Challenge Cup: Hull FC win again at Wembley
PUBLISHED: 17:29 26 August 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
Hull FC 18 Wigan Warriors 14
Hull FC, until 2016, had never won at Wembley.
Now, in 2017, it seems they can’t stop winning in north-west London after they beat Wigan Warriors, looking for a 20th Wembley success, in the Challenge Cup final.
The difference between the two teams was the kicking game and Mark Sneyd, the Hull half-back was the key man with the boot, from open play and the tee.
It was, however, Wigan who scored first – in the sixth minute – close to the posts when a Thomas Leuluai kick deceived Jamie Shaul and Anthony Gelling sent John Bateman over from close range. George Williams added a routine conversion.
The Hull response, in the 14th minute, also came from a kick, this time from Scott Houghton after Sneyd was almost tackled in possession on the last tackle. Feleti Talanoa simply outjumped Liam Marshall to gather the ball and make a few yards towards the posts to make Sneyd’s conversion easier.
Just past the quarter-point, Sneyd’s bomb was palmed back by Josh Griffin and as Mane Fonua collected the ball, the two closest Warriors collided to take themselves out of the play and make the try simple.
Ater 32 minutes, Leuluai and Sam Powell combined to send Oliver Gildart over to cut the deficit to two points but Williams’ conversion was wide so Hull had that two-point advantage at the interval.
Hull stretched their advantage after a magnificent 40–20 from Sneyd put them back in position to score and, on a last-tackle play, Fonua scored his second try in the corner.
He somehow picked up a bouncing pass from Kelly, held off Joe Burgess and put the ball down before falling into touch. And Sneyd completed what he had started with his boot by converting from the touchline.
With 61 minutes gone, Talanoa thought he had completed a hat-trick, but it was ruled out for an obstruction in the lead-up to the score.
Wigan went straight up to the other end and Tony Clubb – the former London Bronco, who had a kidney removed in the spring – saw his try disallowed as he lost the ball over the try-line .
Wigan finally gave themselves a lifeline with seven minutes to go when Joe Burgess scored in the corner. Williams again missed the conversion leaving the gap still four points.
But there was late drama because, in the 79th minute, Burgess was sent on his way to the try-line, only for play to be called back for a forward pass to Joel Farrell.
Hull FC: Shaul, Fonua, Griffin, Tuimavave, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Manu, Minichello, Ellis. Subs: Connor, Green, Washbrook, Bowden.
Tries: Fonua (2), Talanoa; Goals: Sneyd 3/3
Wigan Warriors: S. Tomkins, Marshall, Gelling, Gildart, J. Burgess, Williams, Leuluai, Nuuausala, McIlorum, Clubb, Farrell, Bateman, O’Loughlin. Subs: Powel, Tautai, Sutton, Isa.
Tries: Bateman, Gildart, Burgess; Goals: Williams 1/3