Sunday, 1 September 2013

Hull Claim Last Gasp Revenge Over Youthful Warriors

The previews called it 'The Rematch' after Wigan defeated Hull at Wembley on Saturday but when Wigan announced a 19 bereft of most of the Wembley heroes, the mood among the fans was that it was a team of under 19's that would struggle against a more experienced Hull FC.

Wigan handed a senior debut to 19's star winger Dom Manfredi and Ryan Hampshire moved from the traditional full back position to play in the halves while Lewis Tierney took his place at the back.

The early stages saw the home side break with a good chance to open the scoring but Jack Hughes found himself with no support and offloaded to thin air as the move broke down and Hull gained the advantage and took it as Holdsworth threw a long pass to an unmarked Crookes who went over in the corner which was added to by Tickle's successful conversion for 0-6.

Hull threw away the chance to score in the next set after a forward pass and both sides exchanged set after set with the score remaining at 0-6 until the introduction of former Welsh Rugby Union International Andy Powell in the 19th minute which  added more power to the Wigan attack and minutes later he broke the Hull defensive line and raced clear to the awe of the home fans who went wild as he went over for his first Warriors try which was converted by Hampshire for 6 all.

Wigan gave the ball away from the kick off as nerves got the better of Manfredi and he knocked on and within five minutes, Hull were back in front as Shaul combined with Holdsworth and Yeaman to pick out Briscoe who went over in the corner and again Tickle converted superbly for 6-12.

Crookes couldn't believe his luck when he was in open space to take a catch but fine defence from Burgess and Thornley denied him a second try which gave Wigan hope and they soon levelled minutes before the interval as a short pass from Tomkins saw Flower go over for the try and Hampshire duly converted for 12 all.

12 all at halftime would have been welcomed by the home fans but seconds before the hooter, Wigan took the lead with and amazing piece of pace by Hampshire as he was picked out by the breaking Gelling and even though he missed the conversion he put the young Warriors 16-12 up at half time.

Hull were split wide open by a succession of kicks by Hampshire but his momentum evaded him as he went to touchdown over the line but was applauded for the effort by the home fans who were enjoying seeing the youngster fool the Hull defenders who were soon ruing a penalty as Wigan sprayed the ball out to the wing and for Joe Burgess to slide over in the corner for his first Warriors try and well deserved after his recent performances and an amazing kick from Hampshire gave Wigan a 22-12 lead .

Wigan were on fire as Sam Powell kicked an awesome 40/20, that Matty Smith would be proud of and gave them great field position and Powell kicked again with Thornley collecting for the try and the miss by Hampshire from the kick still saw Wigan move to 26-12 and in a commanding position.

Shaul broke away for Hull and Wigan were pegged back as Crookes was again left alone on the wing to take the ball and score his second try, Tickle missed the goal but the deficit was only ten at 26-16.
Crookes seemed to be invisible to the Wigan defence as within minutes he racked up his hat-trick after a long pass from the middle and with Tickle's goal, Wigan were pegged right back at 26-22.

Hull now had the momentum and with Manfredi tackled in goal, they were awarded a goal-line dropout and Wigan were soon penalised again which saw Westerman go over just to the left of the posts and just like that Hull were level as Tickle missed a simple kick from in front of the posts at 26 all.

Wigan needed to get back their earlier form and did so via a jaw-dropping boot from Powell which flew into the air and was allowed to bounce by Shaul oblivious to the chasing Gelling who collected the ball and went over for the try to a roar from the home fans and Hampshire's goal made it 32-26.

Sam Powell sent over a drop goal to hand Wigan a 33-32 lead but Hull closed to a single point deficit  amongst controversy as the clock had been stopped at '5.03' and had not resumed when Briscoe went in for the try to bemusement from the home fans and Tickle kicked for 33-32.

Hull pulled level on the next set as Holdsworth kicked a drop goal to set up a tense finish but from a scrum, Powell instantly went for goal but saw his effort sail wide and Hull went down the other end to seal the win with Holdsworth kicking his second drop goal to the heartbreak of the Wigan faithful. 

Despite the loss, the Wigan crowd applauded the young lads who had become men on the DW stage and it was cruel for them to lose having pushed Hull all the way but their inexperience did cost them as Powell's late attempt may not have been rushed had he been advised to wait until in a better position but the question is whether he thought it was the final seconds and just went for the win.

Many others and myself said that the game was far better than at Wembley and even though it was a loss it was an amazing performance by a team of young lads who have shown that for Wigan the future is not only Cherry and White but truly bright.