Maybe not the best, but tell that to Wigan!
So how will we remember the Challenge Cup final of 2013?
That depends which side of the fence you are standing on.
It was certainly a low-scoring affair that Wigan had the better chance of winning because of their better ball retention and superior kicking game. On a day in which the heavens opened with some intent, the pre-match downpour was reminiscent of the 1968 Watersplash final, although the pitch at the new Wembley stood up to it better than the old.
Hull’s Wembley jinx continued, although the science behind it is a bit flimsy. But, sadly for their supporters, that one is going to run and run for at least another year.
There’s no doubt something got to the Hull players, with several of them struggling to hold the ball, although that has been a feature of many games this season. We have commented before on the new ball being used this year as the possible reason for that. No doubt the Rugby Football League is doing its utmost to reverse the growing impression that Super League’s full-time professionals can’t catch.
There was little comparison to be made with Saturday’s game and the legendary 1985 Final between Hull FC and Wigan.
Hull became the first team to be nilled since St Helens, in 1989, also by Wigan. And before that you will have to go back to 1951, when Barrow were left scoreless byâ€¦ you guessed it, Wigan.
Most of us were slightly taken aback that Saturday’s game ended in a nilling, a very rare event in the modern game, even though defences these days are marshalled so well.
Amazingly, that 1951 final was the third year on a row in which the losing team failed to score a single point, making this year’s final only the fifth in which a team has been held scoreless. It was also the lowest number of points scored in a final since Hull KR’s 10-5 win over Hull FC in 1980.
Not that Shaun Wane and his players gave a hoot at the final whistle. And neither did the good folk of Wigan, who will welcome their team back to town this afternoon.
May we add our congratulations to them.
Now for the play-offs.
|Print / Kindle||Print / Digital||Print / Digital|