Challenge Cup final: Wigan Warriors grind out victory over Hull
Last Updated: 24/08/13 5:35pm
Pat Richards congratulates Wigan tryscorer Ian Thornley
Wigan won the Challenge Cup for a 19th time with an attritional 16-0 victory over Hull FC in the final at Wembley.
Hull were gutsy and defiant in defence but they never really threatened the Wigan line during an error-strewn 80 minutes almost completely dominated by the Cherry and Whites.
When Hull did gain decent field position they coughed up the ball with alarming regularity, in fact some of the knock-ons were almost laughable.
The Airlie Birds did well to keep the scoreline competitive for so long, but that will be of no consolation as their long wait for a win at Wembley goes on, while they are the first side to be kept scoreless in a Challenge Cup final since St Helens in 1989.
Full-back Sam Tomkins and centre Iain Thornley scored the only tries of a disappointing final, which failed miserably to live up to the classic of 1985 between these two teams.
Persistent rain which doused the pitch from early morning contributed to the lowest-scoring final for 33 years but Hull fans among the 78,137 crowd must have been distraught over their team's inept handling.
Wigan skipper Sean O'Loughlin, back from a two-match injury absence, led from the front in his trademark fashion but the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match went to scrum-half Matty Smith, whose kicking in the difficult conditions proved crucial.
Black and Whites full-back Jamie Shaul, who got the chance to make only his sixth senior appearance on the biggest of stages, justified his call-up with an accomplished display but Hull coach Peter Gentle's decision to bring back centre Ben Crooks backfired badly.
Gentle had insisted there was no risk in playing his 20-try centre, who has been out for a month with an ankle injury, but his timing looked awry as he produced three handling errors in the first half alone.
His first blunder would have cost his side a try had winger Jason Crookes not been able to get his body under the ball to prevent Pat Richards touching down.
It set the scene for Wigan to lay siege to their opponents' line with four consecutive sets of tackles but Hull's defence held firm against all the odds.
The Warriors' superior handling betrayed the conditions and they enjoyed a 60-40 share of possession in the first half, yet led only 6-0 courtesy of Thornley's 21st-minute try.
Thornley maintained his composure to pick up an awkward pass by his bootlaces and eluded the attempted tackle of former Wigan second rower Danny Tickle to touch down wide out, although not too far out for Pat Richards to add the conversion, the first of four successful kicks.
Wigan ought to have made more of a clean break by hooker Michael McIlorum but Hull's tenacity kept them in the contest.
Smith was narrowly wide with a drop-goal attempt on the stroke of half-time but the Warriors extended their lead two minutes into the second half when Richards put over a penalty for a late tackle by Richard Whiting.
Hull's best chance came on 49 minutes when Shaul broke out of defence and sprinted 70 metres but lost the ball in England winger Josh Charnley's tackle. With that went their chances of springing an upset.
Wigan were forced into a re-shuffle when centre Darrell Goulding was knocked out in an attempted tackle on Kirk Yeaman that went badly wrong but the Warriors stretched their lead with a second penalty from Richards, this time for an ugly spear tackle by Aaron Heremaia on O'Loughlin.
Hull produced a spirited late rally but Wigan deservedly had the final say when Sam Tomkins touched down Blake Green's cross-kick in the last minute for his 11th try of the competition.
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup
Sun 22nd Mar - Fourth Round
Barrow16 - 56Halifax RLFC
Crusaders40 - 12Doncaster RLFC
Bradford Bulls74 - 6Workington
Dewsbury Rams28 - 18Newcastle Thunder
Gloucestershire All Golds10 - 28Hunslet
Sheffield Eagles44 - 20Oldham
Swinton30 - 12Rochdale Hornets
Sat 18th Apr - Fifth Round
Leigh Miners0 - 0York
Leigh Centurions0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 19th Apr - Fifth Round
Crusaders0 - 0Featherstone Rovers
Batley Bulldogs0 - 0Swinton
Bradford Bulls0 - 0Hull K R
Hunslet0 - 0Dewsbury Rams
Sheffield Eagles0 - 0Hull FC
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Halifax RLFC
2013 Challenge Cup final
Wigan Warriors' Matty Smith was delighted to follow in the footsteps of legends by winning the Lance Todd Trophy.
Andy Lynch urges Hull FC to put their Challenge Cup final disappointment behind them ahead of their trip to Wigan.
Wigan's Iain Thornley could not hide his delight after capping a dream first full season by scoring at Wembley.
- Tickle: Wigan worthy winners
- Wane: What dreams are made of
- Challenge Cup Final preview
- Cup key battles
- Cup final classics
- Hansen: League form irrelevant
- Wane relishing Wembley date
- Ellis proud to lead Hull out
- Richards will relish Wembley
- Houghton unfazed by Wigan test
- Arundel set to miss final
- Dream final for Westerman
- Holdsworth relishing decider
- Yeaman hoping for final nod
- Gentle relishing final battle
- Tomkins focused on Wigan
- What happened to?
- Tickle: We can upset Warriors
- McDonnell faces anxious wait