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Sunday 2nd March 2014, 15:00 - Round:3
|Stefan Ratchford, Trent Waterhouse, Ben Evans,||T||Danny Houghton, Tom Lineham, Fetuli Talanoa,|
Stefan Ratchford 3,
Ben Crooks 2,
Attendance: 10,276 Official: J Child Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium
Warrington Wolves registered their opening First Utility Super League victory of the season with a hard-earned 18-16 success against Hull FC at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Wolves, pre-season favourites with some bookmakers to lift the title in October, had lost their opening two games against St Helens and Leeds Rhinos, but got off the mark at the third attempt as they held off a determined challenge from the visitors.
Wolves full-back Stefan Ratchford finished with a personal tally of 10 points after a try and three goals, while Warrington's other tries came from Trent Waterhouse and Ben Evans, with all the home side's points coming in the first half.
Hull, who have now suffered back-to-back defeats after their opening-day win over Catalan Dragons, replied with tries from Danny Houghton and Tom Lineham with Ben Crooks landing one conversion.
Fetuli Talanoa's try and a Crooks conversion three minutes from time reduced Warrington's lead to just two points to set up a grandstand finish, but Lee Radford's side just could not peg the Wolves back.
Warrington were still without the injured trio of Matty Russell, Paul Wood and Ben Harrison and made just one change to the side that lost narrowly at Leeds the previous weekend, with Simon Grix ruled out with an ankle injury and James Laithwaite drafted in on the bench. Winger Gene Ormsby retained his place on the wing to make his home Super League debut for the Wolves.
Hull prop Garreth Carvell missed out on facing his former club as his ankle problem needs a week's further rest while Chris Tuson and Liam Watts also remained sidelined through injury.
Warrington opened the scoring after just five minutes when on the sixth tackle Richie Myler's delicate kick was pounced upon by Ratchford to touch down, and the try-scorer added the conversion.
Hull, who had twice cut through the Wolves defence without gaining any reward in the opening exchanges, drew level after 12 minutes when following a powerful charge prop Mickey Paea was stopped just short. A quick dart from acting half saw hooker Houghton crash over and Crooks converted to level matters.
The home side regained the lead seven minutes later when following some sustained pressure on the Hull line it was a quick dart and pass from Micky Higham that allowed Waterhouse to score and edge the Wolves back in front.
A superb break by Ratchford from his own line saw the Warrington full-back sprint 60 metres before being hauled down by Hull counterpart Jamie Shaul, who then held on for far too long and referee James Child had no option but to show the yellow card and send him to the sin bin.
Hull looked like weathering the storm while down to 12 men, but in the final minute of Shaul being off the field Warrington struck again for their third try of the half when Gareth O'Brien's kick allowed Evans to win the race to the loose ball over the line and touch down.
Ratchford added the conversion and in the final seconds of the half he kicked a 30-metre penalty to give the Wolves an 18-6 half-time advantage.
A heavy downpour at the start of the second half made conditions tough, but Hull started the second period the better and Shaul was denied by a try-saving tackle by Joel Monaghan.
At the other end Lineham came to Hull's rescue when the power of his tackle forced the ball from Ormsby's grasp as he looked to dive over in the corner.
Hull got themselves back into the game on the hour mark when some slick passing by Joe Westerman and Richard Horne created the space for Lineham to dive over in the corner to make it 18-10.
Horne was held up over the line for Hull and it was the same at the other end as Roy Asotasi was denied for the Wolves.
Hull set up a thrilling finale when with three minutes remaining Aaron Heremaia's pass sent Talanoa over in the corner, and Crooks landed a fine touchline conversion to cut the deficit to just two points, but Warrington hung on.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals