Wigan Warriors’ Harry Smith earns praise for cool under pressure | Hull FC ‘good enough to win’ | Rugby League News

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Wigan head coach Matt Peet sang the praises of Harry Smith after his game-winning drop goal against Hull FC; Brett Hodgson felt the visitors showed they were good enough to beat the home side

Last Updated: 31/03/22 11:42pm

Harry Smith is mobbed by Zak Hardaker, Cade Cust and Jai Field after kicking Wigan's game-winning drop goal

Harry Smith is mobbed by Zak Hardaker, Cade Cust and Jai Field after kicking Wigan’s game-winning drop goal

Matt Peet praised the composure of Harry Smith after his drop goal two minutes from the end secured Wigan Warriors a 19-18 victory over Hull FC.

It was the second last-gasp winner in a month by Smith, who was deputising for suspended scrum-half Thomas Leuluai, after his late drop goal enabled his side to snatch a 29-28 victory over Toulouse Olympique.

This time, his one-pointer secured a win which lifted his side to the top of the Betfred Super League for at least until St Helens have played Leeds Rhinos on Friday and Warriors head coach Peet was proud of both the young half-back and his team-mates.

Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Wigan Warriors and Hull FC.

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Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Wigan Warriors and Hull FC.

Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Wigan Warriors and Hull FC.

“It was outstanding from Harry,” said Peet. “It was not the prettiest, but he practises hard and he’s very good in those pressure moments.

“Credit must also go to Liam Farrell, who made a carry which got us into position for Harry to slot the drop goal

“I can’t stress how proud I am of the lads in the closing minutes. We’ve got players who have the fitness and drive to come through in big moments.”

Wigan had crowd favourite Bevan French back from a 10-month lay-off, but he was restricted to a second-half role on the wing as his full-back rival Jai Field again grabbed the limelight with the first and last tries of a thrilling encounter.

Matt Peet was pleased with his Wigan side defensively and believes Harry Smith's pressured drop-goal proves he belongs on the field.

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Matt Peet was pleased with his Wigan side defensively and believes Harry Smith’s pressured drop-goal proves he belongs on the field.

Matt Peet was pleased with his Wigan side defensively and believes Harry Smith’s pressured drop-goal proves he belongs on the field.

Peet revealed he has a plan to accommodate both French and Field in his starting line-up but was forced to use the former as a winger after losing Liam Marshall and Willie Isa to hamstring and shoulder injuries respectively at half-time.

“Jai Field scored an excellent try, he broke the game wide open,” Peet said. “He’s got that pace to do that.

“On top of that, I thought his defence was outstanding. He fielded some tough kicks and played really brave. You can see that teams are looking to be physical with him and I think he’s enjoying it.”

“It ended up not being a headache because of the injuries; I didn’t have a decision to make.

Harry Smith described his game-winner as the ugliest drop goal he’ll ever get.

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Harry Smith described his game-winner as the ugliest drop goal he’ll ever get.

Harry Smith described his game-winner as the ugliest drop goal he’ll ever get.

“Bevan’s worked so hard since he came back, it was just great to see him out there. He is one of those players you love to watch, like Jai.”

Peet will now have a full week to prepare for Wigan’s Challenge Cup quarter-final at Wakefield Trinity, which is followed by a Good Friday derby clash with St Helens.

Hull, who had skipper Luke Gale back from a five-match ban, scored two tries in seven minutes just before half-time to take the lead and were also in front when impressive half-back Joe Lovodua created a try for Chris Satae as they pushed the Warriors all the way.

“It was a tough contest,” Black and Whites head coach Brett Hodgson said. “We’re disappointed because we were in a position to win that game.

Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson says his side weren’t quite good enough to get the win against Wigan in a 'high quality' game.

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Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson says his side weren’t quite good enough to get the win against Wigan in a ‘high quality’ game.

Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson says his side weren’t quite good enough to get the win against Wigan in a ‘high quality’ game.

“I’m unbelievably proud of the effort after a short turnaround. We only had the captain’s run to prepare for that game. It was a lot about getting up mentally and I thought we did that.

“We had more than enough chances to wrap it up when 18-12 up, but we probably weren’t clinical enough to shut it out. But I’m not too disheartened because we were good enough to win.

“A classy player on the opposition hurt us twice, which was the difference. We spoke about stopping him, but it’s harder to do it than talk about it.”

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