Danny Tickle, the former Wigan forward, converted his own late try to snatch a dramatic victory for Hull and ease the pressure on their coach, Peter Sharp. Hull were booed off after their 24-6 defeat against Harlequins last Sunday but received a standing ovation last night.
Trailing 18-22 in the final few minutes, they appeared to be facing their third consecutive defeat. But Tickle changed the outcome when he collected his own hanging bomb and crossed under the sticks, before coolly adding the conversion. The drama emulated the pulsating play-off match last year which Wigan edged 21-18 on this ground.
Most fans had walked out by the time Shaun Berrigan scored a late try against Harlequins a week ago. Last night, the former Australian Test hooker, playing as a makeshift scrum-half, opened the scoring when he darted between two defenders to touch down. Tickle converted and added a penalty in the 22nd minute to open up an 8-0 lead. But Hull's errors presented Wigan with ample opportunities and the visitors struck back when Great Britain forward Gareth Hock charged onto Thomas Leuluai's flat pass to score a try, Pat Richards' goal making it 8-6.
Leuluai, the New Zealand Test scrum-half, engineered another try eight minutes later. His measured grubber kick was collected by Richards, who sent New Zealand centre George Carmont over for his debut try. Richards added the extras and then raced in for a try to make it 8-16 at the break.
Danny Houghton, 18, gave Hull hope with his debut try for his hometown club – Tickle converting – before Phil Bailey restored an eight point margin.
Lee Radford's barnstorming try closed the gap to two points before Tickle crossed from his own kick and converted to secure a thrilling win. Wigan swamped the Hull defence with desperate attacks but could not breach the line – much to the relief of Sharp.
Hull: Tony; Williams, Byrne, Hall, Raynor; Washbrook, Berrigan; Dowes, Lee, Cusack, Manu, Radford, Tickle. Substitutes used: Houghton, King, Wheeldon, G Horne.
Wigan: Mathers; Colbon, Goulding, Carmont, Richards; Barrett, Leuluai; Coley, Highm, Paleaaesina, Hansen, Bailey, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Hock, McIlorum, Prescott, O'Carroll.
Referee: G Hewer (Cumbria).Reuse content