Farrell's kick delivers just verdict for Wigan

Hull 20 Wigan 20
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The Independent Online

A magnificent second-half fightback from Hull salvaged a point from a pulsating contest at the KC Stadium last night.

A magnificent second-half fightback from Hull salvaged a point from a pulsating contest at the KC Stadium last night.

Trailing by 14 points at half-time, the home side came out with a completely different attitude after the break and tries from Paul McNicholas, Michael Eagar and Colin Best put them in the lead.

It took a penalty from Andy Farrell, a towering figure for Wigan in an unaccustomed front-row role, to produce the draw that both sides probably deserved.

Stephen Wild is only an emergency centre for Wigan, but he looked the genuine article as he got his side off to a flying start, picking off Eagar's kick deep in his own territory and outpacing the chasers as he went 80 yards to score at the other end.

Hull had plenty of territory in the first half but a combination of Wigan's remorseless defence and their own lack of cutting edge kept them tryless, although Paul Cooke put over a penalty in the 10th minute to halve Wigan's lead.

Whenever the visitors attacked, they looked dangerous, Danny Orr spinning out of a series of tackles to maintain their momentum before Andy Farrell, playing most effectively, as an extra prop, plunged over.

Only a foul by Gareth Raynor averted the danger of another try. But while he was away in the sin bin, Farrell added two penalties and then a conversion after Orr, producing his best form since moving to Wigan, combined with Gareth Hock and took his return pass for the third Wigan try.

The only slight relief for Hull came in the form of another Cook penalty in first-half injury time, but they had come close to being played off the park in front of their own stunned supporters.

There was an obvious change in Hull's approach for the second half, with Richard Swain and Paul King giving them a momentum they had previously lacked.

Wigan will point to doubts over the legality of two of the tries that brought the home side back into the game, but this truly was an epic which neither side deserved to lose, with Farrell's penalty securing the just result.

Hull: Briscoe; Best, Eagar, Yeaman, Raynor; Cooke, R Horne; Dowes, Swain, King, McMenemy, McNicholas, Lupton. Substitutes used: Barnett Jnr, Higgins, Whiting, Scruton.

Wigan: Connolly; Dallas, Aspinwall, Wild, Hodgson; Orr, Lam; C Smith, Newton, Tickle, Farrell, Hock, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: M Smith, Sculthorpe, Cassidy, Colbon.

Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington).