Chris Satae doubled his try tally for Hull to help them reach the last four of the Betfred Challenge Cup with a resounding 20-10 quarter-final win over Wigan.
The 28-year-old front-rower, who scored just two tries in his debut season in England in 2020, touched down in each half as the Black and Whites inflicted a first defeat of the campaign on Wigan, just nine days after losing to them in Super League.
It means former Huddersfield and Warrington full-back Brett Hodgson is just 80 minutes away from guiding Hull to a Wembley appearance in his first season as head coach.
Satae’s man of the match performance provided the backbone to an impressive performance by a Hull pack shorn of four specialist props due to injury and suspension.
Hull were without influential full-back Jake Connor but were boosted by the return of Australian stand-off Josh Reynolds for only his third appearance for the club, and his half-back partnership with captain Marc Sneyd was crucial in a game played in persistent rain.
The Warriors handed prop Liam Byrne his first start since September in the absence of Tony Clubb, who began his eight-match ban for racially abusing Hull back-rower Andre Savelio in last Thursday’s game at Wigan.
But Byrne’s handling twice let him down and Morgan Smithies also knocked on inside his own half as Wigan struggled to find any cohesion throughout the first half in the difficult conditions.
Yet Wigan, who had winger Dom Manfredi making first appearance since October from the bench, made the perfect start, with makeshift centre Willie Isa putting winger Jake Bibby over for his seventh try of the season after nine minutes.
Hull drew level three minutes later after Satae powered onto Danny Houghton’s pass from dummy half for his first try of the season.
Sneyd added the conversion and put over a penalty midway through the first half to extend his side’s lead to 8-4.
As the Warriors gradually settled into the game, Liam Farrell was held up over the line and Zak Hardaker, who missed the target with his early conversion attempt, struck an upright with a penalty to leave his side trailing by four points at the break.
Wigan failed to make use of the extra man with prop Jack Brown sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle and Hull missed a chance to extend their lead when Sneyd, surprisingly, was wide with a penalty kick at goal after 53 minutes.
However, Sneyd made amends shortly afterwards when Reynolds was tackled late by Smithies to make it 10-4.
Wigan’s best chance of the second half was created by second-rower John Bateman as his pass out of the tackle released Manfredi into space but Adam Swift, initially chosen as a makeshift full-back, got back to make the tackle and it proved decisive.
When Bevan French fumbled the ball from Sneyd’s high kick, it gifted Hull a perfect attacking position and they made it count as Satae took Houghton’s pass to go on another rampaging run to the line, forcing the ball down despite the attention of Farrell and Joe Shorrocks.
Sneyd’s fourth goal made it 16-4 and, when Hardaker kicked out on the full for the second time in the match, it summed up Wigan’s miserable afternoon, although they managed a consolation try through Manfredi 90 seconds from the end.
Harry Smith’s conversion brought his side back to within a converted try but when they pushed for a leveller in the dying seconds, Isa dropped the ball and Swift pounced for an 80-metre opportunist to wrap up the scoring.
Hull: Swift; Scott, Tuimavave, Griffin, Fonua; Reynolds, Sneyd; Satae, Houghton, Sao, Ma’u, Savelio, Lane. Subs: Brown, Cator, Johnstone, Wynne.
Tries: Satae (2), Swift Goals: Sneyd 4
Wigan: Hardaker; Bibby, Isa, Farrell, French; Smith, Hastings; Singleton, Powell, Byrne, Smithies, Bateman, Partington. Subs: Bullock, Shorrocks, Havard, Manfredi.
Tries: Bibby, Manfredi Goals: Smith 1