Match Report: Wigan 14 Hull FC 12
Posted by Bilko on March 13 2011 - 17:13
A red card for Joel Tomkins amazingly turned this game away from Hull FC who had controlled for long periods.

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Wigan Warriors v Hull FC - Engage Super League XVI Round 5.
Sunday 13th March 2011. Kick Off 3:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

Make no bones at about, Wigan dodged a massive bullet in winning this game. Hull came into the DW with tactics which were a bit shithouse to be honest but it worked for them. Huddersfield rattled us when they came to Wigan late last year and Hull did the same today. They worked their socks off but in the end those tactics backfired on them, dramatically!

The game turned completely in the 67th minute when Joel Tomkins was sent off for an act of complete stupidity. Seconds before his red card he'd been involved in an incident with Kirk Yeaman, off the ball, which saw fists flying from all angles.

Amazingly referee Steve Ganson left both players on the park, which I think surprised most fans in the stadium. Penalty went to Wigan and what followed was sheer madness. Joel took the ball up and ran straight at Yeaman, smashing him with his elbow/forearm. Not even the most one eyed Wiganer could argue against it being a red card. Shocking play for him and he had to talk.

The problem really though should have been avoided by Steve Ganson. Hull had targeted Joel's brother Sam all afternoon and were penalised four or five times for some very poor hits on him. Willie Manu in particular was guilty on a couple of occasions. Yet neither for any of those fouls, or the fight just before the red card, did Ganson send someone to the bin and that for me led to an inevitable red card.

That was the kind of match Hull wanted though. They wanted to upset Wigan and for most of the game it worked but the red card ironically back fired on them big style. Rather than harming Wigan, it fired up the team's aggression and the noise level from the supporters. Those two things combined led to the late rally that got Wigan a win that I'm not sure they deserved.

The match started well enough for Wigan with an early try down the left for Ryan Hoffman. Bomb went up and Hoffman outleaped ex Warrior Cameron Phelps, making his Hull debut, in the air to touch down. Although Paul Deacon's conversion hit the post, I quickly began to think this would turn into an easy afternoon's work for Wigan.

I am often a bad predictor though because as time wore on it became apparent that Wigan were just off the pace today. All often when the rare clean breaks came, the support play was pretty poor. Similarly the goal line defence was not up the standards previously seem this year.

Hull got a penalty in the 8th minute which marched them down field and quick hands towards the left enabled Joe Westerman to crash over in the corner. We have big problems down our right side because Stefan Marsh and Darrell Goulding are being caught out quite a lot. Really missing Martin Gleeson in defence out there. Tickle failed to convert off the touchline which left the score at 4-4.

That try lifted Hull. They were working hard in the pack despite the loss of Sam Moa in the pre match warm up. His injury meant Ewan Dowes backed up for Hull having only played yesterday in the Under 20s match at Orrell.

On the quarter hour Wigan lost Paul Deacon with another nasty head injury. He suffered a bad cut in a collision apparently and I think he went off the hospital with it. An ambulance certainly left the stadium from the north west corner so I'm assuming he was in it?

His absence meant Sean O'Loughlin switched to Stand Off and before he had chance to settle Hull went over for a second try. Again they went towards the wing of Marsh and Goulding. Grubber from Richard Horne was touched down by Tom Briscoe with millimetres to spare before the dead ball line. Tickle's conversion made it 10-4 and Hull were now well up for the fight that literally followed.

The problem for Hull though was that they needed penalties to get close to our line. Clean breaks were at a premium and they never looked like having the class to beat us out wide.

Wigan had numerous opportunities in the twenty minutes up to half time, but never really looked like scoring. Hull's defence was pretty strong. Kirk Yeaman denied Stefan Marsh in the right corner whilst Phelps stopped Joel Tomkins from scoring soon after. Wigan couldn't find a try so the half time score was left at 10-4 to Hull.

Not sure what was said in the dressing room at Half Time but it didn't really work. Our frustrations grew when Joe Westerman slotted over a penalty goal on 45 minutes to make it 12-4. Now the way Wigan were playing today, that was looking more than enough to win the game for Hull.

Wigan needed a big break to help them back into the contest and it came on 55 minutes. A decent kick was looking like it was going dead but Will Sharp inexplicably touched it out for a drop out when he really didn't need to. Most of Wigan's play during the match had gone towards the right wing but Kirk Yeaman and Tom Briscoe were defending very well under high balls. After the drop out we finally went left to test Will Sharp on that wing and he was found to be flapping. A beautiful cut out pass from Sean O'Loughlin allowed Josh Charnley to squeeze over in the corner. With Paul Deacon off the field, Sam Tomkins had to attempt the conversion but despite a brave effort off the touchline, it went wide.

