Match reports / Rugby League

Match report: Wigan Warriors 20-22 Hull FC

Wigan had won both of the past two matches against Hull FC.

Wigan Warriors came from 22-0 down to narrowly lose 22-20 against Hull FC as they suffered their first defeat of the season.

The current Super League champions had won four of their first five matches and last week battled to a 16-16 draw against Huddersfield at the DW Stadium.

After traffic problems delayed the kick-off time by 10 minutes, Wigan made a bright start to the game, putting pressure on Hull in the opening minutes with a couple of sets on their line but the visitors held out.

The Airlie Birds were the first team to score though when they had numbers on the left side as Marc Sneyd put a smart chip into the corner for Steve Michaels to run onto and score. Sneyd converted his 28th try of the season to put the visitors 6-0 up after 12 minutes.

The Airlie Birds were in again just minutes later, Albert Kelly initially being upended by the Wigan defence before getting back up and diving across.

Lee Radford’s side were making good metres in every set and scored their third midway through the first-half. Tonga captain Sika Manu got a fine offload away to the supporting Jake Connor who darted over. Sneyd’s conversion was on target and Hull led 18-0.

With ten minutes to go until half-time, the Warriors had three straight sets attacking the Hull line. Academy product Tom Davies crossed the whitewash for the second time in two games but the try was ruled out by the touch judge for a foot in touch.

Wigan had another set on the visitors’ line right at the end of the half but the attack fizzled out and the Warriors trailed 18-0 when going into the sheds.

The home side were caught off guard in the first set of the second-half when Jamie Shaul made a quick break as he weaved in and out of the Warriors defence before scoring near the corner. Sneyd missed his conversion attempt for the first time this season but Hull were 22-0 in front.

Liam Forsyth came close to bringing Wigan back into the game when he went over in the 50th minute but it was ruled out by referee Phil Bentham.

Davies, great grandson of former Wigan player Gwynne, then came within inches of the line after making a rapid break down the right channel but was stopped just short by Shaul.

Forsyth then had another chance and converted as he leaped higher than Mahe Fonua to catch the ball and touch down. Morgan Escaré’s conversion attempt went just wide of the mark but Wigan were 22-4 behind after 53 minutes.

Shaun Wane’s men really pushed on in the latter stages of the game and another break from Davies saw Wigan in good field position. The ball then went through quick hands to Liam Marshall, who chipped it over the top for George Williams, who pounced on the ball over the line.

The Warriors were fighting back and the home fans were really starting to get behind them. Wigan went the short side through Tommy Leuluai and it fell to winger Davies who finished nicely in the corner past Michaels. Escaré converted from the touchline to cut the visitors’ lead to just six points.

Wigan were all over Hull in the final moments and Radford’s men seemed to be struggling with the pace and fluidity of Wigan’s attack. The Cherry and Whites had an overlap on the left side which saw Williams throw a cut-out pass to Marshall who finished acrobatically to score his fifth try of the campaign. Escaré’s touchline conversion was just off target on this occasion.

The home side had a couple of sets late on but errors meant the Black and Whites were able to hang on for a 22-20 victory.

 

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