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Match Report: Wigan 12 Hull FC 16
Posted by Bilko on August 01 2016 - 12:01

Wigan Warriors v Hull FC - Labrokes Challenge Cup Semi Final.
Friday 29th July 2016. Kick Off 8:00pm at Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster.

Match Report

If Lewis Tierney scores for 10 or 12-2 instead of a forward pass being given and Dom Manfredi doesn’t drop a very simple catch in the in goal gifting Hull a try then we are probably celebrating being back at Wembley now. Sport is fine margins isn’t it?

You couldn’t fault Wigan’s effort, particularly in defence, but that is the harsh reality when you get in the big games. Small margins make the difference. The reality was that Wigan made the key mistakes.

Another one occurred in the 45th Minute. On a last tackle, Matty Smith is on half way in loads of space and puts in an awful grubber that goes only 15 metres, it's easily trapped and returned. I think he was trying to find touch, which wasn’t a daft idea, but it was far too shallow a kick and compounded by him conceding a penalty seconds later.

Wigan never touched the ball for the next six minutes after that and 8-2 up had quickly turned into a 14-8 deficit. Again that highlights the small margins but also highlights that it is not Wigan that are creating them. Last week we saw the same thing. Dan Sarginson makes a poor sloppy error on half way against Saints and 4-4 became 16-4 down within six minutes of that. We can’t afford those kind of errors with our attack unable to find points easily. Simple as that.

We did well first half but the honest is that it was all about hanging on in defence. Hull were the ones making the clean breaks early and we did magnificently to hold them out but we are having to do that every week because of the poor attack and it really does burn you for energy when it matters.

Wigan did take the lead with a great solo try from George Williams for 6-0 after 16 minutes which was a bit against the run of play but good reward for our defence.

I felt after that the game evened out a little. Hull's early pace dropped and we competed better. We still needed a wonderful try saving tackle to deny Gareth Ellis a try and looking back at it now I think he was just short of grounding it. It was a brilliant one on one stop by Sam Tomkins.

That should have been a big swing with Wigan up the other end blowing that chance I mentioned for a least 10-2. I screamed on the radio commentating "go left" because I had spotted the huge overlap and they executed it superbly bar the supposed forward pass. I was devastated at half time because I felt that was a killer moment lost, particularly with it being right on half time. Sadly so it proved.

Wigan did come out second half and kick a penalty for 8-2 but by the hour tries from Steve Michaels and Fetuli Talanoa plus Marc Sneyd kicking three goals, including a penalty, had Hull 16-8 up and the match had drifted away from Wigan.

We did rally, we always seem to rally, with to my memory our only clean break of the game leading to a try from Willie Isa for 16-12 but Smith missed a poor conversion which perhaps crucially took Wigan out of range of only needing a penalty to level. Another error you simply cannot afford in big games.

Wigan never gave up but two situations summed up the lack of cohesion in our play. At one point we got a "play on" in perhaps fortuitous fashion but from that John Bateman chips a solo over the top to no one and our attack falls flat.

Then in the last minute we've got time left on the clock but Oliver Gildart shows his inexperience by chipping forward in hit and hope fashion when time wasn't yet that desperate. Big games need cool heads and we sadly panicked.

All in all though I think the final result was fair. Hull were the better side and deserved their win. I hope they go on to end their Wembley hoodoo because it is truly remarkable that they have never won at the place.

For Wigan, I thought after Catalan we were in a good place to kick on for the climax to this season but the last four weeks have sadly gone the other way and have been quite sobering. Better sides have exposed our impotent attack and add in the poor discipline we've endured this month it has all contributed to an unravelling.

What Wigan desperately need now is a complete reset. Some bodies are tired whilst we are also in desperate need to find certain players some match fitness and get Liam Farrell and Tony Clubb back on the park. That is hard to achieve when your playing big games.

You can't be blasé about the top four, especially given our points difference, but we are six points inside that. For me our best chance of winning the Grand Final is to totally forget about league leaders shield and build up that reset with the least amount of pressure possible.

Getting the win against Wakefield Friday would be the best possible pressure reliever. That would mean Catalan would have to win three more games than Wigan over just six matches, a hard task. Wigan would have breathing space to build up to hopefully having everyone ready to go after what is now a cup final week off.

Frankly, we won't win nothing with the standard of attack we're producing but if we are to have a chance of anything I think to take a step back is the best way forward. Not being at Wembley gives a bit of breathing space in that regard. Still not the place we want to be though is it?

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Hull FC 1
1 Sam Tomkins Full Back Jamie Shaul 1
5 Dom Manfredi

Right Wing

Steve Michaels 19
4 Dan Sarginson Centre Mahe Fonua 2
20 Oliver Gildart Centre Kirk Yeaman 24
22 Lewis Tierney Left Wing Fetuli Talanoa 5
6 George Williams Stand Off Carlos Tuimavave 3
7 Matty Smith Scrum Half Marc Sneyd 7
21 Ryan Sutton Prop Scott Taylor 8
16 Sam Powell Hooker Danny Houghton 9

Ben Flower


Liam Watts

14 John Bateman 2nd Row Sika Manu 21
25 Willie Isa 2nd Row Mark Minichiello 12

Sean O'Loughlin


Gareth Ellis

8 Dom Crosby Substitute Chris Green 15
17 Lee Mossop Substitute Jordan Thompson 16
19 Taulima Tautai Substitute Frank Pritchard 23
29 Joe Bretherton Substitute Danny Washbrook 30
- Shaun Wane Coach Lee Radford -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 12


Hull FC 16

Tries (2):
George Williams
Willie Isa


Tries (2):
Steve Michaels
Fetuli Talanoa

Matty Smith 2/3
--- Goals:
Marc Sneyd 4/4

Scoring and Incident Pattern

16mins:00 Wigan 04 Hull FC 00

Try: George Williams

Wigan 06 Hull FC 00 Conversion: Matty Smith (1/1)
25mins:12 Wigan 06 Hull FC 02

Penalty Goal: Marc Sneyd (1/1)

Half Time Wigan Warriors 06 Hull FC 02
43mins:56 Wigan 08 Hull FC 02

Penalty Goal: Matty Smith (2/2)

46mins:58 Wigan 08 Hull FC 06

Try: Steve Michaels

Wigan 08 Hull FC 08 Conversion: Marc Sneyd (2/2)
51mins:06 Wigan 08 Hull FC 12

Try: Fetuli Talanoa

Wigan 08 Hull FC 14 Conversion: Marc Sneyd (3/3)
59mins:23 Wigan 08 Hull FC 16

Penalty Goal: Marc Sneyd (4/4)

70mins:38 Wigan 12 Hull FC 16

Try: Willie Isa

Wigan 12 Hull FC 16 Missed Conv: Matty Smith (2/3)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 12 Hull FC 16


Ben Thaler

Penalties Conceded


Match Attendance



Showers during day but eased for match.

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