Last weeks one point winners were thrown together as Hull FC played hosts to the Warrington Wolves in the seventh round of Super League 2020.
Third place was up for grabs, should either side secure a large enough margin of victory, but realistically the side to take the spoils would end the night in fourth spot, tucked in behind the Castleford Tigers.
Both sides have had indifferent starts to the season and tonight was a night when a win could kick start something decent, while a loss would start to see a gap opening up to the top sides.
After an industrious opening the Wolves took an early lead as Blake Austin stretched for the line and grounded, one handed, under the shadow of the sticks. Stefan Ratchford added the conversion for the perfect start for the visitors.
What followed was a catalogue of errors, neither side playing with much confidence. Hull struggled to keep the ball and Warrington failed to capitalise, until the thirty-sixth minute when Toby King found Tom Lineham to slide over the line after hitting the deck some five metres out. Ratchford slid his kick inside the far upright for a 12-0 half time lead.
Gareth Widdop opened the second half scoring on forty-seven after a neat one-two with Toby King. Stefan Ratchford was unable to add the extra two but the game was already slipping away from the Airlie Birds.
Anthony Gelling should scored the fourth Wolves try on fifty but he lost the ball as he hit the ground just short of the line under the tackle of Marc Sneyd.
But on fifty-six Gelling made amends as he took a short pass from Widdop to go through a gap in the FC defence to score. Ratchford was again wide of the mark, the visitors twenty points ahead.
It was becoming a procession on fifty-eight as Ben Murdoch-Masila but a double tackle and then went through a massive hole in the broken FC defence to score under the sticks. This time Ratchford was accurate with the kick for 26-0.
Widdop’s second try of the night came on sixty-eight. Taking the ball twenty from the line he drew the defence, threw a dummy and stepped inside to score under the sticks and give Ratchford and easy fourth conversion of the night.
Two minutes later Austin completed his brace through some dreadful Hull tackling as he pushed his way over from twenty metres after throwing a dummy to a bamboozled FC defence. Widdop added the conversion to push his side out to a 38-0 lead.
With just twenty seconds remaining, FC avoided the nilling when Kieron Buchanan found space on the wing to complete an expansive passing move to score in the corner. Sneyd was unable to add the extras, the home side going down by 4-38.
The win lifts the Wolves into fourth in the table, above the Giants on points difference, and on equal league points with the Tigers and the Rhinos. It was far from a great night for them, especially in the first half, but the absolute awfulness of Hull meant it was a comprehensive win. Hull will wonder where such a performance came from, but Warrington won’t care as they take a precious two points back to Cheshire.
FC: Shaul, Fonua, Tuimavave, Griffin, Buchanan, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Satae, Jones, Lane, Bowden. Subs: Johnstone, Matongo, Fash, Brown.
Wolves: Ratchford (4G), Charnely, King, Gelling (T), Lineham (T), Austin (2T), Widdop (G, 2T), Hill, Walker, Cooper, Currie, Murdoch-Masila (T), Clark J. Subs: Philbin, Clark D, Mamo, Akauola.
Referee: Chris Kendall.