|Hull FC (0) 0|
|Wigan (0) 10|
|Tries: Bibby, Hardaker Goal: Hardaker|
Wigan Warriors secured fourth place in Super League and a play-off spot after victory over a Hull FC side whose own hopes were truly quashed.
After a scoreless opening half, which could only be described as a grinding arm-wrestle, Jake Bibby put Wigan ahead from a Jackson Hastings kick.
Zak Hardaker dinked a kick in behind which he touched down to extend the visitors’ lead.
Hull, who failed to score, came closest through Manu Ma’u in the first half.
With the play-offs looming and a multi-team tussle to reach the top six, there was something in this game for both sides but in the event it was Wigan who came up with the result they needed.
And a top-four finish was confirmed when Castleford, who could have still overhauled them at the start of the day, were beaten at Hull KR.
Adrian Lam’s side have struggled for points in recent weeks but in Hastings and Hardaker they have talented players who can pull off clutch plays when needed.
Hastings’ kick pinned Mitieli Vulikijapani back in his own corner of the field and Bibby’s momentum allowed him to outjump the Fijian to score, while Hardaker fashioned an opportunity of his own with a clever kick and strong chase.
That said, Wigan were not convincing winners in a game short in terms of genuine quality.
Brett Hodgson’s first season as Hull boss has run out of steam, not helped by injuries to Josh Reynolds and Joe Cator, but they named a strong enough squad to give themselves a chance.
Jake Connor showed some delightful touches, such as a perfectly slotted 40-20 kick, but even their heavyweight pack led by Chris Satae, Ligi Sao and Ma’u were unable to lay the platform for success.
Their faint hopes of a play-off push are now over after this loss, and an off-season of regrouping and reshaping is expected for the Black and Whites with a game left to go.
Hull FC boss Brett Hodgson:
“It’s deflating. The effort was there, I don’t question that. But we’re not helping ourselves with way too many errors. We wanted to get cheap points in the second half when we needed to be a bit more patient.
“Rather than build pressure, we went away from what we had planned.
“There is obviously a lack of confidence in the group at the moment. We’ve got to be a lot smarter with what we’re doing.”
Wigan boss Adrian Lam:
“It had a real semi-final feel about it. It’s exactly what we needed. It wasn’t the prettiest win but I’m proud of our efforts defensively. That’s twice in the last three weeks we’ve managed to shut out the opposition on their own ground.
“I loved the mentality of the players, we were mentally tough and quite physical today.
“If you have got your defensive system right at this time of the year, you’re a chance in every game. We lacked cohesion on attack but I’m more focused that we got our defence right. We were committed to each other.”
Hull: Shaul; Vulikijapani, Fonua, Tuimavave, Faraimo; Connor, Sneyd; Sao, Johnstone, Satae, Scott, Savelio, Ma’u
Interchanges: Fash, Lane, McNamara, Wynne
Wigan: Hardaker; Halsall, Bibby, Gildart, Marshall; Smith, Hastings; Partington, Powell, Singleton, Bateman, Farrell, Smithies
Interchanges: Byrne, Havard, Pearce-Paul, Shorrocks