Hull are no longer sleeping giants, says Taylor

Scott Taylor, Gareth Ellis and Micky McIlorum watch a big screen replay
Scott Taylor, Gareth Ellis and Micky McIlorum watch a big screen replay

Prop Scott Taylor believes their Challenge Cup final victory against Wigan has firmly established Hull alongside Super League’s other big guns.

“We’re in the history books now,” said Taylor, who won the Cup with Wigan four years ago. “It was mentioned all week about how we would be the first Hull team to retain the cup and his shows what a great set of lads and unbelievable coaching staff we’ve got here.

“It puts up up there. Not many teams go back to back. It just shows that it was no fluke last year. Everyone used to call us the sleeping giants, well if people still think we’re sleeping, they need a slap on the head.”

Lance Todd Trophy winner as man of the match for the second year in a row was scrum-half Marc Sneyd, who edged out two-try winger Mahe Fonua, who had been in danger of losing his place in the team to Steve Michaels after a poor run of form.

“I’m really grateful to Lee Radford for keeping his faith in me,” said Fonua, who will return to the NRL at the end of the season. “I’ve not been in good form these last few weeks and I really needed to repay him.

“I thought I did that. I went back to basics and simplified my game. I hope he’s proud of what I’ve done.”

Fonua thought he had completed a hat-trick only for video referee James Child to disallow a third try because of an obstruction in the build-up.

“I didn’t know why it was chalked off but the video refs get paid to make those calls,” Fonua said. “Unfortunately I didn’t get a hat-trick but I’m really happy with the two tries.”

Taylor is urging his Challenge Cup-winning team-mates not to switch off from their Super League campaign, claiming that their season will be deemed a failure if they do not complete the double.

Twelve months on from winning at Wembley for the first time, Lee Radford’s men made more history by becoming the first Hull team to successfully defend the trophy after withstanding a late fightback to beat Wigan 18-14 in an absorbing final on Saturday.

Third-placed Hull need to beat the second-placed Rhinos if they are to keep alive their home semi-final hopes and improve their chances of a maiden Grand Final victory.

“If we don’t win the Grand Final this year, I think it’s a massive failure,” Taylor said.

“It’s now about not having a dip like we did last year and win our next few games and hopefully secure a home semi-final.

“We’re going to celebrate this and I can’t wait to be stood on the balcony at the City Hall on Monday with the fans and soak it in.

“But three days later we’re back in business at Headingley so we’ll enjoy it but we know that the job is far from done.”