Wigan maintained their winning start to the season as they edged past Hull 16-14 at the DW Stadium.
Wigan led 10-8 at the break, but the major talking point was the decision by referee James Child to put an incident of alleged racism on report after Hull second-row forward Andre Savelio accused Wigan’s Tony Clubb.
The incident comes ahead of a weekend when most clubs are set to join a social media blackout to help combat racist abuse.
The Warriors took the lead after 10 minutes, with Jackson Hastings scoring a fine individual try, before Adam Swift acrobatically grounded the ball in the corner for Hull after great work from Jake Connor.
Hull ended the half with 12 men as Connor was sin-binned for a high tackle on Zak Hardaker. Marc Sneyd kicked Hull in front and it looked like they would lead at half-time, but Hastings and Liam Farrell had other ideas as the two combined, with the latter crossing over for a 10-8 lead.
Hull dominated the opening stages of the second half and went 14-10 in front thanks to a try from Mahe Fonua and a penalty from Sneyd, but the Warriors refused to lie down and a great score from Jake Bibby and a Hardaker penalty saw the Warriors decisively lead by two points with 14 minutes to go.
The Warriors initially went in front following an unforced error from Hull deep in their own half. Fonua dropped the ball cold without a defender near him and Wigan took full advantage. Hastings benefited from some slack defending as he threw a dummy before crossing over. Hardaker converted and the Warriors led 6-0.
Hull were handed their first real chance after Bevan French was adjudged to have dropped the ball inside his own half. The visitors only needed one chance, as Connor produced a sublime ball down the left-hand side and Swift was on hand to remarkably ground the ball in the corner. Sneyd converted to level it up.
This game was getting tasty after Hull conceded a penalty, with Hardaker and Connor trading a few verbals before referee Child sent the Hull full-back to the sin bin for a high tackle.
It was 12-man Hull who went in front. First they thwarted the Wigan attack after Hardaker opted not to go for goal with the penalty. Jordan Lane picked up the loose ball and got his side out of trouble. Seconds later, Wigan were penalised for a high tackle and Sneyd slotted it over for an 8-6 lead. Time was held up for a short time as Child put the alleged racist remark on report.
Wigan ensured they made that extra man count just before the hooter as they received another six, and Farrell was found on the left by Hastings with the centre evading the Hull defence to touch down. Hardaker was off target, but the home side led 10-8 at half time.
Wigan were given a massive let-off at the start of the second half as a loose ball sailed towards their line, and it looked like Josh Griffin had reacted the quickest and touched down, but video referee Ben Thaler ruled he had knocked on before the line.
It had been all Hull at the start of the second half and they went back in front when Fonua leapt the highest and picked Sneyd’s kick out of the air ahead of French to score. Sneyd could not convert but they led by two again.
Wigan were struggling to get out of their own half and they went four points behind, with Sneyd kicking another penalty after John Bateman was picked up for a late shot on Ligi Sao. The home side refused to go away and they levelled matters with 20 minutes remaining as Bibby showed some good footwork to step back inside and score after great work from Willie Isa.
Wigan retook the lead with 14 minutes remaining after Connor was penalised and Hardaker kicked the penalty to put them back in front. Both teams had chances to score, and desperate defending from Hull stopped Smith and Hardaker from extending Wigan’s lead, while Bateman produced a try saver to stop Chris Satae from scoring as the Warriors held on.
Wigan: Hardaker; French, Farrell, Isa, Bibby; Hastings, Smith; Singleton, Powell, Clubb, Smithies, Bateman, Partington. Subs: Bullock, Byrne, Havard, Shorrocks.
Tries: Hastings, Farrell, Bibby Goals: Hardaker 2
Hull: Connor; Fonua, Tuimavave, Griffin, Swift; McNamara, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Sao, Savelio, Lane, Cator. Subs: Satae, Johnstone, Fash, Scott.
Tries: Swift, Fonua Goals: Sneyd 3