O’Loughlin pulls strings as Warriors conquer Hull

Wigan 48 Hull 24
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The Independent Online

Wigan consolidated top spot in Super League with a dominant display against an ill-disciplined Hull.

The Humberside team might have started the evening just two places and points difference behind their hosts, but they were never remotely in the same class as a Wigan side for whom Sean O'Loughlin had a hand in almost everything.

The Hull coach, Richard Agar, acknowledged that a flood of penalties either side of half-time had crippled his side's efforts. "We put pressure on ourselves," he said. "A heap of penalties gave them their momentum."

A couple of dangerous early half-breaks from Sean Long, facing his hometown club, suggested how important his presence could be. The Warriors were sufficiently wary to accept the first kickable penalty that came their way and soon added their first try, O'Loughlin floating a pass to Pat Richards. It was a more speculative pass from O'Loughlin that led to the second, although all the credit went to Darrell Goulding for tracking back to retrieve it before beating the defence.

Hull then made their mark through a lovely break by Richard Horne, finished off by Richard Whiting. In the minutes before half-time O'Loughlin and Joel Tomkins sent Martin Gleeson away and then a freak kick from O'Loughlin bounced straight into Amos Roberts' arms for the fourth Wigan try.

Hull fell further behind after the break when the inevitable O'Loughlin paved the way for Goulding's second try. The next try was the best of the lot – a perfect short pass off the hip of O'Loughlin and an electric run from Sam Tomkins, who soon pounced on a loose ball for his second score.

Craig Hall got one back for Hull, but they were cut apart again by Cameron Phelps before Long got a sentimental try, followed by one from Horne to further massage the final scoreline.

Wigan: Phelps; Roberts, Gleeson, Goulding, Richards; S Tomkins, Leuluai; Fielden, Riddell, Coley, Hansen, J Tomkins, O' Loughlin. Substitutes used: Prescott, Bailey, O'Carroll, Mossop.

Hull: Tansey; Hall, Whiting, Yeaman, Briscoe; Horne, Long; O'Meley, Berrigan, Dowes, Tickle, Manu, Fitzgibbon. Substitutes used: Lauaki, Cusack, Radford, Houghton.

Referee: T Alibert (France).