Wigan Warriors put in a dominant performance to become the first ever team win a Super League game outside of Europe against Hull FC.
Liam Marshall kept his place in Shaun Wane’s Wigan squad, despite England winger Joe Burgess being named in the 19-man squad while captain Sean O’Loughlin came back into the squad in place of Frank-Paul Nuuausala.
Hull FC head coach Lee Radford made two changes to his side that beat Huddersfield Giants in round one. Liam Watts and Danny Washbrook came in for Jansin Turgut and Masi Matongo on the bench.
The Black and Whites were dealt a blow in just the second minute when USA star Bureta Faraimo left the field for a concussion assessment and did not return to action all game so centre Jake Connor moved to the wing.
And Wigan capitalised on Connor being in an unfamiliar position, with Liam Marshall getting the better of him down the left wing, running 50 metres to finish off a splendid break from Liam Farrell. Sam Tomkins converted to put his side in a 6-0 lead.
The Warriors have been playing a new style of attacking rugby this season and they have got some great players to do it with. Oliver Gildart took on the Hull defence before slipping Marshall down the left wing to score. Wigan led 10-0 after 11 minutes.
Hull stuck in there though and pulled one back midway through the first half. Fetuli Talanoa finished incredibly in the corner, despite a challenging tackle from Wigan’s Tom Davies. Marc Sneyd couldn’t convert and FC were 10-4 behind.
Marshall thought he had completed his hat-trick inside half-an-hour. The young winger latched onto a George Williams grubber but it was chalked off by the video referee though after he failed to ground the ball.
In the 34th minute, the Black and Whites levelled things up. A communication mix-up between Morgan Escaré and Marshall saw Wigan fail to deal with a kick through from Jamie Shaul, with Jordan Abdull pouncing the loose ball. Sneyd’s boot made the score 10-10.
Wigan went into the break leading and deservedly so. Hull’s Liam Watts was caught stealing the ball and as a result, Sam Tomkins added a penalty goal from 40 metres out to put the Warriors 12-10 the good at the break.
Wane’s Warriors were on red hot form in the first half and bombed a couple of chances to score. On another day, it could have been 30-10 to Wigan at half-time.
Just the like the first half, Wigan started the better side. Promising prop Ryan Sutton burst onto a fine pass from Sam Powell to barge over the line. Tomkins’ conversion put Wigan 18-10 ahead after 44 minutes.
The game went through a rough patch in the second half, with the hot conditions starting to take toll on the fitness of both sets of players.
FC skipper Danny Houghton left the field with a calf injury and did not return. Playing in 24 degrees and having just two available subs took a lot out of the Hull side.
But it got back exciting again just past the hour mark and Wigan all but sealed victory in the 68th minute. Ben Flower charged over from close range, despite the efforts of several other Hull defenders to stop the Wales star. Sam Tomkins arrowed his conversion through the uprights, Wigan 24-10 Hull FC.
A melee occurred between Wigan’s Sam Tomkins and Hull’s Josh Griffin in the latter stages of the game and both players were sent to the sin bin.
The Warriors thought they could reach the 30-point mark with just a couple of minutes remaining when Dan Sarginson went over but it was ruled out by the video referee for an offside earlier in the play.
Wigan ran-out comfortable 24-10 winners over Hull FC in the first ever Super League game outside of Europe.
Wigan: 1 S Tomkins; 2 T Davies, 3 Sarginson, 4 Gildart, 22 Marshall; 6 Williams, 7 Powell; 8 Clubb, 9 Leuluai, 10 Flower; 11 J Tomkins, 12 Farrell; 13 O’Loughlin. Subs: 15 Sutton, 17 Tautai, 19 Isa, 20 Escaré.
Hull: 1 Shaul; 2 Faraimo, 14 Connor, 4 Griffin, 5 Talanoa; 6 Kelly, 7 Sneyd; 8 Taylor, 9 Houghton, 23 Paea; 21 Manu, 12 Minichiello; 11 Hadley. Subs: 16 Abdull, 13 Bowden, 10 Watts, 17 Washbrook.