ALL those of little faith who dared to doubt The Wire, go and sit on the naughty step for an hour.

On an occasion that was ‘do or die’ – a Challenge Cup semi-final - Warrington Wolves delivered to book for the town a third appearance at Wembley in four years at the expense of a form Hull side who have won it twice in recent times.

> All our cup semi-final coverage and reaction

It is no coincidence that the real Wire showed up with England international Stefan Ratchford back in the side – a shock selection after having not been named in the 19-man squad 48 hours earlier.

Warrington Guardian:

Pictures: Mike Boden

In less than 10 weeks since tearing a pectoral muscle, the influential full-back was magnificent – providing a balance, assurance and some confidence that had been missing during a run of four losses in six outings.

But as head coach Steve Price said, all 17 contributed to a magnificent gritty performance and he praised his players for sticking to the game plan for the full 80 minutes.

Warrington Guardian:

Hull boss Lee Radford said the territorial battle was crucial in the torrential rain and Wire co-captain Chris Hill shouted out his half-backs Blake Austin and Dec Patton for a sterling job in guiding the team to the parts of the field they needed to reach at the right times.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Both Austin and Patton produced a precision kick that led to tries from Ben Currie and Toby King, while The Wire’s other touch downs from Bryson Goodwin and Joe Philbin were the rewards for the defence forcing errors and being alert and clinical to capitalise.

For all of that, the pack needed to get on top and all the forwards shone. A special mention is reserved for co-captain Jack Hughes, who started the game in his natural second-row position, then took up the mantle in the front row for a huge period of slog before finishing the game in the centres – an incredible effort.

Warrington Guardian:

Jake Mamo stood in for the injured Josh Charnley superbly as the effectiveness of Hull’s dangerous wing pairing Bureta Faraimo and Ratu Naulago was minimalised by him and Tom Lineham.

Under the cosh in the final 10 minutes and The Wire defending a two-point lead, the backing of the fans reached its peak.

With every beat of the Barmy Army chant it seemed another tackle was made.

Warrington Guardian:

Together an inpenetrable wall was created and it was beautiful to watch.

And it was needed, because this was the closest semi-final The Wire have won in their amazing recent run.

It was the stuff of cup final wins and we can look forward to doing it all again – and more – at Wembley on August 24.


. The Wire’s ninth Challenge Cup semi final in 11 years

. Wolves reach their 10th major final in 11 years

. A Wembley date is booked for the third time in four years

. Cooper’s 300th career appearance

Warrington Guardian:

. Daryl Clark’s 250th career appearance


Challenge Cup, semi-final, Saturday, July 27, 2019

Warrington Wolves...22 Hull FC...14

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Jake Mamo, Toby King, Bryson Goodwin, Tom Lineham; Blake Austin, Declan Patton; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Ben Currie, Jason Clark. Subs: Joe Philbin, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Matt Davis. Not used: Lama Tasi

Hull: Jamie Shaul; Ratu Naulago, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Bureta Faraimo; Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd; Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Mickey Paea, Jordan Lane, Mark Minichiello, Joe Westerman. Subs: Gareth Ellis, Josh Bowden, Brad Fash, Jake Connor

Warrington Guardian:

Scoring: Goodwin try, 5mins, 4-0; Sneyd penalty, 13mins, 4-2; Faraimo try, 26mins, 4-6; Sneyd penalty, 28mins, 4-8; Currie try, 32mins, Ratchford goal, 10-8; King try, 49mins, Ratchford goal, 16-8; Taylor try, 65mins, Sneyd goal, 16-14; Philbin try, 79mins, Ratchford goal, 22-14

Penalties: Wolves 4 Hull 5

Referee: Robert Hicks

Attendance: 24,364 (aggregate)