Warrington 24 Hull 12: Grand Final in sight as Wolves keep the double dream alive
20:03 GMT, 22 September 2012
Warrington kept alive their hopes of the double with a hard-fought Super League play-off victory over Hull that takes them to within 80 minutes of a maiden Grand Final appearance.
Veterans Brett Hodgson and Lee Briers once more led the way as the Challenge Cup winners secured only their third victory in 11 play-off ties to bring Hull's season to an end.
With Wigan almost certain to choose Leeds as their semi-final opponents in the Clubcall announcement, Warrington will be handed the chance to avenge last week's home defeat by St Helens, although this time they will have to go to Langtree Park.
Fighting spirit: Stefan Ratchford goes over for the Warriors' third try
Warrington sorely missed injured England forwards Ben Westwood and Garreth Carvell but still had enough firepower to cruise into a 24-0 lead after an hour before their opponents produced a late rally.
Hull looked a pale shadow of the side that had piled up 152 points in their last three matches as they rarely threatened the Warrington tryline until the final quarter.
Warrington were not much better but in stand-off Briers they had a man capable of causing no end of problems with his tactical kicking.
There was a sign of things to come when Hull full-back Richard Horne spilled one of Briers' towering kicks five minutes into the match and, when centre Jordan Turner failed to diffuse one of his 'bombs' on 13 minutes, second rower Trent Waterhouse was the first to reach the ball to record the opening try.
Briers was also the architect for the Wolves' second try seven minutes before half-time, this time with a perfectly-timed pass that enabled his half-back partner Richie Myler to slice through a gap in the visitors' defence.
Full-back Hodgson, another constant threat for the hosts, added both conversions to make it 12-0, which was the least the home side deserved for their first-half dominance.
Hull's best chance came four minutes into the second half when England winger Tom Briscoe collected Brett Seymour's kick to the corner before offloading to Aaron Heremaia but he was easily bundled into touch.
There was no way back for Hull when centre Stefan Ratchford demonstrated his exceptional talent in scoring the Wolves' third try on 53 minutes.
There seemed nothing on when the utility back got the ball 20 metres out but he fended off two defenders before kicking ahead and gathering a ricochet off a post to touch down for an opportunist score.
Hodgson kicked his third goal to make it 18-0 and, with the game effectively gone, Hull produced their best spell of the match.
Heremaia dropped a pass from prop Mark O'Meley with the tryline beckoning and right winger Jamie Foster got over the line only to be recalled for a forward pass.
Myler broke clear to get Hodgson over for his side's fourth try to stretch his side's lead to 24-0 but the Black and Whites struck back when Briscoe raced onto Heremaia's grubber kick to touch down.
Hodgson then had a second try disallowed and Hull had the final say when substitute centre Ben Crooks took Richard Horne's pass to score his side's second try, with Foster kicking his second goal on his final appearance for the club.