If the fat lady wasn’t already singing for the Airlie Birds, she was certainly warming up and going through the scales as Hull FC went into their game against a Wigan Warriors side who are already guaranteed the play-offs and who are now simply sparring for their position in the top six.
FC were without Swift, Bowden and Houghton who were all injured and would start Jordan Johnstone at hooker and Jordan Lane was also in the squad while the Warriors had Oliver Gildart back in their starting line-up.
Both sides lost last time out and both have only won one match in their last five outings, the bookies making the Warriors the favourites on the basis of their league position and despite them losing by 10-6 last week against the Warrington Wolves.
Manu Ma’u was held up over the line on the last tackle as FC went on the early offensive but it was the sign of things to come as the opening half an hour of the game became a real arm wrestle between two ineffective attacks and two robust defences.
Neither side had the wherewithal to cross the whitewash in the opening stanza and the teams went into the sheds bearing the points that they had originally entered the arena.
Six minutes after the restart Jake Connor put in a 40-20 kick which the fielding Zak Hardaker had no option but to carry the ball into touch.
The deadlock was finally broken on fifty-two when a Hastings kick to the corner was collected by Jake Bibby to slide over in the corner. Harry Smith missed the conversion attempt, but Wigan were 4-0 to the good.
Wigan doubled the lead on sixty-two when Zak Hardaker collected his own kick through which had bounced off the uprights to carry the ball over the line to score. Hardaker took over the kicking duties to make it 10-0.
Jamie Shaul went close on seventy-four and earned FC a renewed set before Mitieli Vulikijapani went in but only to be greeted by the referee’s whistle for a forward pass.
This was a dour game played out by two struggling and average sides and in which Wigan eventually ground out the win and in doing so prevented Hull FC from scoring a single point. Wigan are now certain of finishing in fourth spot and a home game in their first play-off match, for Hull their season will end next week with a trip to Wakefield Trinity.
Hull FC: Shaul, Vulikijapani, Fonua, Tuimavave, Faraimo, Connor, Sneyd, Sao, Johnstone, Satae, Scott, Savelio, Ma’u. Subs: Fash, Lane, McNamara, Wynne.
Wigan Warriors: Hardaker (T, G), Marshall, Gildart, Bibby (T), Halsall, Hastings, Smith, Singleton, Powell, Partington, Farrell, Bateman, Smithies. Subs: Byrne, Havard, Pearce-Paul, Shorrocks.
Referee: Chris Kendall.
Score Progression: 0-0 : HT : 0-4, 0-8, 0-10 : FT.