Hull FC claimed their second rugby Challenge Cup final victory in a row as the Black and Whites’ kicking game proved the decider as both teams went over the try line three times. George Williams’ two missed conversion kicks led to the Warriors paying a heavy price as Hull FC kicker Marc Sneyd converted all three goals. This resulted in the Airlie bird claiming a narrow 18 points to 14 victory.
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Wembley stadium was a fitting location for Rugby League premier knockout tournament as London basked in the sun on a resplendent summer day. Wigan started quickly with John Bateman guiding the ball over the try-line but Black and White wingers Talanoa and Fonua both scored to put the Black and Whites 12-6 up. A second try from Fonua for Hull and a try apiece for Gildart and Burgess for the Warriors ensured the game was decided by the impressive kicking game of Marc Sneyd for Hull FC.
Sneyd converted all three of his goals whereas the lesser experience of Wigan’s George Williams showed as he only converted 33% of his chances. This ensured that the fifth Rugby Challenge Cup Final went the way of Hull FC.
Saturday Challenge Cup final 2017 was the Warriors’ Thirty-Second Challenge Cup final appearance (seven more than closest counter-parts Leeds Rhinos) with Shaun Wane’s men gunning for a twentieth title. However, Hull’s second straight victory means the Warriors have to wait at least another year to the frustration of the Warriors’ fans. Hull’s victory was their fifth Challenge Cup win following recent victories over the Warriors and Warrington Wolves in 2016.
The tie between the two was the fourth meeting between Hull FC and Wigan. The Warriors had claimed all three previous Challenge Cup final results over their opponents. However, it proved to be fourth time lucky for a plucky Hull FC side. The only downside to the day was the attendance of 68,525, the lowest at the new Wembley since 2007.
Following the Challenge Cup final, both sides return to the Super league action this week. The victors travel to Leeds Rhinos on Thursday whereas the Warriors face a local derby against St Helens on Friday. The Challenge Cup may be over for 2017 but there is still plenty of Rugby League action left this season.
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