Rugby Union: Ashton's Brilliance Silences His Critics; Hull 20 Wigan 30

Article excerpt

RUGBY Union-bound Chris Ashton ended a traumatic week on a high as ex-Dragon Trent Barrett set the KC Stadium alight last night.

Ashton has been under fire for his decision to join Guinness Premiership strugglers Northampton Saints on a lucrative three-year deal.

And coach Brian Noble had harsh words for his 19-year-old full back after he was snapped wearing a Saints jersey.

But Ashton showed his commitment to the club by turning out less than 24 hours after a road accident that saw his car written off and his mother injured.

"I had a chat with Chris and if there had been a risk with him he wouldn't have started," said concerned Noble.

"There has been a lot of flak flying around him this week but the way he has handled himself is to his credit."

Ashton, jeered throughout the match by Hull fans, scored Wigan's fifth and final try and celebrated jubilantly in front of the away supporters.

But the four points were the only ones not scored by Down Under double act Barrett and Pat Richards.

Former St George Illawarra Dragons star Barrett plundered his first engage Super League tries and also set up the muchmaligned Richards for the second of his touchdown brace.

Ex-Wests Tigers favourite Richards booted five goals as Wigan won for a third game running. For Hull, it's back to the drawing board after failing to build on the previous week's victory over world champions St Helens. …