JACK Hughes pointed to the sky with both hands as he watched Kurt Gidley’s last-minute drop-goal attempt soar towards the posts in front of the East Stand.

It is an indication of how close the effort must have been, and how narrowly The Wire failed to gain their first win of the season on Saturday.

With Mike Cooper having a perfectly good try disallowed at the intervention of an in-goal judge a little earlier it was also a further demonstration of how the wrong side of the rub-of-the-green has a habit of recurring when things are going against you.

Rhys Evans also had a try chalked off in the second half for a forward pass that looked marginal, while Hull’s opening try came after two fortuitous repeat sets, the second was an interception and the third was the result of a swift counter-attack from a poor Wire pass being dropped.

So Wolves, seeking to arrest a six-game losing streak in Super League 2017, suddenly found themselves 20-4 down after 35 minutes.

In such circumstances, and despite errors causing themselves harm in the opening half, to come out of the clash with a point is an encouraging sign that Wolves may have turned a corner with a gallant performance that came in the most testing circumstances.

Emotions of the players, coaches and club staff were raw going into the weekend as it became public a few hours prior to the game that they were all mourning the death of teammate Dom Crosby’s baby daughter Ada.

For Hughes, Crosby’s best pal, it was particularly an immense effort to be just on the field.

He, and his teammates, can rightly feel proud of a lot of good work produced.

There was more spark about the play from the start, with winger Matty Russell finding some lost form with menacing runs and helped himself to a hat-trick in the process.

Super Bennie Westwood rolled back the years, Ryan Atkins stood up to be counted, Toby King looked dangerous in the other centre spot and the packmen were not overshadowed by their opponents.

Most importantly, they looked like a team on a mission, everyone having and knowing their role – which is something that probably could not have not been said in the recent past.


Only the second draw between the sides in the Super League era

First match Wolves have drawn since 16-16 at Hull KR last year

First hat-trick for Russell in Wire colours

Wolves’ sequence without a win in Super League extends to eight matches, including 2016 Grand Final


Super League, Round Seven, Saturday, April 1, 2017

Warrington Wolves...22 Hull FC...22

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Matty Russell, Toby King, Ryan Atkins, Rhys Evans; Kevin Brown, Kurt Gidley; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Westwood, Jack Hughes, Joe Westerman. Subs: Ashton Sims, Brad Dwyer, George King, Joe Philbin.

Hull FC: Jamie Shaul; Mahe Fonua, Jake Connor, Josh Griffin, Steven Michaels; Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd; Scott Taylor, Danny Washbrook, Josh Bowden, Sika Manu, Mark Minichiello, Gareth Ellis. Subs: Jansin Turgut, Jez Litten, Jordan Thompson, Liam Watts.

Scoring: Kelly try, 9mins, Sneyd goal, 0-6; Russell try, 15mins, 4-6; Connor try, 24mins, Sneyd goal, 4-12; Sneyd penalty, 30mins, 4-14; Shaul try, 35mins, Sneyd goal, 4-20; Russell try, 39mins, 8-20; Sneyd penalty, 50mins, 8-22; Clark try, 55mins, Gidley goal, 14-22; Russell try, 65mins, Gidley goal, 20-22; Gidley penalty, 71mins, 22-22

Penalties: Wolves 6 Hull FC 8

Referee: Jack Smith

Attendance: 10,676

Man of the match (live blog fans' poll): Matty Russell