Hull FC will play Wigan for a place in the Grand Final after eliminating third-placed Warrington and ensure the Wolves’ lengthy wait for a league title will continue for at least another season. The Wolves can have no complaints here after a below-par display, combined with a spirited Hull performance, ensured it was Andy Last’s side who made the semi-finals.
Only afforded a place in the play-offs after they were extended to six teams last week, sixth-placed Hull are now just one victory away from a Grand Final at their home stadium.
Fresh from a run of form that has made them feel like a genuine threat, Hull edged ahead first as a pulsating first quarter came to a close. Both sides were impressive defensively in the early stages before a superb passage of link-up play from Jake Connor and Josh Griffin freed Bureta Faraimo to cross for the game’s opening try.
However, that setback spurred the hosts into life. Within two minutes they too had their first try, as quick hands freed Matty Ashton to finish well in the corner. Shortly after, they pulled ahead when Anthony Gelling claimed a Gareth Widdop kick.
But as half-time approached, Hull began to assert control over proceedings once again. Ratchford misread a Connor kick, Joe Cator reacted quickest to ground under the posts, giving Marc Sneyd a simple conversion to make it 12-6, before the scrum-half added a drop goal on the stroke of the interval.
That drop goal extended Hull’s lead to five, and Connor would soon have an influence in them going further ahead when his pass sent Chris Satae over to make it 19-8. Warrington at least set up a compelling final quarter when Ashton scored his second.
Crucially, Ratchford converted this time to narrow the gap to five again - but Hull were able to repel further pressure on their own line. They then went further ahead through a Sneyd penalty before an error from Ben Currie in the final seconds allowed Connor to claim a well-deserved try in the final seconds.