Hodgson and Farrell lead Wigan home

Wigan 28 Hull 14
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The Independent Online

Wigan moved past Hull and into third place in Super League at the half-way stage of the season with a superb victory, their fifth in six games, at the JJB Stadium last night.

The winger David Hodgson, one of 10 players aged 21 or under in the Wigan side, led the charge with two tries against his home town club and the captain Andy Farrell landed six goals.

Wigan almost broke the deadlock after 40 seconds when Farrell kicked ahead on the run, but the on-rushing Hodgson was just unable to reach the ball before it ran dead.

It was Hull who took the lead when the prolific Steve Prescott converted a seventh-minute penalty, but the visiting side were then forced to reorganise their defence when their Kiwi centre, Toa Kohe-Love, left the field with a shoulder injury. Wigan took advantage with two tries in a five-minute spell, both of them created by Farrell.

The Wigan captain hoisted a high kick to the left which the Hull winger, Colin Best, fumbled, allowing Hodgson to seize the ball and score the opening try. Farrell then collected Adrian Lam's sweeping pass and fooled the Hull defence with a brilliant short ball that allowed Gareth Hock to cross unimpeded.

But Hull fought back, despite also losing their influential hooker, Dean Treister, for most of the first-half with a head injury. The loose forward, Chris Chester, forced his way through three attempted tackles down the right and Prescott's conversion reduced the arrears to two points.

Andy Last, Garreth Carvell and Graeme Horne then all came close for Hull, who, like Wigan, were without seven first-team regulars, but a Farrell penalty gave the home side a 12-8 lead at the break.

Wigan moved further ahead four minutes after the restart, when Lam's kick was fumbled by Prescott and Martin Aspinwall swooped to score in the right corner. Farrell added the touchline conversion.

Hull again fought back when Richard Horne was first to react to Paul Cooke's bouncing kick and Prescott's third goal left them only four points in arrears. But Farrell kicked a penalty goal to give his side a six-point cushion and Wigan then survived a 10-minute Hull siege with some brilliant defence before breaking away to seal the points.

With 12 minutes to go, Hodgson scored his second try in the left corner after fine approach work from the 18-year-old centre Kevin Brown, and, after Richard Horne had been sinbinned for holding down, Farrell landed another penalty to make sure of the victory.

Wigan: Briscoe; Aspinwall, O'Loughlin, Brown, Hodgson; Graham, Lam; O'Connor, Newton, C Smith, Cassidy, Hock, Farrell. Substitutes used: Robinson, Tickle, M Smith, Bibey.

Hull: R Horne; Best, Kohe-Love, Yeaman, Prescott, Cooke, G Horne, Greenhill, Treister, King, Ryan, Maher, Chester. Substitutes used: Last, Dowes, Carvell, Fletcher.

Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield).

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