Typically from the restart, Wigan knocked on to gift Hull easy territory to hit straight back. Charnley himself was guilty. We needed a massive stand at this point because a further try would have killed us off. A massive stand is what we got, we survived and in truth that was Hull's last real attack of the game, even though over twenty minutes remained.

It was still looking like a long way back for Wigan. Hull didn't collapse after Wigan have halved their lead. I even tweeted with 17 minutes to go that "it'll be a miracle if Wigan win this game". Told ya, I'm a terrible predictor!

But three minutes after that tweet came the big punch then red card I mentioned earlier that turned the contest. Most fans agreed it was stupid of Joel, if only because we'd just received a massive, desperately needed, penalty to put us on Hull's try line and his red card gave the penalty straight back to Hull.

However, our pack was now well on top. In truth we had been starting to find holes against a tired looking Hull defence before the red card but now they had the roar of the crowd to inspire them.

This momentum led to the try that levelled the scores on 71 minutes. It was a carbon copy of the previous try. Long cut out pass by O'Loughlin allowed Charnley an overlap to squeeze in again. Terrible from Hull really that twelve men can create an overlap but that's exactly what happened. Will Sharp was awful in particular. Sam couldn't convert again though but the score was now 12-12 and I would have been more than happy with that.

The momentum was all Wigan and a penalty on half way gave them a perfect opportunity to just dink over a one pointer. They drove and drove but instead of taking the one, Hull conceded a second penalty, just to the left of the posts, which was perfect for even fourth choice kicker Sam Tomkins to slot over. Massive roar as Wigan took a 14-12 lead with 4 minutes to go.

Hull caught Wigan on the hop with a short kick off but although they won the ball they started to panic too soon and ended up knocking on. Wigan saw out their next set and the clock was now inside two minutes. Hull drove and drove but never looked like making a clean break they needed. Poor play from Wigan though gave them a penalty  fourty metres out with 75 seconds left.

Westerman had kicked a penalty earlier but Tickle was back on the field and it was up to him to earn his side a point. It was a long way out but bang in front and well in range for a first choice goal kicker. Thankfully for the Wigan fans, Tickle sliced it left and after all that only 20 seconds remained. That was that then, Wigan hung on and to nick the two league points off Hull.

So Wigan won this one very Hull but in doing so showed everyone why they won the league last season. This is a game we would not have won under Brian Noble, I'm convinced of that. We will need to show a lot of improvement going to Huddersfield on Friday though. This performance wasn't the best and when Wigan put in a poor show last year they always bounced back to win, and win big. So hopefully we can do that. Should be a cracker either way. I'm convinced Huddersfield will try to rattle us in the forwards as well but we have got to expect that teams will raise their games this year against us because we are the champion side. It's learning to deal with it and Wigan should be able to learn a hell of a lot from their exploits today.

Reaction to the Action

Michael Maguire: "(Paul Deacon) had a bad knock. We'll have to assess that through the week. He's had a few of those over the last month and he's not great at the moment. Losing a player like that in your halves meant a major shuffle but it's great to see players stick strong right to the end and we managed to get away with it. We didn't play at times to our capability but Hull came here ready to play. It's credit to our players that they managed to get themselves into a position to win the game. Sometimes the games are ugly and that was one of them today for us. It was great to see our players dig deep. Even when it came to 12 men, they worked extremely hard."

