked a beauty from the sideline to make it 12-20 Hull, then a penalty
goal made it 12-22.
Paul King obviously thought the game was won as he casually offloaded the
ball inside his own half from the penalty goal kick off, which Wigan gleefully
pounced on. This led to a try for Tickle and immediately brought us back into
the game 18-22 after he converted his own try.
Wigan saw hope from nothing and tried their damndest to get an equaliser but
they just did not have the clinical finish to do it. They did touch down
through Liam Botham but the try was rightly disallowed for a knock on/forward
pass. Just our luck.
Hull clinched the game in the 76th minute. Youngster Danny Washbrook placed a kick into the corner and after Barnett outpaced Moran to reach the ball, he kicked on for Yeaman to dive on the ball.
Wigan scored from Joel Tomkins but sadly his first try for the club was
merely a consolation.
After the match coach Ian Millward said: "There is a lot of dejection and frustration in our dressing room. The players have got the field position, got the possession and we haven't been able to make that final pass. It's not easy to take."
Hull coach John Kear said: "It was a see-saw battle and it was very intense. There was a lot of drama and what happened out there will help to build the soul of the side."