Challenge Cup Final
24 Aug 2013 - 3:00 PM
Wigan Warriors sealed a record-extending 19th Tetley’s Challenge Cup triumph with victory over Hull FC at a rain-soaked Wembley Stadium.
Centre Iain Thornley and full-back Sam Tomkins scored the only tries of a damp final as persistent rain contributed to the lowest-scoring final for 33 years.
With a crowd of 78,137, The Warriors fans in attendance celebrated with glee as Sean O'Loughlin received the trophy from Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell.
O'Loughlin, back from a two-match injury absence, led from the front in his trademark fashion but the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match went to scrum-half Matty Smith, whose kicking in the difficult conditions proved crucial for his side.
Not much did go right for Hull on the day, they lost skipper Gareth Ellis, their vastly-experienced England forward, with a rib injury after only 14 minutes, although he did return to the action 37 minutes later when Jay Pitts went off with an arm problem.
Full-back Jamie Shaul gve an accomplished display but Hull coach Peter Gentle's decision to bring back centre Ben Crooks backfired as his timing looked awry as he produced three handling errors in the first half alone.
It set the scene for Wigan to lay siege to the Hull line with four consecutive sets but the defence held firm for the majority of the half as they only led 6-0 courtesy of Thornley's 21st-minute try at the break.
Thornley kept his composure to pick up an awkward looking pass as he eluded the attempted tackle of former Wigan second rower Danny Tickle to touch down wide out. Pat Richards was successful with the conversion, the first of four successful kicks.
The Warriors extended their lead two minutes into the second half when Richards put over a penalty for a late tackle by Richard Whiting.
Hull's best moment came on 49 minutes when Shaul broke out of defence and sprinted 70 metres but lost the ball in England winger Josh Charnley's tackle and with that went their hopes of victory.
Wigan were forced to reshuffle when centre Darrell Goulding was knocked out in an attempted tackle on Kirk Yeaman but the Warriors stretched their lead with a second penalty from Richards, this time for an ugly tackle by Aaron Heremaia on O'Loughlin.
Hull produced a spirited late rally but Wigan deservedly had the final say when Tomkins raced past a number of defenders to touch down in the last minute for his 11th try of the competition and secure a 16-0 scoreline.