Pictures Eddie Whitham
WARRINGTON Wolves’ season came to a crashing end as they were beaten 27-14 by underdogs Hull in the Super League play-offs.
For the second successive year, Warrington’s Grand Final dreams were ended at the first stage of the play-offs at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Trailing 13-8 at half-time, Steve Price’s side just couldn’t find a way to unlock the Hull defence and Marc Sneyd’s kicking game proved instrumental in securing the win for Hull, who now move within one game of making the Grand Final, which will this year be played at their home ground, the KCOM Stadium.
It took 18 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, Hull withstanding some Warrington pressure before opening the score through Bureta Faraimo, as they created numbers on the left hand side.
But the Wolves turned it around with two tries in four minutes, as first Matty Ashton touched down in the left corner and then Anthony Gelling rose highest to claim a cross field kick and touch down for 8-6.
Lady luck was smiling on Hull and when Jake Connor’s short kick slipped through the hands of Ben Currie under the posts, tireless forward Joe Cator crashed over, before Sneyd added a drop goal on the stroke of half-time.
Although Warrington were still fancied to come back in the second half, it was Hull that got a big score at the start of the second half, Tevita Satae crashing over off Connor’s short ball to stretch their lead to 19-8.
Ashton’s second try, and a first conversion for Stefan Ratchford, got the Wolves back within a score, but they just couldn’t find their way over the try line.
And when Chris Hill conceded a penalty for a sloppy high tackle on Scott Taylor with 12 minutes to play, their task got much harder, Sneyd taking the two to restore their two score advantage.
Then to rub salt in the wounds, Connor picked the pocket of Gareth Widdop in the Wolves in goal to secure a late try and seal the win and a play-off date at Wigan next Thursday.
Warrington: Ratchford, Ashton, King, Gelling, Charnley, Austin, Widdop, Hill, D Clark, Philbin, Currie, Hughes, J Clark. Subs: Murdoch-Masila, Mamo, Davis, Robson.
Hull: Connor, Naulago, Fonua, Griffin, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Sneyd, Taylor, Johnstone, Bowden, Mau, Savelio, Cator. Subs: Houghton, Satae, Sao, Fash.