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|Friday 30th August 2013|
|Wigan Warriors 33 Hull FC 34|
|DW Stadium, Wigan|
|Super League 18 - Round 26 of 27|
|Kick Off 8:00pm|
|35||Lewis Tierney||29||Jamie Shaul|
|37||Dom Manfredi||2||Jason Crookes||T3|
|22||Anthony Gelling||T||14||Richard Whiting|
|17||Iain Thornley||T||4||Kirk Yeaman|
|34||Joe Burgess||T||5||Tom Briscoe||T2|
|32||Ryan Hampshire||T||G4||6||Daniel Holdsworth||DG2|
|24||Sam Powell||DG||34||Jacob Miller|
|26||Dom Crosby||17||Liam Watts|
|23||Logan Tomkins||9||Danny Houghton|
|20||Gil Dudson||22||Josh Bowden|
|25||Rhodri Lloyd||24||Liam Kent|
|4||Jack Hughes||12||Danny Tickle||G4|
|16||Chris Tuson||13||Joe Westerman||T|
|15||Ben Flower||T||16||Richard Horne|
|21||Scott Taylor||19||Jay Pitts|
|33||James Greenwood||20||Paul Johnson|
|38||Andy Powell||T||21||Chris Green|
I think the Times Journalist Chris Irvine summed this game up best when he suggested on his twitter that Wigan and Hull were "a week too late with their 1985 repeat". This was a fantastic game of Rugby League.
Wigan chose to rest the majority of the cup final winning side with only Iain Thornley, Ben Flower, Chris Tuson, Gil Dudson, Scott Taylor and Logan Tomkins remaining in the seventeen.
Only four from the Wembley team started for Wigan whilst Hull started with eleven of their Wembley seventeen. It left Wigan win a young back line that had an average age of just 19.5, including debutant Dom Manfredi on the right wing.
The early signs were ominous for Wigan. Hull made a couple of big breaks and you feared a shallacking was on the cards when Jason Crookes gave Hull the lead in the 7th minute after he beat Joe Burgess for power. Danny Tickle converted for 6-0.
But Wigan grew into the match, helped by a massive impact from an experienced bench that included Ben Flower, Scott Taylor and ex Welsh Rugby Union International Andy Powell.
Big Powell had been on barely two minutes when he levelled the scores. Danny Houghton and Liam Watts were both slack in defence but it was Joe Westerman who Powell aimed at and his tackle attempt was woeful. He got bumped off and Powell raced to the left of the posts for the score. Ryan Hampshire converted for 6-6.
Hull were soon back in the lead when Tom Briscoe scored a soft try down the left with Tickle converting off the touchline for 12-6.
Wigan though finished the half strongly. A good kicking game between Hampshire and Sam Powell was pinning them back and I think they at least deserved the try claimed to level the scores before half time.
Short pass from Logan Tomkins sent Ben Flower crashing over from two metres out and a Hampshire conversion made it 12 all with a minute to go.
Wigan fans were delighted with that score for half time but their was still seconds remaining for us to take the lead with a brilliant try. Anthony Gelling found the break down the right wing and had support from "Rocky" Hampshire to finish a 70 metre move. Sadly he couldn't convert but the home fans were in raptures with a 16-12 half time lead.
Into the second half and Wigan had a dominating spell of possession that saw them extend that lead to 26-12.
First an offload from Iain Thornley sent Joe "Budgie" Burgess in the left corner for his first Wigan try. Hampshire converted for 22-12. Then, after Powell had kicked a 40/20, a bomb towards the left wing saw "the fifth Burgess brother" leap, which pressured Crookes into making an error, and Thornley pounced on the loose ball to score. Hampshire's missed the extras this time for a 26-12 score.
Wigan were all over Hull at this point and had a try disallowed trying to extend that lead further soon after but with 25 minutes still the go the match was far from over.
A break from Jamie Shaul got Hull well down field, but he played the ball to no one and Wigan had pounced on the loose ball to win back possession. However referee Child deemed not square at the play the ball and Hull converted that territory into a second try of the game for Crookes. Looked a tough call that one but that, and the disallowed try, swung the momentum completely back into Hull's favour.
Although Tickle had missed the extras, the visitors backed the try up with another try three minutes later. An error from Tierney created the territory and Crookes went in for his hat-trick. Tickle converted this time and the pressure was heaped on Wigan at 26-22.
