Super League: Wigan Warriors 30-24 Hull FC
|First Utility Super League|
|Wigan Warriors (18) 30|
|Tries: Gildart, Charnley, Bateman, Flower, Burgess Goals: Hampshire 5|
|Hull FC (12) 24|
|Tries: Shaul, Logan 2, Rankin Goals: Sneyd 4|
Wigan moved level on points with Super League leaders Leeds after holding on to beat a depleted Hull FC side.
Oliver Gildart, Josh Charnley and John Bateman went over before Jamie Shaul and Jack Logan hit back for a Hull team that included seven academy players.
Ben Flower grabbed the hosts' fourth converted try and Ryan Hampshire teed up a decisive penalty for Wigan.
Tries from Hull's Jordan Rankin and Logan set up a tense finish before Joe Burgess crossed for Wigan.
Wigan, who remain second in the table and go equal on points with Leeds ahead of the Rhinos' trip to Catalans Dragons on Saturday, wrapped up the crucial win with only 12 men following Taulima Tautai's sin-binning six minutes from time.
Hull FC, bottom of the Super League table with two games remaining, were forced to travel with a youthful squad of just 17 as 12 senior players are out injured.
That list was to grow, as winger Tom Lineham suffered an eye injury in a tackle with Sam Powell in the first half and full-back Shaul pulled up with an apparent hamstring problem in the lead-up to Rankin's try.
|Teenager Matongo among Hull FC youngsters|
|Zimbabwe-born prop Masimbaashe Matongo, 19, was one of seven academy players to feature for Hull FC against Wigan and came off the bench to make his first-grade debut for the Black and Whites.|
While the visitors' youth grabbed the attention in the build-up to the game, it was Wigan's 19-year-old Gildart who opened the scoring after nine minutes, with an Antony Gelling flick-pass then putting Charnley over in the corner.
The visitors, criticised by boss Lee Radford for being "mentally soft" in their heavy loss to Warrington in their previous outing, went 18-0 down on the half-hour mark as Bateman charged over.
However, Shaul scooped up a Wigan fumble five metres from his own line and raced away for a superb response six minutes later, and Logan did well to evade a number of Wigan tackles to make it 18-12 at the break.
Wigan were twice denied tries by the video referee after the interval, one of them when Bateman was denied a second score after Hull defender Jordan Abdull had been taken out illegally by Flower.
Moments later, Flower made amends by powering over from 20 metres and Hampshire opted to take two points with 13 minutes remaining.
That successful kick looked to be vital one as Rankin and Logan ran in two Hull tries in two minutes.
Tautai's sin-binning intensified the late pressure, only for Super League's leading try-scorer Burgess to run in a last-minute effort.
Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane:
"I'm a bit frustrated. I thought they played with the passion their coach used to play with.
"They talked all week about injuries - and they do have injuries - and that makes these difficult mental games. It was always a danger and it was my job to get rid of that. Unfortunately we didn't do that so I'm to blame.
"It shows you can't write any Super League team off, they scored some great tries."
Hull FC coach Lee Radford:
"The senior blokes that took the field had a role to play and I thought they did that magnificently. They were surrounded by so many kids, they had to step up and they did that fantastically well.
"As for the young fellas, we spoke all week about the opportunity for them to create reputations for themselves and they did themselves fantastically proud.
"If you'd have asked me before game to take a 30-24 defeat, I would have snatched your hand off but I felt disappointed at the end that we didn't get the two points."
Wigan Warriors: Hampshire; Charnley, Gelling, Gildart, Burgess; Williams, Smith; Crosby, McIlorum, Flower, Tomkins, Bateman, Tautai.
Replacements: Powell, Clubb, Mossop, C. Farrell.
Hull FC: Shaul; Lineham, Rankin, Logan, Naughton; Abdull, Sneyd; Paea, Houghton, Watts, Minichiello, Downs, Hadley.
Replacements: Paleaaesina, Turgut, Fash, Motongo.
Referee: James Child