Super League: Hull FC 20-28 Wigan

Tom Lineham

Hull FC (10) 20

Tries:
Lineham 3, Crooks
Goals:
Westerman 2

Wigan (12) 28

Tries:
S Tomkins 2, Thornley, Charnley
Goals:
Richards 6

Hull FC winger Tom Lineham ran in a KC Stadium hat-trick but ended up on the losing side as Super League leaders Wigan cemented their place on top.

Sam Tomkins crossed for two Wigan tries, aided by efforts from Iain Thornley and Josh Charnley.

And, on the day he announced his Pat Richards kicked six out of six to help Wigan stretch three points clear.

Ben Crooks scored Hull's other try, Joe Westerman kicking two goals.

On a night when Hull coach Peter Gentle had issues with referee Richard Silverwood, despite rookie winger Lineham's second hat-trick of the season, it was a first defeat in five games for Hull.

And it was a lot harder than Wigan's last trip to Humberside back on Easter Monday when they cruised to a record 84-6 win over Hull KR at Craven Park.

Wigan may have announced a raft of changes this week, having confirmed the arrival of rugby union international Andy Powell, who was in the stand to watch his new team-mates, the future departures of Gareth Hock, Lee Mossop and Pat Richards and the likely exit of star name Sam Tomkins.

But, if Hull had bargained on a split camp then they were given a rude awakening, with Richards - who is to head back to Wests Tigers after eight point-laden seasons, kicking them to victory with six goals from as many attempts.

It took 13 minutes for centre Thornley to barrel his way over for a 10th of the season, although the home fans claimed a forward pass in the build-up.

Richards slotted the extras before burst through on the left and kicking ahead to lay on a brilliant second for Tomkins.

But, to their credit, Hull dug in and, when Lineham spotted a gap in Wigan's normally watertight defence, he drilled his way into it.

There was no doubting that Wigan were rattled and when Tomkins failed to hit a set-move pass from Green, it showed.

Hull sensed their chance and, seconds before the break, they closed to within two points when Crooks reached out to touch down after Liam Watts had gone close.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Hull coach disappointed with defeat

Words from coach Shane Wane clearly had an effect on Wigan during the break and, six minutes after the restart they were in again, Matty Smith and Tomkins combining to send Josh Charnley in at the corner.

The try was not the prettiest on the eye but Wigan's fourth certainly was, Jack Hughes breaking from his own half and feeding Tomkins for a lightening 20th try of the campaign under the posts.

As in the first half, a response was at hand, Lineham getting his second with 25 minutes left, swooping after Crooks got to Richard Horne's kick ahead of Richards. And his hat-trick was not far away as he scrambled over after another pass from Crooks.

With Joe Westerman finding his range to kick a second goal, Hull were back to within four points at 24-20 and, so concerned were Wigan that when they got two penalties 30 metres out, Richards opted to kicked them both to secure victory.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Hull FC coach Peter Gentle:

"I am extremely disappointed with the way the game was refereed and I will have plenty of questions for Steve Ganson this week.

"I will have to choose my words very carefully, but everyone knows what they saw. The boys tell me that their first try was a forward pass and that Josh Charnley didn't touch the ball down when he scored.

"I'm disappointed but the effort we put in. I am proud of them but we're not happy to just get close to them. We're disappointed we didn't win but we have an improvement in us."

Wigan coach Shaun Wane:

"I want to pick on the positives and the new deals are a big positive.

"The players knew they were up against it tonight. The conditions made it slower and I am happy with the win. We weren't at our best but ended up grinding it out.

"Hull are a good team who were never going to go away. We needed a tough game and we got one."

FRIDAY NIGHT'S LINE-UPS

Hull FC: McDonnell; Lineham, Yeaman, Crooks, T Briscoe; Horne, Heremaia; Lynch, Houghton, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Bowden.

Replacements: Pitts, O'Meley, Johnson, Green.

Wigan: S Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Thornley, Richards; Green, Smith; Mossop, McIlorum, Flower, Hansen, Farrell, O'Loughlin.

Replacements: Hughes, Dudson, L Tomkins, Crosby.

Attendance: 11,403.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury).