WIGAN, United Kingdom,(Pakistan Point News - APP - 30th july,2016) - A thrilling second-half comeback from Hull FC saw them defeat Wigan Warriors and book their spot in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley, denying Wigan their shot at a 20th title in the process. The Warriors edged a nip-and-tuck first half at the Keepmoat Stadium, with George Williams scoring a try and Hull kept tryless despite enjoying a good amount of possession and territory.
But the Black and Whites came out flying at the start of the second half, with two quick-fire tries from Australian Steven Michaels and Fetuli Talanoa of Tonga ultimately making the difference in a breathless game. Wigan beat Hull FC in the 2013 final, but were pinned deep in their own territory early on in a furious start, with Talanoa making a 50-metre break after three minutes. But against the run of play it was Williams who scored the opening try after 17 minutes with a determined run, crashing through three defenders to dot down in the left corner - with Matty Smith curling the conversion through the uprights.
The visitors responded well however and took two points in front of the posts through Marc Sneyd after Chris Green was tackled high by Ben Flower. Sneyd was in the thick of things again moments later as Sam Tomkins batted away his chip over the top, and Ellis too came within a whisker on the half-hour as he was adjudged to have grounded the ball short of the line by the video referee. But Hull were let off when Wigan looked to have added a second as Lewis Tierney raced over on 34 minutes -- with Oliver Gildart's final pass ruled forward -- and despite more pressure from the Black and Whites late on, Wigan snuffed them out.
Wigan punished Hull's ill-discipline and Smith made it 8-2 four minutes after the interval with a penalty, but the visitors then hit back in style. Thrilling hands from Hull players saw Michaels complete a wonderful team try and finally breach the Warriors defence, before a touchline conversion from Sneyd levelled the scores. Shaul looked to have put his side ahead for the first time just a minute later, but while the video referee ruled he lost the ball in the grounding, the Black and Whites did not have to wait long for another try.
Sneyd put the ball up, Manfredi dropped it and Talanoa made no mistake to make it 14-8 after the conversion on 52 minutes. An exceptional 40-metre kick by Sneyd put them eight points clear with 20 minutes remaining with Wigan penalised on the fifth tackle, but as the Warriors piled on the pressure they set up a grandstand finish with Willie Isa going through a gap to score from Williams' pass. Mark Minichiello thought he had delivered the killer blow on 74 minutes after racing through from a Hull knock-on, but despite the video referee once again ruling it out, Hull clung on to book a date at Wembley.