Rugby League: Offiah's burst

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Hull. . . .12 Wigan . . .19 Wigan went four points clear at the top of the First Division last night but only after a two-try intervention from Martin Offiah gave them the edge, writes Dave Hadfield.

The theory that between Tests is a good time to play Wigan seemed to have been dented within 90 seconds when two of their Test players, Denis Betts and Barrie McDermott combined for Martin Hall to scamper over.

Hull hardly reacted like a team one from the bottom of the First Division.

After two penalties from Terry Smirk, Jez Cassidy capitalised on good work from Maea David and Steve McNamara to score. A brilliant pass from McNamara soon sent in Paul Sterling for their second try.

Hull would have had another but for Craig Murdock's ankle-tap on Sterling, but Wigan pegged back some of the deficit through a penalty from Andy Farrell to add to his earlier conversion.

Farrell narrowed the gap to two points with another penalty, but it took a Offiah special to put Wigan in front. Henry Paul's pass in his own in-goal area looked risky but Offiah took it to beat a series of tackles for a length-of-the-field try. Within five minutes, Betts put through a perfect kick for Offiah to dive in again.

Sterling twice came close to a break that could have brought Hull level, but Joe Lydon's drop goal made it safe for Wigan four minutes from time.

Hull: G Nolan; Danby, Vaikona, David, Sterling; Endacott, Smirk (Hewitt, 60); Street (Busby, 60), Richardson, McNamara, Busby (Rose, 33), Jackson, J Cassidy.

Wigan: Atcheson; Robinson, Tuigamala (Lydon, 74), Connolly, Offiah; Paul, Murdock; Cowie (Mather, 28), Hall, McDermott (Cowie, 60), Betts, M Cassidy, Farrell.

Referee: G Annesley (Sydney).

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