REVIEW: Warrington and Wigan book Grand Final spots

A full wrap of both Super League Semi Finals from the UK as Warrington and Wigan booked their spots at Old Trafford next weekend.

All listed times are AEST (NSW/QLD/VIC/ACT).


RELATED: See the full list of 2016 Super League Draw and Results.


First Semi Final (1 v 4)

Warrington Wolves 18 St Helens 10
Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium
Crowd: 12036
Date: Friday 30 September 2016 at 5:00am

Warrington Wolves (18)
Tries: Kurt Gidley, Stefan Ratchford, Tom Lineham
Goals: Declan Patton 3

St Helens (10)
Tries: Jonny Lomax
Goals: Luke Walsh 3

Wire book place at Old Trafford

RFL Match Report - originally appeared at rugby-league.com

Warrington Wolves have a third opportunity in five years to end their wait to win First Utility Super League's Grand Final after a 18-10 win over St Helens at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The Wire trailed a frenetic semi-final 10-8 at the break after Luke Walsh slotted a penalty for Saints on the stroke of half-time.

But second-half tries from Stefan Ratchford and Tom Lineham saw the League Leaders' Shield winners reach Old Trafford for a third time, having lost to Leeds Rhinos in 2012 and Wigan Warriors in 2013.

The two sides exchanged penalties in the early stages before Kurt Gidley powered over for the game's first try after 30 minutes.

Jonny Lomax finished a flowing move for the visitors a minute before half-time with Walsh's penalty sneaking Saints ahead.

Warrington came out all guns blazing in the second half and it was no surprise when Ratchford squirmed over in the 51st minute after a sustained spell of pressure.

Lineham crossed in the corner on 65 minutes to ease the hosts' nerves, and when James Roby fumbled a yard from the Warrington line with three minutes remaining the game was up.

Warrington coach Tony Smith sang the praises of full-back Ratchford after he played a key role, overcoming a couple of early blunders to score the try that put Wolves in front early in the second half and produced the scoring pass for Lineham's controversial clinching score.

"He had a couple of hairy moments in the first half but he bounced back and built his way back into the match," Smith said. "His work at the back was outstanding and he came up with some really classy plays."

Smith added: "We set out at the start of the year to have a crack at the trophies and we give ourselves another chance.

"We were not far off at Wembley, we got the League Leaders' Shield and we're delighted to be one step closer to the big one.

"I didn't think there was much between the teams in the first half and the scoreline suggests that.

"The teams really had a crack at each other. It was a real arm wrestle and it was important for us to re-group and try to get on top. It took us a while but we did.

"I thought Saints were terrific, the way defended, they made it really tough for us. They've probably been the form team but for my guys, I just felt if something went wrong, there was a real determination about them.

"Character is a key ingredient in rugby league and my boys have got that in abundance. They fought hard for each other and I was delighted for the younger boys who came in and supported the senior guys. They held their own."

There was a question mark over Lineham's try, with slow-motion replays suggesting there was a knock-on, while Saints had a late try from centre Dominique Peyroux ruled out by video referee Joe Cobb.

"We fought hard and played real good semi-final football," said coach Keiron Cunningham. "We just need a bit of luck and a few of those calls which didn't go our way.

"We could talk about (a lack of) composure towards the end. 

"Warrington played exceptionally well but they say it's a game of inches and it certainly was.

"I thought we deserved a little bit more than we got in that game."


Second Semi Final (2 v 3)

Wigan Warriors 28 Hull FC 18
Venue: DW Stadium
Crowd: 10013
Date: Saturday 1 October 2016 at 5:00am

Wigan Warriors (28)
Tries: Lewis Tierney 2, John Bateman, Sam Powell, Anthony Gelling
Goals: Matty Smith 4

Hull FC (18)
Tries: Josh Bowden, Liam Watts, Steve Michaels
Goals: Marc Sneyd 3

Wigan overcome Hull fightback to reach Grand Final

RFL Match Report - originally appeared at rugby-league.com

Wigan Warriors reached their ninth First Utility Super League Grand Final and fourth successive Old Trafford showpiece with a thrilling 28-18 win over Hull.

The visitors mounted a stunning second-half fightback at the DW Stadium but the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup winners eventually succumbed to two late tries.

Lewis Tierney gave Wigan an eighth-minute lead when he crossed in the corner, and it was a case of deja vu for the Hull defence as the same player doubled the hosts' advantage six minutes later.

John Bateman then celebrated his 23rd birthday by diving under the posts on the stroke of half-time, with Matty Smith taking advantage of a far easier conversation to land his first successful kick and make it 14-0 at the break.

Hull revived their hopes in the 46th minute when a break by Danny Washbrook ended with Josh Bowden crashing over.

Liam Watts reduced the deficit to four points moments later and, when Marc Sneyd slotted over his second routine conversion, Wigan's lead had been reduced to two within 10 minutes of the restart.

Just after the hour mark Steven Michaels claimed a try for Hull with Oliver Gildart thinking he had scored down the other end for Wigan.

The video referee eventually awarded Michaels' effort after lengthy deliberations, and with Sneyd landing his kick from the touchline the visitors went 18-16 ahead.

But Sam Powell went over with nine minutes left and a late Anthony Gelling effort sealed the contest.


RELATED: Click here to view the final Super League ladder.

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