Liam Marshall’s late try sees off brave Hull to end Wigan’s losing run

Aaron Bower at the KCom Stadium
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">Liam Marshall evades Jack Logan to score Wigan’s winning try at the KCom Stadium.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Magi Haroun/Rex/Shutterstock</span>
Liam Marshall evades Jack Logan to score Wigan’s winning try at the KCom Stadium. Photograph: Magi Haroun/Rex/Shutterstock

Liam Marshall’s match-winning try – scored after a bizarre sequence of events – ended a difficult spell for Wigan and the sense of relief among their players at full-time underlined the importance of this result.

Wigan had lost three successive games in league and cup but a stroke of luck brought their poor form to a conclusion. Sam Tomkins’s drop‑goal attempt had crashed against the crossbar with five minutes remaining but when the ball bounced back Wigan were quickest to react, eventually passing the ball wide for Marshall to touch down and secure a huge result.

The win means that, for all the talk of Wigan’s season descending into crisis in the weeks since Shaun Wane’s departure at the end of this season was confirmed, they are now six points clear of fifth-placed Hull and still firmly in control of their destiny this season.

“We’ve probably spoiled a few headlines,” Wane said. “We showed some guts and determination. I think we deserved to win the game but they [Hull] played well.”

Wane denied the announcement of his departure at the end of the season had any effect on the team’s form, saying “we’ve just had a few weeks where we’ve been off”.

The Warriors coach said: “There’s been no pressure, I know what they can deliver and what we saw the last three weeks wasn’t Wigan. We showed some decent signs today that we are back into it.”

The match, while putting Wigan’s season back on track, represented a missed opportunity for Hull not only to climb back into the play‑off places but also to pull the Warriors back into the scramble for the top four.

Most frustrating of all for the hosts was that, as the weather worsened here and the rain poured down by the banks of the Humber, Hull not only led but appeared to be in control of the contest. Their failure to finish Wigan off proved costly.

“That will be a frustrating watch on review,” their coach, Lee Radford, said. “The effort was great but that only gets you so far; we had an opportunity to be two points behind them and we’ve missed it.”

In a game of few clear-cut opportunities, the two sides traded tries in the first half, Dan Sarginson and Bureta Faraimo each touching down.

A penalty from the boot of Tomkins put the visitors two points ahead at half-time and as conditions worsened after the break it seemed as though that could prove crucial. Hull, though, went ahead when Faraimo’s second made it 10-8 – though a number of missed opportunities by the hosts thereafter were decisive.

Soon after Scott Taylor had the chance to win the game for Hull, Tomkins levelled the scores with another penalty with 10 minutes remaining. It then became a case of who would hold their nerve – though the match was won in peculiar circumstances. Tomkins’s wayward attempt at a one-pointer hit the bar and Marshall, having earlier been denied two tries by the officials, would not be denied on a third occasion.

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