A lacklustre Hull FC were dumped out of the Challenge Cup as they lost 36-4 to Wigan Warriors at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Here’s our verdict.
Andy Last had hoped Hull FC’s passion for the Challenge Cup would inspire a performance at the AJ Bell Stadium and beat the fatigue as they prepared for their third game in 10 days.
However, it was clear from the start that heart alone was going to get Hull nowhere against Wigan Warriors, who got off to the perfect start to set the tone for a rather one-sided first-half.
It took Adrian Lam’s side just five minutes to register their first try as Sam Powell capitalised on a Sean O’Loughlin offload to sneak over the line from close range.
FC clearly lacked the sort of bounce and energy they had displayed against Castleford Tigers six days previous, but they didn’t help themselves either at times. Connor Wynne struggled at times during the first-half and his two knock-ons provided the perfect opportunity for Wigan to build on their lead.
First Liam Farrell dropped on a bouncing ball in the in-goal area before Bevan French got in on the act, shrugging off the challenge of Marc Sneyd, who was making an early return to action, to find his way over the line.
FC did find some momentum after the introductions of Ligi Sao and Chris Satae, but they couldn’t carve out a try scoring opportunity near Wigan’s line.
However, in the final five minutes of the first-half Wigan put the game to bed. Zak Hardaker’s deft grubber bounced perfectly for French to touch down under the posts and on the hooter Joe Burgess was celebrating after picking up a loose ball and going 80m to touch down in the corner.
Hull were always going to require something special in the second half but, any hopes of a comeback were ended when Farrell exploited a gap in the defence and touched down.
Gildart added another before Mahe Fonua got a consolation effort late in the game to ensure the club weren’t nilled.
With minutes to go until the break, Hull were theoretically still in the game on the scoreboard with Wigan leading by just 16 points, but two quick fire efforts before the whistle ensured Hull were dead and buried.
Good day for
Wigan Warriors. The Warriors weren’t outstanding but they didn’t have to be to see off Hull, who were out on their feet in the second half. They advance to face Leeds Rhinos in the semi-finals.
Bad day for
Andy Last. Just when he appeared to be making progress with this side they take an enormous step back. Of course, FC were struggling with fatigue from the first minute of the game but those ugly traits began to sneak back in.
Last had big hopes of winning the Cup this season with their chances of a Super League play-off spot appearing slim. It was a tall order with the Black and Whites playing three games in 10 days, but they’ll have to get used to that workload as the action won’t let up for the remainder of the season.
He’ll be desperate to see an improvement from his side when they take on Salford Red Devils on Thursday.
Goals Sneyd (0/1)
Tries: Powell, Farrell (2), French (2), Burgess, Gildart
Goals: Hardaker (4/7)
Hull FC: Connor Wynne; Bureta Faraimo, Josh Griffin, Carlos Tuimavave, Mahe Fonua; Jake Connor, Marc Sneyd; Masi Matongo, Jordan Johnstone, Brad Fash; Manu Ma’u, Jordan Lane; Joe Cator
Bench: Danny Houghton, Chris Satae, Jack Brown, Ligi Sao
Wigan Warriors: Bevan French; Joe Burgess, Oliver Gildart, Zak Hardaker, Dom Manfredi; Tommy Leuluai, Jackson Hastings; Ethan Havard, Sam Powell, Oliver Partington; Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin
Bench: Joe Greenwood, Mitch Clark, Harry Smith, Joe Shorrocks