Sneyd Drop-Goal Snatches Dramatic Golden Point Victory Against Wigan
A dramatic golden-point drop-goal from Marc Sneyd claimed a memorable 23-22 victory over Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium in a thrilling Round Three encounter.
The Black & Whites claimed their first victory of the 2019 Betfred Super League season in sensational fashion, with debutante winger Ratu Naulago bagging a brace in the game.
The match also saw an impressive comeback performance for Gareth Ellis, who featured for long periods of his 100th game for the club.
Winger Ratu Naulago made his debut for the Black & Whites after signing a professional contract during the week following a successful trial period in pre-season and the opening rounds.
Back-to-back Challenge Cup winning captain Gareth Ellis came into the squad after being re-registered and started on the bench.
Jamie Shaul meanwhile made his 150th career appearance.
After some promising early pressure from the Black & Whites, it was the Warriors who opened the scoring in the seventh minute of the game, with England international centre Oliver Gildart making the most of an overlap on the right edge of the field. Hardaker converted.
Hull responded though. A tackle off the ball from Dan Sarginson on Ratu Naulago earned Hull a penalty in strong field position, and the visitors made the most of their position close to the line, as Sika Manu’s wide pass found Carlos Tuimavave to touch down in the corner. Sneyd missed the kick.
And at the half-way point of the first-half, Hull took the lead - an outrageous dummy pass from Joe Westerman just yards from the Warriors line saw the loose-forward dance his way over the try-line for Hull’s second score of the game. Sneyd added the extras.
Hull took the tempo of the game up to another level with the addition of former captain Gareth Ellis to the action - and that tempo resulted in a third score of the contest, this time courtesy of Ratu Naulago with a debut try. An outlandish wide pass from Jake Connor was taken by the Fijian, who found open space in front of him to touch down with ease. Sneyd added the goal and Hull lead 16-6.
Adrian Lam’s side hit back before the break though - a neat grubber kick from Sam Powell close to the Hull line baffled the visitor’s defence and debutante Liam Byrne got himself on the score-sheet. Hardaker’s goal reduced the deficit to four points.
The Warriors were dealt a blow though on the stroke of half-time as Joe Greenwood was withdrawn from the action with a head-knock. Taulima Tautai was also sent to the sin-bin before the break for a high-tackle of Jordan Thompson.
HALF-TIME: Wigan Warriors 12-16 Hull FC
Naulago added to his debut score making it a brace just three minutes into the second-half - a quick move down the right edge resulted in the Rugby Union convert diving over to finish a quick move after the restart. Sneyd added the goal.
A nervy third-quarter of the game saw the flow of the game change in the direction of both sides, but Lee Radford’s men held the majority of possession with their ten point lead.
But it was Wigan who made the breakthrough with a 15 minutes left in the game as Ben Flower found a rare gap in the Hull line to crash over. The gap became just four points as Harkdaker was successful with his kick.
Flower crossed the whitewash again shortly after, but was held up by Shaul and Lane.
Drama would still come in the game, with a try in the final seconds with Oliver Gildart touching down in the corner. Hardaker missed the kick to send the game to golden point - the first time a regular round Super League game has done so.
But it would be Hull who claimed the spoils in the extra period in dramatic fashion. The Airlie Birds earned a penalty in their own half in the opening set putting them in a strong position to win the contest with the one pointer, and Sneyd did exactly that from 30 metres out to send the away fans into ecstasy.
FULL-TIME: Wigan Warriors 22-23 Hull FC
Wigan: Zak Hardaker, Tom Davies, Oliver Gildart, Dan Sarginson, Liam Marhsall, George Williams, Thomas Leuluai, Joe Bullock, Sam Powell, Sam Powell, Ben Flower, Joe Greenwood, Willie Isa, Sean O’Loughlin.
Interchange: Taulima Tautai, Liam Byrne, Gabe Hamlin, Jarrod Sammut.
Hull FC: Jamie Shaul, Ratu Naulago, Josh Griffin, Carlos Tuimavave, Bureta Faraimo, Jake Connor, Marc Sneyd, Mickey Paea, Danny Houghton, Masi Matongo, Mark Minichiello, Sika Manu, Joe Westerman.
Interchange: Gareth Ellis, Jordan Lane, Jez Litten, Jordan Thompson.
Wigan Tries: Gildart (7, 80), Byrne (34), Flower (65)
Wigan Goals: Hardaker (3/4)
Hull FC Tries: Tuimavave (14), Westerman (19), Naulago (28, 43)
Hull FC Goals: Sneyd (3/4)
Hull FC Drop-Goals: Sneyd (81)