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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
David Craven

Hull's Josh Griffin "turns back clock" with match-winning hat-trick against Warrington

Unlikely hat-trick hero Josh Griffin fired up Hull and ruined Warrington’s hopes of reclaiming Super League’s top spot.

Tony Smith’s resilient side recovered from 12-0 down to round off Magic Weekend in style. Second-row Griffin claimed all his three tries inside just 17 minutes in the second half. The 33 year-old has converted from centre to the pack in recent times but clearly lost none of his strike quality.

Hull had lost seven on the bounce earlier in the year but have now won five of their last six to rise up to ninth. After a 30-18 success, Smith enthused: “We played some good footy up against a top-of-the table side. Warrington will always be dangerous with people like George Williams. We had to be right on our game and were for most of it. It’s hard to come from behind against them and we had to dig our way back, particularly in the first half.

“But we found some energy in that second half. It’s really pleasing and I’m happy for the boys. I thought Josh Griffin turned back the clock a bit there, using his speed to score tries. That last try of his was terrific. I was pleased for him.”

Warrington surged into their lead courtesy of Connor Wrench and Williams tries, both converted by Stefan Ratchford. But Hull reclaimed a short kick-off for Danny Houghton to begin the fightback, Jake Clifford slotting the first of his three goals. Smith’s side also started the second period by winning a short restart. And they made it pay with a ruthless spell.

Winger Adam Swift latched onto Clifford’s grubber to score and, in the next set, scrum-half Clifford put Griffin over with a lovely pass. Jake Trueman’s perfect chip saw Griffin quickly add his second before Wolves stopped the rot with Wrench’s second try, Ratchford seeing his side just 20-18 behind. But Swift produced a stunning try-saving tackle on England captain Williams on the hour mark. And it proved crucial.

Soon after, full-back Tex Hoy made a brilliant kick return to set Swift clear and elated Griffin rounded off his first treble in five years. When Matt Dufty embarrassingly spilled Clifford’s long kick, Hoy dummied past Greg Minikin to make sure of a famous success. Warrington boss Daryl Powell has seen his title hopefuls suffer back-to-back losses.

He bemoaned: “We didn’t deal with the kick-off and conceded from kicks consistently. We just weren’t quite good enough to take our opportunities. We defended some edge plays poorly. It’s all in there for us. But we have to find it again.”

  • Magic Weekend’s aggregate attendance was 63,269, up slightly on last year’s 62,154 and another positive for organisers who hope the concept will continue again in 2024 with its future hoped to be decided by the end of the month.

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