Match Report: Hull FC 14-22 Warrington Wolves
A brave Hull FC side fell to their first Challenge Cup semi-final defeat in 19 years on Saturday afternoon, agonisinly going down 22-14 to Warrington in a thrilling encounter.
Thousands of Black & Whites who made the trip to Lancashire paraded their colours with pride and Lee Radford’s men fought valiantly against a strong Wolves outfit, but it wasn’t to be for the Airlie Birds who fall short of a Wembley final.
In a nail-biting clash, Hull remained in touch with the Wire throughout the contest, with tries from Bureta Faraimo and Scott Taylor on the day, but as FC pushed for a dramatic ;ast minute winner with the difference just two points on the scoreboard, Joe Philbin put the cherry on the cake for the victors with a late try.
Hull went into the game boosted by Albert Kelly who recovered from injury to feature in the Coral Challenge Cup semi-final.
However, FC were without influential back-rower Sika Manu who missed out with a calf injury.
Warrington dew first blood in torrential conditions at the University of Bolton Stadium after six minutes. An error from Ratu Naulago just yards form his own line allowed the Wolves to take the early advantage. Bryson Goodwin received the ball and dived over to finish in the corner. Ratchford could not convert.
Hull got their first points of the game shortly after. Earning a penalty on their first venture into Warrington territory, Sneyd opted to slot over the two points from in front of the sticks.
FC had their first chance of a try mid-way through the opening half. A rapid break from Jamie Shaul saw the full-back go 50 metres, but could not get the ball away when challenged by Ratchford on his way to the line.
Hull though soon had their first try. A break from Naulago, blazing past Tom Lineham saw him come within feet of the Wire line. Albert Kelly picked up the ball and some great vision from the half saw him kick the ball across field to Bureta Faraimo - some clean hands saw him pick up and crash over in the corner. Sneyd missed the goal and Hull led by two.
But with a further penalty in front of the sticks after some continued pressure, Sneyd slotted over a second.
Warrington though got their second try before the break. A high kick from Blake Austin was collected by Ben Currie who jumped the highest, and scored in front of the Wolves fans. Ratchford this time converted.
Sneyd attempted to bring the scores level at the break with a penalty kick attempt from 45 metres out, but it drifted wide and Hull went in two points behind at half-time.
HALF-TIME: Hull FC 8-10 Warrington Wolves
The Wolves earned the first points of the second try on the 50 minute mark. Dec Patton’s kick wide was collected by Toby King who jumped higher than Bureta Faraimo to retrieve the ball and score. Ratchford kicked the goal.
Hull may have been back in the game when Naulago looked to have scored in the corner before the hour mark, but a video referee referral saw an obstruction in the build-up.
However, Hull ensure the final quarter of the game would be a dramatic finale with Scott Taylor crashing over under the posts with 15 minutes to go. Sneyd reduced the gap to two with the kick.
While Hull gave it their absolute all to find a winner in the closing stages, it wasn’t to be as Joe Philbin made the most of an error in the Hull half in the final seconds to score under the posts and seal the win.
FULL-TIME: Hull FC 14-22 Warrington Wolves
Hull FC: Jamie Shaul, Bureta Faraimo, Josh Griffin, Carlos Tuimavave, Ratu Naulago, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Mickey Paea, Jordan Lane, Mark Minichiello, Joe Westerman.
Interchange: Gareth Ellis, Josh Bowden, Brad Fash, Jake Connor.
Warrington: Stefan Ratchford, Tom Lineham, Bryson Goodwin, Toby King, Jake Mamo, Blake Austin, Dec Patton, Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Jack Hughes, Jason Clark.
Interchange: Joe Philbin, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Matt Davis, Lama Tasi.
Hull FC Tries: Faraimo (23), Taylor (66)
Hull FC Goals: Sneyd (3/5)
Warrington Tries: Goodwin (6), Currie (33), King (50), Philbin (79)
Warrington Goals: Ratchford (3/4)