WARRINGTON Wolves had the perfect Wembley tonic as they overcame a determined Hull FC at the Halliwell Jones with a 36-18 victory to strengthen their grip on second spot in the league.
Wolves coach Tony Smith fielded a strong side despite next week’s Challenge Cup final date, with only Lee Briers and Garreth Carvell rested from the 19 man squad.
Hull chasing 4th spot, matched Warrington every step of the way for the opening 40 minutes with the scores locked 12-12 at the break.
But Warrington’s pace and handling skills finally began to tell on a tiring defence in the final quarter.
The visitors dominated the opening exchanges and were good value for the first try after eight minutes, Danny Tickle’s fine long pass finding Tom Briscoe who finished well in the corner under sever pressure. Tickle added the extras from the touchline to make it 6-0.
They were made to pay for Willie Manu’s careless high shot on Ben Harrison, as Louis Anderson put Chris Riley in for the winger’s 24th try of the season. Ben Westwood (pictured) matched Tickle’s touchline effort and the scores were level.
Craig Hall thought he was in for Hull’s second try on 30 minutes only for the video referee to chalk it off for Tickle’s obstruction on Richie Myler.
But there was no denying Epalahame Lauaki moments later as the giant Tongan collected Craig Fitzgibbon’s offload to score.
Tickle again converted but Warrington hit back on the final play of the half, as the ball was swept out wide and Ryan Atkins offloaded superbly on his way into touch for Riley to score his second try. Westwood again added another touchline conversion and the sides headed in tied at 12-12.
Hull could not match their fiercely committed display in the second half, as the Wolves seized control. Tickle’s sin-binning for holding down Monaghan quickly proved to be the turning point, as Monaghan shaped to kick on the last tackle, broke instead and exchanged passes with Westwood before putting Jon Clarke over, Westwood again converting.
Five minutes later Danny Houghton and Manu were penalised in quick succession and Westwood
powered over, then knocked over the kick.
Hull were briefly given some hope when Lee Radford hacked on to score, but the veteran had barely finished celebrating before he knocked on straight from the kick off and Wolves skipper Adrian Morley barged his way over.
There was no coming back from there for Hull, as Clarke put Myler over beneath the posts and man-of-the-match Westwood slotted his sixth kick from six attempts to the cheers of the Wolves faithful in the 10,000 plus crowd.
Ryan Atkins off loads superbly to set up Riley’s try (pictured top)
Richie Myler goes over to help secure the victory
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