Challenge Cup semi-final: Hull FC 16-12 Warrington Wolves

 

Hull FC (10) 16

  • Tries: Lineham, Whiting, Heremaia
  • Goals: Tickle 2

Warrington Wolves (8) 12

  • Tries: J. Monaghan, Waterhouse, Currie

Hull FC will face Wigan in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley on 24 August after they saw off holders Warrington in their last-four tie.

The Wire raced into the lead with early tries from Joel Monaghan and Trent Waterhouse, but Hull responded through Tom Lineham and Richard Whiting.

Aaron Heremaia's second-half try gave Hull an eight-point cushion.

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We don't do things the easy way, but what a gutsy performance

Peter Gentle

Warrington threatened a fightback when Ben Currie crossed, but the Black and Whites held firm to claim the win.

There will be no return to the capital for Warrington, who have won the Challenge Cup in three of the last four seasons, while 2005 winners Hull can prepare for a first appearance in a final since losing to St Helens in 2008.

Hull's victory in Huddersfield was something of a surprise given the respective form of the two teams. They had lost their last five in Super League, while Warrington had won their last eight in all competitions.

While Wigan had cruised through to the final on Saturday, posting a record semi-final score to beat London Broncos, this was always expected to be a much closer affair.

Warrington struck first when forward Ben Westwood showed a great turn of speed to break clear before feeding winger Monaghan.

For Hull, conceding the game's first score was compounded by the loss of full-back Shannon McDonnell, who limped off with an injury as Stefan Ratchford narrowly missed the resulting goal attempt from the touchline.

Ratchford was continuing at scrum-half in the absence of Richie Myler, who was not included in Warrington's matchday squad despite recovering from a knee injury.

Did you know?

When Wigan face Hull FC at Wembley on 24 August, it will be the third time that the two clubs have contested the Challenge Cup final. Wigan were victorious in 1959 and 1985.

And the England international was more accurate with a grubber kick that led to the second Wire score, second-rower Waterhouse showing great endeavour to chase the ball and touch down ahead of two Hull defenders.

However, centre Chris Bridge was less successful with his kick out wide shortly afterwards, as Hull youngster Lineham intercepted and ran the length of the field to get Peter Gentle's men on the scoreboard, before Whiting spotted a gap in the Warrington line to cross.

Handling errors crept into the play of both sides as the tension grew towards the interval, with the Black and Whites taking a 10-8 lead into half time.

At the resumption, man-of-the-match Daniel Holdsworth, back in the Hull side after three games out with a calf problem, produced a moment of quality to loosen the Wire's grip on the famous old trophy.

His stabbed kick was touched down under the posts by Heremaia, and when Danny Tickle landed the conversion, Hull were eight points clear with 30 minutes to play.

Spurred on by a huge travelling support from East Yorkshire, Hull held on despite Currie's late breakaway score and a nervy final set of six, meaning they could start preparing for a return to Wembley and the chance to end their eight-year wait for silverware.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Hull FC head coach Peter Gentle told BBC Sport:

"We don't do things the easy way, but what a gutsy performance, especially after losing Shannon McDonnell so early.

"Our kicking game and our defence were exceptional. We really believed we could get to Wembley. It's a dream come true."

Hull FC stand-off and man-of-the-match Daniel Holdsworth told BBC Sport:

"We backed ourselves going in because we knew we had a chance. It was a great effort from the boys.

"Coming from Australia, you don't really understand how big an occasion it [the Challenge Cup final is]. It took me a few years to realise, and I can't believe it."

Warrington Wolves head coach Tony Smith told BBC Sport:

"We were great for the first 10 or 15 minutes and then just lost our way. That's when Hull really got their tails up and they ended up dominating the next 60 minutes.

"We fought our way back but we left ourselves with too much to do.

"I can't fault the effort of my players. They're pretty sore about not getting back to Wembley, but we can concentrate on Super League now and give it everything we've got."

Warrington Wolves stand-off Lee Briers told BBC Sport:

"Hull played really well and deserved it on the day. We weren't composed enough, we dropped too much ball and that's uncharacteristic of us.

"In big games like this, you need to play well. Hull did and we didn't. Fair play to them, they were much the better side.

"We need to get over this one and I'm sure we will. We've got a lot of older, experienced heads in there and we'll get back on track."

SUNDAY'S LINE-UPS

Hull FC: McDonnell; Lineham, Arundel, Yeaman, Briscoe; Holdsworth, Miller; Watts, Houghton, O'Meley, Ellis, Tickle, Westerman.

Replacements: Lynch, Pitts, Whiting, Heremaia.

Warrington Wolves: Hodgson; C. Riley, Grix, Bridge, J. Monaghan; Briers, Ratchford; Wood, Higham, Hill, Waterhouse, Westwood, Cooper.

Replacements: Morley, M. Monaghan, Carvell, Currie.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury).

Attendance: 10,621