Hull FC coach Richard Agar: "With the effort and commitment and also the way we played, I think we probably deserved a bit of something out of it. We've got a disappointed, frustrated and angry changing room. One or two things went against them, we never quite got the break we worked hard enough for. I'm immensely proud of the effort. Defensively I thought we were pretty good over the course of 80 minutes. (The Red Card) was 100 per cent the right call. If you look back at the brawl, maybe they were lucky to get just one bloke sent off. I'm quite happy that our blokes responded in the way they did because, if they are not going to get the right protection during the game, they're entitled to do that. I just hope when the League review the game tomorrow, they are watching every tackle."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Hull FC 1
1 Sam Tomkins Full Back Cameron Phelps 20
2 Darrell Goulding Winger Will Sharp 2
24 Stefan Marsh Centre Richard Whiting 3
4 George Carmont Centre Kirk Yeaman 4
25 Josh Charnley Winger Tom Briscoe 5
6 Paul Deacon Stand Off Richard Horne 6
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Sam Obst 30
14 Paul Prescott Prop Mark O'Meley 8
9 Mike McIlorum Hooker Danny Houghton 9
10 Andy Coley Prop Lee Radford 10
16 Ryan Hoffman 2nd Row Joe Westerman 11
11 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row Danny Tickle 12
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Craig Fitzgibbon 13
12 Joel Tomkins Substitute Danny Washbrook 14
15 Jeff Lima Substitute Epalahame Luaki 15
21 Lee Mossop Substitute Willie Manu 16
22 Liam Farrell Substitute Ewan Dowes 17
- Michael Maguire Coach Richard Agar -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 14 --- Hull FC 12
Tries (3):
Ryan Hoffman
Josh Charnley 2
--- Tries (2):
Joe Westerman
Tom Briscoe
Paul Deacon 0/1
Sam Tomkins 1/3
--- Goals:
Danny Tickle 1/3
Joe Westerman 1/1

Scoring and Incident Pattern

3rd Minute Wigan 04 Hull FC 00 Try: Ryan Hoffman
- Wigan 04 Hull FC 00 P.Deacon Missed Conversion (0/1)
9th Minute Wigan 04 Hull FC 04 Try: Joe Westerman
- Wigan 04 Hull FC 04 D.Tickle Missed Conversion (0/1)
17th Minute Wigan 04 Hull FC 08 Try: Tom Briscoe
- Wigan 04 Hull FC 10 Conversion: Danny Tickle (1/2)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 04 Hull FC 10
45th Minute Wigan 04 Hull FC 12 Penalty Goal: Joe Westerman (1/1)
55th Minute Wigan 08 Hull FC 12 Try: Josh Charnley
- Wigan 08 Hull FC 12 S.Tomkins Missed Conversion (0/1)
67th Minute Wigan Red Card Joel Tomkins (Elbow to Face)
71st Minute Wigan 12 Hull FC 12 Try: Josh Charnley (2)
- Wigan 12 Hull FC 12 S.Tomkins Missed Conversion (0/2)
76th Minute Wigan 14 Hull FC 12 Penalty Goal: Sam Tomkins (1/3)
80th Minute Wigan 14 Hull FC 12 D.Tickle Missed Penalty Goal (1/3)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 14 Hull FC 12

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Sean O'Loughlin
2nd: Ryan Hoffman 3rd: Josh Charnley 4th: Lee Mossop 5th: Paul Prescott


Steve Ganson

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 8 Hull FC 13

Match Attendance

15,346 (969 Hull FC Supporters)


Dry and Sunny.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 16 Round 5

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Huddersfield Giants 5 4 0 1 128 72 +56 8
2 Castleford Tigers 4 4 0 0 119 70 +49 8
3 Warrington Wolves 5 4 0 1 129 98 +27 8
4 Harlequins 5 4 0 1 104 82 +22 8
5 Wigan Warriors 4 3 1 0 106 54 +52 7
6 Leeds Rhinos 5 3 0 2 160 134 +26 6
7 St Helens 5 3 1 1 128 106 +22 5
8 Hull Kingston Rovers 5 2 0 3 128 126 +2 4
9 Bradford Bulls 5 2 0 3 124 170 -46 4
10 Hull FC 5 1 0 4 104 118 -14 2
11 Catalan Dragons 5 1 0 4 89 123 -34 2
12 Salford City Reds 5 1 0 4 94 182 -88 2
13 Crusaders* 5 1 0 4 126 144 -18 -2
14 Wakefield Wildcats* 5 1 0 4 88 148 -60 -2

*Crusaders and Wakefield both deducted 4 points for entering administration.

Round 5 Results
Fri 11 Mar Leeds Rhinos 46 Salford City Reds 12 13,068
Fri 11 Mar St Helens 16 Harlequins 27 6,050
Fri 11 Mar Wakefield Wildcats 6 Warrington Wolves 22 5,072
Sat 12 Mar Castleford Tigers 34 Catalans Dragons 24 4,889
Sun 13 Mar Huddersfield Giants 50 Bradford Bulls 16 9,466
Sun 13 Mar Hull Kingston Rovers 40 Crusaders 22 8,602
Sun 13 Mar Wigan Warriors 14 Hull FC 12 15,346