It was Wigan now who couldn't get the ball and it was no surprise when on 65 minutes Westerman scored to level the game up. Tickle however missed a conversion so the score was tied up at 26-26.
Their now only looked to be one winner but Wigan managed to re-take the lead on 69 minutes. Kicks had caused problems for Hull previously and another massive bomb from Sam Powell was totally flapped by Shaul and Gelling, racing to put him under pressure won the race to catch the bouncing ball and score near the posts. Hampshire's conversion made it 32-26.
Then on 74 minutes, Sam Powell added a drop goal for 33-26 and that really should of been the game won. Sadly though Wigan fell over their own inexperience in the latter stages and kind of loss the game themselves.
The crucial moment came completing the set following that try. Sam Powell kicked out on the full, giving Hull a scrum near half way. That scrum was converted into a try for Hull with Briscoe scoring a second and Tickle's conversion making it 33-32. Daniel Holdsworth had calm composure soon after to kick a drop goal for 33-33.
The game looked to be heading towards a draw but with less than 90 seconds to go, Hull knocked on 15 metres from their own line, gifting Wigan perfect territory to win the game for a second time. Scrum was formed and we all was expecting a full set of pressure. Their was no chance of losing we all thought. They'd either score or run enough time off the clock to take a point for the draw.
But instead we got a moment of madness. Straight from the scrum, Sam Powell attempted a drop goal which went well wide. So rushed it was untrue. Gasps of "what the f*ck" all round. (By the way, despite Wigan's protest the ball was played it, replays show quite clear that it wasn't.)
That left Hull with a minute to go up the other end and get their own drop goal to win, which they did with Holdsworth calmly slotting over a second one pointer. No time for Wigan to respond, they had cruelly lost 34-33.
That was only half the story though. At the point when Powell had kicked out on the full (when Wigan held a 33-26 lead) the official game clock, that is displayed in the West Stand for all to see, was stopped, as is standard when a team rushes to form a scrum. 5.03 remained on it. But that clock was not restarted after the ball went back in play. It remained stopped on 5.03 whilst Hull went on the attack. I can't recall now how many tackles went by, but they went 50-60 metres down field with no time being run off. It only restarted when Hull had scored the try for 33-32.
Now I'm not blaming Hull here because in the end they played to the clock perfectly during the final moments of the game, but it did look like a time keeping error had been made and I think its sad that it cost the young lads at least a point. Hull scored a try, a conversion and two drop goals in that last five minutes and if the game clock was halted for 30-45 seconds then those seconds were clearly massive. Only about 10 seconds remained when Hull kicked the winning drop goal.
I also think it goes a long way to explaining the rushed drop goal. The fact coach Shaun Wane said "our clock was two minutes over at the end of the game" perhaps contributed to confusion on the field and was a factor contributing to the madness of that drop goal attempt by Wigan.
Again it isn't Hull's fault, I just think its a shame if a time keeping error has cost Wigan at least a point, because those lads certainly didn't deserve to lose after being ahead or level with Hull on the scoreboard for all but the last ten seconds of the final 42 minutes.
You get lessons though in sport and the kick out on the full was probably the ultimate deciding factor. Powell had put in some superb kicks all game but that one error came back to bite him massively. A harsh lesson for a youngster who was superb throughout.
Super League 18 - Round 26 Results
|Fri 30 Aug||Leeds Rhinos 20 Catalan Dragons 12||15,576|
|Fri 30 Aug||St Helens 16 Warrington Wolves 29||14,715|
|Fri 30 Aug||Wigan Warriors 33 Hull FC 34||12,417|
|Sun 1 Sept||Bradford Bulls 10 London Broncos 20||7,148|
|Sun 1 Sept||Widnes Vikings 36 Hull Kingston Rovers 22||5,713|
|Sun 1 Sept||Castleford Tigers 44 Salford City Reds 30||6,817|
|Sun 1 Sept||Huddersfield Giants 40 Wakefield Wildcats 0||8,757|
Super League 18 Table - After This Round
|8||Hull Kingston Rovers||26||13||0||13||620||726||-106||26|
|13||Salford City Reds||26||6||1||19||432||929||-497||*11*|
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