This final is regarded by many as the greatest ever cup final.
A see-saw battle which went right down to the wire and provided fans with some fantastic memories.
Brett Kenny's sublime try and the grinning face of Henderson Gill being
two of them.
Kenny and fellow Australian John Ferguson played a huge part in this
battle as did Peter Sterling at scrum half for Hull, who these days is the
Australian version of "Stevo" for his work as a commentator for
Back then Wigan had a joint coaching team in the form of Alan McInnes
and Colin Clarke. They had the task of taking us to our first cup final
win since the defeat of Hunslet twenty years earlier.
It was perfect cup final weather, warm and sunny, but the match got off to a
slow start. Just two minutes on the clock and an early penalty was kicked by Lee Crooks for Hull.
Hull increased that lead on 11 minutes when winger Kevin James scored
in the right corner. The try couldn't be converted so the lead was 6-0.
Wigan leveled six minutes later as Kenny and loose forward Ian Potter
combined to send John Ferguson over in the corner. Henderson Gill
converted with a superb touchline kick.
Then on 27 minutes came a quite
breathtaking try. Kenny took a long pass from Mike Ford and shot off like
a bullet. On an arching run he beat Hull full back Gary Kemble for the
try. That gave Wigan the lead for the first time, David
Stephenson's conversion making it 12-6.
Hull came back with a second penalty from
Crooks before another brilliant Wigan try.
Henderson Gill raced away to
score from 60 metres,
after yet more magic from Kenny, right on the stroke of half time.
try is probably best described by BBC commentator Ray French at the time.
said: "Not sensible play this by Wigan, normally a side would take the
ball away from the posts to avoid any goal kicks. Oh, good ball from
Kenny, to Stephenson, he's got Gill outside him! Now then, he's got 60
yards to go, can he go round Gary Kemble? Oh, he's beaten him. Oh, as good
a try as you'll see. All made, for Henderson Gill, by that beautiful pass
from Brett Kenny!"
That great moment sent Wigan into the
dressing rooms leading 16-8 at half time.
Into the second half and the
Brett Kenny show continued. This time he combined with half back partner
Mike Ford from a scrum to send a young supporting Shaun Edwards over
behind the posts. A conversion from Gill increased the lead to 22-8 just
three minutes after the break.
At this point it was looking like an easy
Wigan victory but Hull came straight back.
Just two minutes after
Edwards' try, Peter Sterling sent Steve Evans over in the corner for an
Any fight back looked to have been doomed when on 51
minutes, Ferguson picked up a loose ball and scored his second try of the
game. Gill hit another touchline conversion to make the score 28-12 and
the game looked dead.
But Hull, led by Sterling, never gave up and score
three tries in the last 16 minutes to set up a nail biting finish.
Leuluai scored on 64 minutes then two tries in two minutes from Gary
Divorty and Leuluai again made the score 28-24 with four minutes to
Wigan hung on in the final minutes to win the cup final that
had everything. Great attacking plays and also great defense. 28-24
suggests that the defense wasn't that good but you have to take into
account that most of the tries were scored in the corners.
Wigan none of the Hull tries that day were converted. Had they had been
the end result would have been completely different!