Super League: Wigan Warriors 13-12 Hull FC
|First Utility Super League|
|Wigan Warriors (12) 13|
|Tries: Tomkins, Sarginson Goals: Smith 2 Drop-goal: Smith|
|Hull FC (0) 12|
|Tries: Talanoa, Lancaster Goals: Sneyd 2|
Wigan Warriors avoided a third straight Super League defeat with a narrow victory over struggling Hull FC.
After losing to Brisbane Broncos in extra-time in the World Club Series, they were then beaten by Hull KR and Castleford Tigers in Super League.
First-half tries from Joel Tomkins and Dan Sarginson put Wigan 12-0 up.
Hull's tries from Fetuli Talanoa and Callum Lancaster sandwiched a Matty Smith drop-goal that settled the match in the Warriors' favour.
The defeat was a fourth loss in succession for Lee Radford's Hull, who are second from bottom and remain level on points with Castleford and local rivals Rovers at the wrong end of the table.
Warriors head coach Shaun Wane was a frustrated figure after last week's thrashing at Castleford, but his players responded brightly in their first 40 minutes back on home turf.
Smith's pass put Tomkins in from 20 metres for the opener, and a flowing move to the left put England centre Sarginson over for a two-score lead.
Having slid to defeat by Leeds last weekend with exactly the same half-time lead, Hull were aware how fragile that scoreline could be and they launched a fightback when Talanoa's alertness to a Wigan defensive mix-up under a high ball saw him cross on the left.
Smith swung his boot for what proved a crucial drop-goal to again establish a two-score cushion, but Hull worked the ball through hands on the right to give Lancaster a try that set Wigan nerves jangling.
The Warriors could have given themselves more breathing space when they won a penalty in front of the posts, but opted to tap and run the ball as time ticked on.
Talanoa might have snatched a win for the Black and Whites, but the pass from Liam Watts sailed into touch to end their hopes of victory.
Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane:
"We could have been a lot more convincing. If we had been more clinical in that final third, we could have won by 20 points, but we created the chances and we are going in the right direction.
"That was a must-win game for us. It's been an awful week, I asked for a response and I got one because they defended better.
"There are still a few areas in our defence in which we can improve but if we take that attitude to Headingley [against Leeds Rhinos] next week then we will be okay."
Hull FC coach Lee Radford:
"It is frustrating to lose but there are positives because I thought we were outstanding.
"We had every right to lose by more than one point regarding territory and field position as we had very little throughout the game - so to hang on like we did is a credit to us.
"Effort-wise I cannot criticise that in any way shape or form - but we need to improve at their end of the field with the ball."
Wigan Warriors: Bowen; Charnley, Gelling, Sarginson, Burgess; Powell, Smith; Sutton, McIlorum, Mossop, Tomkins, Farrell, Patrick.
Replacements: Williams, Bateman, Clubb, Tautai.
Hull FC: Rankin; Lancaster, Michaels, Yeaman, Talanoa; Pryce, Sneyd; Bowden, Houghton, Ellis, Hadley, Minichiello, Westerman.
Replacements: Green, Watts, Paleaaesina, Thompson.
Referee: Ben Thaler