Special Hull can go for Wembley hat-trick

Hull coach Lee Radford says their achievements over the past two seasons mean a third Challenge Cup success at Wembley next year shouldn’t be ruled out lightly.

The Airlie Birds ended their Wembley hoodoo last year with victory over Warrington, and followed that up last Saturday against the most successful team in the competition, Wigan.

He said: “It’s music to the ears hearing about back-to-back wins. It will take a while for the magnitude of what we’ve achieved to sink in.

“It’s never been won by a Hull side before at Wembley, and then it’s been a bit like buses – two come at once.

“We’ve got a special group of players, 90% of the squad at the weekend was the team that walked out on the field last year and they know the importance of success, and chased it as hard as they could.

“What I noticed this time round was that we won the cup last year and then all of a sudden it’s February time and you’re doing the draw for the next Challenge Cup and you can’t believe how quick it does come around.

“If you look at the challenges we’ve faced over the last couple of years, we’ve played Catalans, St Helens, Wigan, Warrington, Catalans, Castleford, Leeds and then we’ve just beat Wigan again.

“That’s a fair old fixture schedule and to knock them teams off, and in some cases the manner that we’ve knocked them teams off, is pretty special.”

Hull’s fifth title puts them one behind Huddersfield, who are the sixth most successful team in the competition’s history.

It is the fourth time in the last decade that the Challenge Cup has been retained by the holders, following on from St Helens (2007 and 2008), Warrington (2010) and Leeds (2015).

The Airlie Birds have now won the Challenge Cup three times in the last 13 seasons.

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