Warrington Wolves produced a dogged display to see off Hull FC 24-12 and proceed to the semi-finals of the Super League play-offs to keep their title hopes alive.
The Wolves made a slow start but did score the first try in the 14th minute through Trent Waterhouse, who was the first to pounce on the loose ball ahead of Jamie Foster after Jordan Turner had spilled a Lee Briers kick.
Hull FC did enjoy some spells of possession in the Warrington half but never really threatened to pierce the Warrington defence and the Wolves had the most of the first half.
With 33 minutes on the clock, a mistake by Willie Manu losing the ball in collision gave the Wolves position and following a penalty for offside went on to make Hull play when Richie Myler took a superb cut out pass from Briers to make his way over the line. Hodgson’s second goal made it 12-0 which the score would remain until the break.
Warrington continued to have the better of the match at the start of the second half and on 53 minutes Stefan Ratchford scored a fine try to extend the Wolves’ lead. Chris Hill’s offload to Michael Monaghan began the move, and the hooker found Ratchford who put in and then followed his own grubber kick which bounced off the post padding for Ratchford to collect and hold on to the ball to go over for the try.
18-0 down, Hull briefly upped the ante and almost got themselves on to the scoreboard after a fine move on the right hand side but Turner’s offload to Jamie Foster was forward.
And on the hour mark Hodgson finished off a move to add Warrington’s fourth and put the hosts 24-0 up. The ball was kept alive in Hull territory and Myler stepped his way through the defence and found the fullback on his inside to go over and Warrington looked to be easing their way to next week.
But Hull got one back just two minutes later when Tom Briscoe took Aaron Heremaia’s chip kick to the corner. Foster’s touchline conversion making it 24-6.
Hodgson thought he had his second to wrap things up for the home side on the end of a Briers grubber but the video referee strangely ruled it out for an obstruction in the build-up.
And Hull continued to press in a desperate bid to keep their season alive. As Briscoe was squeezed towards the touchline after the visitors moved it wide his desperate offload inside was intercepted by Warrington’s Mike Cooper to intercept, but the Wolves man was bundled into touch to give Hull a scrum 10 metres out. And straight from the scrum the ball was moved through hands for young Ben Crooks to get the ball over. Foster’s conversion reducing the gap to 12 with 8 minutes still remaining.
However, Warrington steadied the ship and managed to keep Hull pressed back. Briers missed a drop goal attempt to stretch the lead to 3 scores but the clock counted down to see the Wolves into the last 4.
The Wolves now go into the hat for tomorrow’s Club Call decision when Wigan Warriors will announce whether they will choose to play either Warrington or Leeds Rhinos in the semi-finals. It is expected the Warriors will follow suit with all their predecessors and pick Leeds, the lowest-ranked side remaining, and by default send the Wolves to St Helens for the other semi-final clash.
The official Club Call announcement will be made tomorrow afternoon at 12:30pm live on Sky Sports News from the DW Stadium lounge.
Warrington: Hodgson, Riley, Ratchford, Atkins, J. Monaghan, Briers, Myler, Morley, Higham, Hill, Waterhouse, Harrison, Grix
Substitutes: M. Monaghan, McCarthy, Wood, Cooper
Hull: Horne, Foster, Turner, Yeaman, T. Briscoe, Seymour, Heremaia, Watts, Houghton, Lynch, Manu, Westerman, Aspinwall
Substitutes: O’Meley, Crooks, Green, Pitts
LSMedia Man of the Match: Richie Myler (Warrington)
Referee: Richard Silverwood