A late Liam Marshall try earned Wigan the win at Hull FC. Here’s our verdict…
Liam Marshall’s fortuitous late try brought to an end a three-match losing run for Wigan and an unbeaten home record for Hull FC.
There was little between the sides throughout a brutal game in which neither pack of forwards offered any compromise.
The first 20 minutes were played in that vein with hardly a chance created. Wigan worked themselves into the better positions but the Hull defence held firm, particularly on the back of two repeat sets following Sam Powell’s fantastic 40/20.
The defence was epitomised by Jamie Shaul’s sprint back the length of the field to catch Liam Marshall, but Wigan scored from the next play as George Williams’ kick found Dan Sarginson.
They were almost in again through Marshall but play was pulled back for a forward pass, before they did add two more points with Sam Tomkins’ penalty.
Hull got back into the game just before the break, with Albert Kelly slipping the ball to Bureta Faraimo to burst his way to the line, with Connor converting for a two point deficit at half-time.
They were very close to scoring again just after the break when Kelly chased his own dink into the in goal, but he was unable to ground.
Hull were establishing themselves in the game though as the heavens opened, and they had the lead soon after as Faraimo claimed his second of the game after a good offload from Jake Connor.
Wigan held firm against the (literal) Hull storm, and almost won it through Marshall but he was again denied because of a forwards pass.
Tomkins even things up with a penalty, before Marshall finally got his try. The drop goal attempt from Tomkins smashed off the bar, but Wigan regathered the ball and fed the winger to win the game for the Warriors.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Slice of luck needed to end torrid few weeks
Since Shaun Wane’s departure, Wigan have had to go through the fallout of the Joel Tomkins affair, been dumped out of the Challenge Cup, and have suffered two dents to their Super League hopes too.
After defeats at Hull KR and Wakefield the trip to a Hull FC side unbeaten at home this season looked a frightening task, but this Wigan side was much improved with a greater intensity from the first minute to the last.
However, they still needed a huge slice of luck to get the two points, with Sam Tomkins’ drop goal attempt coming off the crossbar and back into cherry and white hands to score the winner. Wigan will need to improve if they still have Grand Final hopes, but getting the win was vital.
Hull lacking direction in attack
With Jake Connor, Albert Kelly and Liam Harris in the side, Hull shouldn’t have been lacking in creative options in attack.
However, Connor wasn’t allowed to have the same influence from centre as he has had in recent weeks in the halves, while Kelly had principal kicking duties ahead of young scrum-half Harris but largely failed to deliver.
With Marc Sneyd still to come back there are plenty of options in those key creative positions, but Lee Radford needs to quickly figure out which combinations work best before the top four is out of reach.
Man of the Match: Bureta Faraimo (Hull FC)
It was largely a game for the forwards but one player who impressed was Bureta Faraimo. Despite being on the losing side, he scored two fantastic tries and was involved in most of the good things Hull did.
His great combination of pace and power came to the fore as he did his all to get his side on the front foot. After a difficult first few months he is beginning to establish himself as one of the best wingers in England, and he has now scored seven tries in his last three Super League games.
Hull FC 10
Tries: Faraimo (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Wigan Warriors 14
Tries: Sarginson, Marshall
Goals: Tomkins (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull FC: Shaul; Faraimo, Connor, Tuimavave, Miloudi; Kelly, Harris; Taylor, Houghton, Green; Downs, Minichiello, Washbrook.
Interchanges: Fash, Paea, Logan, Matongo.
Wigan Warriors: Tomkins; Davies, Sarginson, Gildart, Marshall; Williams, Powell; Clubb, Leuluai, Flower; Bateman, Isa, O’Loughlin.
Interchange: Escare, Navarette, Field, Hamlin.
Referee: Robert Hicks