Hull FC 20 Wigan Warriors 10: Adrian Lam's side crash out of the Challenge Cup

Wigan's wait to end their Challenge Cup drought goes on.

Saturday, 8th May 2021, 4:36 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th May 2021, 4:38 pm
Chris Satae went over for two tries

They had been enjoying an unbeaten season until today but in their biggest game of the campaign so far, they stuttered and stumbled their way to their worst display of the year.

The club may be synonymous with the Challenge Cup they have won a record 19 times, but their last final victory was back in 2013 - and have been back to Wembley just once in that time, losing to FC in '17.

And now, yet again, their full focus will have to be on their faultless Super League campaign.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Adrian Lam's outfit weren't blown away - in the final seconds, they had a chance to send the game to golden point - but this error-littered display didn't have enough to trouble a resolute FC defence.

They had nobody to match the power of two-try Chris Satae, Marc Sneyd's accurate boot contrasted with Wigan s misfiring kicking game, and too many of Lam's better players had off-days. Indeed, their afternoon was typified by the fact Zak Hardaker - one of their shining lights this year - kicked out on the full twice, spilled a catch and missed a straight-forward shot at goal.

Positives were few and far between for Wigan but the return of Dom Manfredi, who scored a second-half try, was one. He returned in place of Tony Clubb who began his first game of an eight-match ban, having been found guilty of making a racist remark against Andre Savelio.

Hull welcomed back Aussie halfback Josh Reynolds but Jake Connor, Brad Fash and Scott Taylor dropped out due to suspension or injury.

Wigan were spirited in the first-half but errors were plentiful, and the biggest positive they took into the interval break was they only tailed 8-4.

They each posted a try but Sneyd's two goals, contrasted with Hardaker's two misses, separated the sides.

Lam's side struck first in the 10th minute as makeshift centre Willie Isa put Jake Bibby over in the corner. But Liam Byrne's second error in the opening 12 minutes provided FC the position to level, Satae thundering over and celebrating by launching the ball at Sam Powell, who was lying on the deck. Sneyd's conversion inched them ahead and extended their lead moments later.

Hull were also guilty of sloppiness with the ball, and were frequently content to kick early in their sets and keep Wigan pinned in their own half.

The Warriors tidied up their play in the third quarter but Hardaker missed with a penalty, and they failed to take advantage when FC's Jack Brown was sin-binned for a knee-high tackle on Joe Shorrocks; some questioned why an earlier knee-high challenge by Powell on Josh Griffin had gone unpunished.

Manfredi made his return to action early in the second-half, prompting a reshuffle with saw Bibby switch to left centre and Farrell restored to his backrow spot.

Sneyd, a thorn with his accurate kicking in open play, was off-target with a 53rd minute penalty but successful two minutes later to open up a 10-4 lead as they began to tighten their grip on the contest.

Bateman released Manfredi with a sweet pass to shift the momentum briefly, but they failed to crack FC's defence and when French fumbled clearing a kick, Satae muscled over in the 65th minute, Sneyd's conversion wedging a 12 point gap between the sides.

French drifted infield to get more involved and in the 79th minute, his well-weighted kick was pounced on by Manfredi. Harry Smith took over the goal-kicking duties and nailed the sideline conversion... giving Wigan 55 seconds to level the scores and send the match into golden point.

But in throwing caution to the wind, Isa spilled the ball and Adam Swift scooped up the loose ball to race away and seal it.

Hull FC: Swift; Scott, Tuimavave, Griffin, Fonua; Reynolds, Sneyd; Satae, Houghton, Sao, Ma'u, Savelio, Lane. Subs: Johnstone, Cator, Brown, Wynne.

Wigan: Hardaker; Bibby, Isa, Farrell, French; Smith, Hastings; Byrne, Powell, Singleton, Bateman, Smithies, Partington. Subs: Bullock, Shorrocks, Havard, Manfredi.

Referee: Robert Hicks

Half-time: 8-4