Super League: Hull FC 39-26 Wigan Warriors
|Betfred Super League|
|Hull FC (26) 39|
|Tries: Michaels 2, Minichiello, Houghton, Shaul, Kelly Goals: Connor 5, Rawsthorne 2 Drop-goal: Kelly|
|Wigan (4) 26|
|Tries: Davies 2, Marshall 2, Tierney, Burgess Goals: Marshall|
Hull ended their run of three defeats in style as they beat Super League champions Wigan on home soil for the first time in nine attempts.
The Black and Whites were ahead on four minutes through Steve Michaels, the first of four first-half tries.
Michaels again, Mark Minichello and Danny Houghton scored before Tom Davies crossed to cut the deficit to 26-4.
Tries from Liam Marshall and Lewis Tierney got Wigan back in it but Hull scored two more tries to seal victory.
Full-back Jamie Shaul and Albert Kelly, who added a drop goal, stretched their side clear before Marshall and Davies both added an extra try each for the visitors to complete the scoring.
They actually matched Hull's six tries, but Wigan's lack of a reliable kicker cost them as, with five conversion attempts missed, the winning 13-point margin proved to be all down to the boot.
Between them, Hull's Jake Connor (5) and Nick Rawsthorne (2) landed five successful conversions, two penalties and Kelly's drop-goal to Marshall's lone conversion.
As a result of the fixture schedule drawn up to incorporate a pre-season England training camp which did not go ahead, injury-hit reigning Super League champions Wigan suffered a third defeat in 10 days, to remain sixth.
But an equally patched-up Hull side made light of having even less turnaround time, as they took to the pitch for the third time in nine days.
Last weekend's Spring Bank Holiday double fixture list, consisting of games largely played both on Friday and Monday, was the second of the season following the traditional busy Easter programme - and the physical toll on both sets of players was again evident.
Hull coach Lee Radford:
"This is the most pleasing win of the season because of the circumstances for both teams. It's been an unbelievably difficult period that didn't need to happen.
"The schedule was made for an England camp that never came about. I understand the RFL defending the situation, but if you're not prepared to admit to making mistakes you're never going to right the wrongs.
"I read an article that said Super League coaches should stop moaning about their players. I go to meetings and listen for an hour about player welfare and how depressed they are and how we need to keep them happy.
"There was no thought for player welfare there in that game. That was two reserve teams running on empty but we'll be better for it. But some acknowledgement has to be made that mistakes have been made. Today's game would have been cancelled had it not been for players being jabbed up."
Wigan coach Shaun Wane:
"They were the best team. We were miles off. We were too loose and gave too many penalties away.
"We need to get back to good defence. It was a poor and soft start and we gave ourselves too much to do.
"We scored some tries in the second half but it wasn't enough as we were out-muscled. We had too much defence to do and we have a lot to learn.
"We're a confident bunch but we're low on gas. Hull are the same with injures but they coped better."
Hull FC: Shaul; Michaels, Talanoa, Tuimavave, Rawsthorne; Kelly, Connor; Green, Houghton, Thompson, Washbrook, Minichiello, Manu.
Replacements: Fash, Downs, Turgut, Matongo.
Wigan: Tierney; Davies, Forsyth, Burgess, Marshall; Williams, Leuluai; Nuuausala, McIlorum, Sutton, Wells, Farrell, Isa.
Replacements: J Tomkins, Powell, Tautai, Field.
Sin Bin: Farrell (29).
Referee: Phil Bentham (RFL).