- Hull FC run out 12-10 winners against Warrington Wolves at the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final
- Tries from Mahe Fonua and Jamie Shaul enough to edge Hull to victory
- Marc Sneyd named Lance Todd Trophy man of the match
Hull FC win the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup after a second half comeback against Warrington Wolves, with the Airlie Birds lifting the Challenge Cup Trophy for the first time ever at Wembley Stadium.
A thrilling encounter awaited at Wembley for this year’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final, Warrington are no strangers to the Wembley stadium, with plenty of experience under their belts. Hull have been the surprise package of Super League this year, however, and make this their second Challenge Cup final in just three years having missed out in 2013 against Wigan Warriors. This was the first ever meeting between the two sides in a major final.
An enthralling start to the game saw Hull come close, paired with some great work from the boot of Marc Sneyd to keep Warrington pegged back for long periods. The primrose and blues were quick to interrupt the Hull game plan though, and on 15 minutes looked as though they would break the deadlock as Kurt Gidley placed a neat ball towards the in-goal area, but Sika Manu made sure it remained scoreless.
Warrington were gifted a great opportunity 24 minutes in after a knock-on 30 metres out. Tony Smith’s men looked to take advantage as quick hands from Kurt Gidley and Chris Sandow fed Ryan Atkins on the wing, the number four was held over the line and his searching offload rolled into touch, allowing Hull some breathing space.
Warrington eventually opened the scoring on 33 minutes as Chris Sandow intercepted a straying pass from a black and white shirt to launch an 80-metre dash for the goal line. Jamie Shaul was on hand to stop Sandow finishing an almost perfect run, but with Hull FC still chasing it created an easy opportunity for Matty Russell to grab the first of the game. Kurt Gidley slotted over from a close angle to nudge Wire ahead at the end of a very close opening period.
HALF TIME: Hull FC 0 – 6 Warrington Wolves
Just two minutes into the restart the pressure forced Hull to be penalised for holding in the tackle, Kurt Gidley immediately signalled for the two from a perfect position, looking to extend Warrington’s tally to eight unanswered points, but the ball sailed wide of the posts.
Almost immediately Hull found themselves in a great position down the other end of the pitch. Scott Taylor provided a delicate touch to the corner, chased by Steve Michaels but Ratchford smothered it just in time to prevent a certain Hull try. The resulting drop goal was enough for Hull to power forward once again, this time Carlos Tumavae just short of the goal line, but the Warrington defence were equal to the attack and the score remained 6-0.
As Hull looked to be closing in on an important comeback, Warrington made an important break to take their tally to 10 after 55 minutes, as great team play from right to left allowed Ben Currie to power into the corner for the Wolves, with Gidley missing the conversion.
With Hull desperately needing a foothold in the game, Marc Sneyd rescued some vital territory on the hour mark with a 40/20. It was exactly the lift the Airlie Birds needed as Scott Taylor was narrowly held over the line before Sneyd turned creator again with a perfect chip cross-field to allow Fonua to touch down in front of the black and white supporters. The boots of Marc Sneyd squeaky clean to complete the move with the conversion to reduce the deficit to just four points.
In just a matter of minutes Hull were overcome with a burst of energy. Marc Sneyd looked to set up Steve Michaels for an equaliser in the corner but a second opinion from the video referee confirmed Stefan Ratchford had just got there in time to deny Hull a score.
On the 73rd minute it was apparent that Hull were here to cause and upset after fantastic play, again from Marc Sneyd, fed Jamie Shaul crashing under the sticks in front of a loud and jubilant Hull FC end. The conversion from directly in front of the uprights was successful from Sneyd as the Airlie Birds edged ahead with seven minutes to go.
With just over a minute left, Warrington looked like they might have snatched the victory from the grasp of Hull, but Ben Currie knocked on just before managing to ground the ball. With Warrington pinned back deep inside their own half, dreams became a reality for Hull as the final hooter sounded, confirming the Yorkshire sides’ first Wembley Challenge Cup win.
FULL TIME: Hull FC 12 -10 Warrington Wolves
Hull FC – 12
Tries: Fonua, Shaul
Conversions: 2/2 Sneyd
Warrington Wolves – 10
Tries: Russell, Currie
Conversions: 1/2 Gidley
Penalty goals: 0/1 Gidley
HT: 6 – 0
Hull FC – 1. Jamie Shaul, 19. Steve Michaels, 2. Mahe Fonua, 24. Kirk Yeaman, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 3. Carlos Tumavae, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Liam Watts, 21. Sika Manu, 12. Mark Minichello, 11. Gareth Ellis (c) Replacements – 22. Josh Bowden, 23. Frank Pritchard, 30. Danny Washbrook, 15. Chris Green.
Warrington Wolves – 6. Stefan Ratchford, 5. Matty Russell, 24. Toby King, 4. Ryan Atkins, 3. Rhys Evans, 1. Kurt Gidley, 7. Chris Sandow, 8. Chris Hill (c), 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Ashton Sims, 11. Ben Currie, 12. Jack Hughes, 14. Joe Westerman. Replacements – 18. George King, 16. Brad Dwyer, 13. Ben Westwood, 33. Ryan Bailey.