Hull share spoils after Horne drop

Hull 13 Wigan 13
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The Independent Online

Hull showed the resilience of a side which truly believes it can go all the way this season as a drop goal from Richard Horne inside the last two minutes brought them a deserved draw at the JJB Stadium last night.

Their chance seemed to have gone when Andy Farrell put over a one-pointer for Wigan five minutes from time, but Horne gave them their reward for their refusal to yield.

Hull had to do this one the tough way, soaking up long periods of pressure and having to battle back from a 12-point deficit. "I'll accept the draw, even though we had chances to win the game,'' said the Hull coach, Shaun McRae, who picked out the contribution of his veteran playmaker, Jason Smith.

Wigan still have not been beaten at home since last July, but their acting coach, Denis Betts, said that they were despondent at dropping a point: "It was two well-matched teams, but we did enough to win it."

Wigan had seized the early initiative and had taken the lead when Farrell, again commanding at prop, got away a perfectly-timed pass to release Stephen Wild.

Only Jason Smith's tackle on Sean O'Loughlin stopped a quick second and Wigan went further ahead when a glorious burst of handling ended with Danny Tickle going over, with Farrell adding his second goal.

Wigan's other prop, Craig Smith, encapsulated his determination by chasing and catching Richie Barnett, but Hull still scored the try to bring them back into the game, Graeme Horne turning the ball back inside for Sean Briscoe.

Hull had to survive a series of scares early in the second half. Having weathered that storm, the visitors drew level 15 minutes from time, via Richard Horne, with Paul Cooke tagging on his second goal.

After that, the match-winning opportunities fell to Hull, but Richard Whiting could not gather in the ball from Cooke's break and Ewan Dowes narrowly failed to touch down from another inspired piece of play by Smith.

That left it to be decided by drop goals, with Farrell's long-range effort sneaking over to give them the advantage but Hull keeping their cool to reclaim their share of the spoils.

Wigan: Radlinski, Dallas, Aspinwall, Wild, Hodgson, O'Loughlin, Robinson, Farrell, Newton, C Smith, Cassidy, Tickle, Hock. Substitutes used: M Smith, Beswick, Connolly.

Hull: Briscoe, Best, Whiting, Yeaman, Barnett, Cooke, R Horne, King, Swain, Dowes, McNicholas, McMenemy, J Smith. Substitutes used: Lupton, G Horne, Scrutton, Fletcher.

Referee: Steve Ganson (St Helens).