Hull FC Academy suffered their first defeat of the 2023 campaign as Wigan Warriors Under 18s came from behind to win 32-14 at the University of Hull this afternoon.
Callum Shaw and Kye Armstrong registered quickfire tries to put Hull 10-0 in front at the break.
After early second-half tries from George O’Loughlin, Kalum Rathbone and Lukas Mason, Roman Dawson got FC back to within two points with a quarter of the match remaining. But the Warriors showed their clinical edge, running in three more tries through Nathan Lowe, Jack Farrimond and Reece Rowcroft to seal the victory.
Both sides started the match positively, with Hull looking more likely to open the scoring with a handful of goodball sets.
But the Warriors were providing all of the answers in defence, not least when Dawson was dragged into touch on the first play of a dangerous scrum from 30 metres out.
The pressure continued to mount and the Black & Whites ensured they made their next scrum play count. This time, the ball was spread to the right and Shaw had enough room to squeeze in at the right corner with just over 30 minutes played.
Buoyed by their opening try, the hosts had all of the momentum. Assisted by a couple of six agains, Hull marched down the field and shortly registered a second try when Jack Charles’ short pass allowed Armstrong to power over from close range.
With the wind in their sails, Hull were willing to play positive, eyes-up rugby on the ascent to half-time. The bounce of the ball was unkind for the Black & Whites, though, as Sully Medforth kicked through for Dawson to chase towards the left corner on play one of another scrum.
HALF-TIME: Hull Academy 10-0 Warriors Academy
Despite Hull’s positive end to the first-half, Wigan took control of the tie early on in the second-half after a Sam Dulson error.
Applying all of the pressure by forcing two drop outs, the Warriors demonstrated their patience and pulled the trigger on the last play, shifting the ball to the left corner, where O’Loughlin dotted down.
The Warriors were soon back on level terms when Farrimond’s grubber kick was grounded by Rathbone.
Hull’s discipline had deserted them and Wigan took full advantage of their territorial dominance, hitting the front through Mason’s powerful drive over the whitewash to the right of the sticks.
A gritty attitude gave Hull a fighting chance with 20 minutes to go, however. Solid defence from the restart forced a Wigan error, allowing Dawson to pick up the loose ball and blister 40 metres down the left touchline to register FC’s third try of the afternoon.
But any comeback hopes suffered another setback when Lowe managed to score in the left corner after some free-flowing play down the middle of the field earlier in the set.
Wigan continued to flex their muscle in the closing stages of the tie, and registered two more tries inside the final five minutes as Farrimond and Rowcroft sealed the victory for the Warriors.
FULL-TIME: Hull Academy 14-32 Warriors Academy
Squads & Scorers
Hull: Moy, Shaw, Westerman, Johnson, Dawson, Charles, Medforth, Thompson, Hodgson, Stipetic, Armstrong, Kirby, Harman
Hull Interchanges: Clark, Dulson, Hutchinson, Wainhouse
Hull Tries: Shaw, Armstrong, Dawson
Hull Goals: Harman (1/3)
Warriors: Hodkinson, Jeffrey, Cartwright, Lowe, O’Loughlin, Yeomans, Farrimond, Brown, Baldwin, T Kelly-Duffy, Irwin, Mason, Kerr
Warriors Interchanges: D Kelly-Duffy, Rathbone, Richmond, Rowcroft
Warriors Tries: O’Loughlin, Rathbone, Mason, Lowe, Farrimond, Rowcroft
Warriors Goals: Farrimond (4/6)