Hull duo eager for cup repeat

Danny Houghton believes the Hull’s improvements in game management will serve them well as they bid to retain the Challenge Cup.

Hull kick-off their trophy defence at home to Catalan on Friday and Houghton admits the club’s long-term target this season was to make it back-to-back wins in the competition.

“It’s something that we pinpointed at the beginning of the year and make a real good run at it,” Houghton told the club’s official website.

“We want to try and recreate those memories from last season and I think it would be a real special moment if we could retain that trophy and it takes a real special group to do that.

“It’d be something that would be really good to do and talking about Catalans, the biggest threat they’re going to pose is the unknown and that’s the biggest task for us – making sure our attitude is really good because the start of the game last week wasn’t where we needed to be.

“If we can get our own house in order then I think it will be a big help to get us into the next round. We’re a real confident group. What we did last year with the cup success has put us in real good stead for this season

“I know we’ve been behind a few times this season and we’ve managed to claw our way back, but I feel that doing that last season a lot, going behind, has really helped with this season in managing games and how to chase it better and how to kill the game a little bit better.”

Houghton’s teammate Josh Bowden will hit a century of appearances for the club on Friday and he is desperate to mark the occasion by securing a place in the quarter-finals.

“It’s exciting – you never really plan to get these milestones, but it’s come round and I’m looking forward to it and trying to get our Challenge Cup run off to a good start,” said Bowden.

“I’ve had my fair share of injuries over the years and it’s probably taken a bit longer than I would have liked to get this 100th game. It’s all good now, my ankle’s feeling fine and I’m all good to go at the weekend.

“All the boys are looking forward to it, especially because of last year. The Challenge Cup is massive for us – obviously we want to get that again as it was an unbelievable feeling to get to Wembley.”

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