Wigan Warriors – 20
Tries: Forysth, Williams, T Davies, Marshall
Goals: Escare 2/4
Hull FC – 22
Tries: Michaels, Kelly, Connor, Shaul
Goals: Sneyd 3/4
Wigan suffered their first defeat of the 2017 season, with a narrow, spirited defeat against Hull FC. Wigan started the game very strongly and seemed to have a good spell camped on the Hull line but failed to convert any chances. The first half seemed to see Wigan lack a general direction in their attacking play and were almost trying to force a pass, rather than playing to a particular strategy.
Wigan’s failure to score in that first spell soon came back to haunt them with Hull racing into an 0-18 lead, some great attacking play from Hull and in particular Albert Kelly, who looks to be one of the best players in Super League this year – he is certainly the best player Wigan have come up against so far this season. A try before halftime for Wigan looked like it would be essential and Tom Davies looked to have scored in the corner, only for the touch judge to rule that he had a foot in touch. The defence that Hull showed in the first 60 minutes was very impressive an element of their game which they looked to have improved upon since last season.
18-0 at half-time, Wigan needed to score first to build up some belief in the second half, however that wasn’t to happen, with Hull scoring again within minutes of the restart. The move that led to Shaul’s try also saw Anthony Gelling pick up a game-ending injury. Wigan’s interchange seemed to revitalised the attack and gave Wigan a chance to get back in the game. Frank-Paul Nuuausala and Taulima Tautai were very impressive in the second half and added a new dimension to the attack with some very good drives and offloads. George Williams seemed to then be able to control the attack a lot better off them back of the aggressive carries from the forwards. Wigan got back into the game through tries from Forsyth, Williams, Davies and Marshall, only to be denied the win or a draw due to two tough touchline conversions attempts.
A fantastic 20-minute spell of expansive attacking rugby will give the Wigan players a lot of belief and confidence going into next Fridays game against Leeds at Headingley. Hull FC look to be a very strong side again this season and the addition of Albert Kelly looks to be very smart business. Wigan will hopefully have some more players back from injury next week for the tough trip to Leeds but players like Bretherton, Gregson and Navarette will surely be in contention again after impressing against Hull – the depth of talent in this current Wigan squad is incredible.