The Wigan Warriors ended Hull FC’s hopes of contesting a ‘home’ grand final, putting the Black and Whites to the sword in a 29-2 walkover. Jack Walker reports.
|13th||Goal Marc Sneyd (Hull)||Hull 2-0|
|27th||Try Joe Burgess (Wigan)||Wigan 4-2|
|28th||Goal Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 6-2|
|33rd||Try Harry Smith (Wigan)||Wigan 10-2|
|34th||Goal Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 12-2|
|40th||Drop Goal Harry Smith (Wigan)||Wigan 13-2|
|45th||Try Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 17-2|
|46th||Goal Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 19-2|
|75th||Try Jake Bibby (Wigan)||Wigan 23-2|
|79th||Try Bevan French (Wigan)||Wigan 27-2|
|80th||Goal Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 29-2|
Wigan swept Hull FC aside with a controlled performance – in stalwart Sean O’Loughlin’s final home game – for the club to book their place in yet another grand final.
The Irishman’s 458th appearance was one of the best as the home side dominated proceedings; Marc Sneyd’s early penalty goal would prove to be Hull’s only moment to cheer, in what ended up being a rather routine win for the Warriors.
Hull started the better side, but first-half tries from Joe Burgess and Harry Smith quickly saw the game fall out of the visitors’ reach.
Zak Hardaker’s kicking was on point in the opening forty – kicking both conversions with ease – and Smith added a drop goal in the final seconds to give Wigan a 13-2 lead at the break.
The wasn’t over as the two sides were only separated by two crossings and a goal, but Hardaker put an end to that five minutes after the restart when he went over before converting.
Jake Bibby and Bevan French rubbed salt in Hull’s wounds late on as the team from East Yorkshire seemed to know their fate was sealed.
It spelled a sorry end to a run that had given the Yorkshire outfit hope of a ‘home’ final and, although they comfortably out-did their cross-city rivals yet again, the Black and White faithful won’t be completely happy with the campaign.
Wigan, however, lie in wait for either St Helens or Catalans in the grand final and are eyeing up another celebratory night on Friday, 27 November.
Hardaker makes it safe
Despite Wigan leading at the break, the curtains weren’t shut on FC’s hopes when the second forty kicked off, but Zak Hardaker’s try and conversion just five minutes into the half made sure that Wigan could manage the game and see it home comfortably. What a performance he put in, by the way.
Wigan Warriors: French, Bibby, Hardaker, Gildart, J. Burgess, Smith, Leuluai, Bullock, Hastings, Singleton, Farrell, Isa, Partington.
Replacements: Clubb, Flower, O’Loughlin, Smithies.
Hull FC: Connor, Naulago, Fonua, Griffin, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Sneyd, Taylor, Johnstone, Bowden, Ma’u, Savelio, Cator
Replacements: Houghton, Satae, Sao, Fash.
Referee: Chris Kendall (RFL).