Carney the inspiration as Wigan go joint top

Wigan Warriors 36 Hull 12
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The Independent Online

Tries on either side of half time from the former Hull winger, Brian Carney, last night ensured that they would not become the first side to beat Wigan at the JJB Stadium this season.

Carney, who replaced Jason Robinson in the Wigan team this year, showed a limitless appetite for involvement and was rewarded with the opportunist touchdowns that put them on their way to victory over opponents who will finish in the top five, but are still some way from the standard required to win games like this.

Stuart Raper's reign as Wigan coach began with a resounding win at Hull in May and, with only one defeat in the nine games since then, his side started as clear favourites.

Wigan, who drew level with Super League leaders Bradford with this victory, scored after just three minutes. Matthew Johns' long pass and Andy Farrell's delayed short one sending Steve Renouf through a gap for the try.

Renouf was guilty of missing his tackle on Tony Grimaldi to set up Hull's reply, the captain's pass finding Gareth Raynor, who squeezed in at the corner.

A couple of Farrell goals kept Wigan in front, although Steve Prescott halved that lead with a penalty when Jason Smith's kick caught Wigan off side. Hull had caught Wigan looking fairly flat, but were making too many handling errors to take advantage and fell further behind to a Farrell penalty, after Tony Smith had swung a punch at Mick Cassidy.

Their grip tightened with a typical try, Kris Radlinski backing up Farrell on the inside as he so often does and taking the pass to claim Wigan's second try.

A knock on by Brett Dallas near his own line allowed Hull back in, Prescott taking Paul Cooke's pass from the scrum to go over and add the goal.

They could not quite get on terms with Wigan, however, a try by Carney giving the home side an eight-point lead at the break.

Carney struck again after the interval, backing up Renouf's break from yet another defence-splitting Farrell pass. Although Renouf was caught by the determined Raynor, he managed to slip the ball inside for the Irishman to pick up and score.

Dallas gave Paul Johnson a clear run in as Wigan pulled away. Farrell then supported Terry Newton for a try to go with his six goals.

Wigan benefited from a flawless performance from Radlinski, whose declaration that he wants to stay with them rather than play rugby union will be music to their ears.

* Hull's Tony Smith is a doubtful starter for England against Wales at Wrexham on Tuesday after coming off at half-time with an ankle injury.

Wigan Warriors: Radlinski; Carney, Renouf, Johnson, Dallas; Chester, Johns; Cowie, Newton, Howard, Cassidy, Furner, Farrell. Substitutes used: Stephenson, Betts, O'Connor, Aspinwall.

Hull FC: Prescott; Raynor, Horne, Bird, Crowthe; Cooke, T Smith; Craven, King, Logan, Maiden, Grimaldi, J Smith. Substitutes used: Carvell, Campbell, Parker, Docherty.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

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