27th August 2017, 10:47 | Hull

Taylor targeting more Hull history

Taylor targeting more Hull history

Hull FC prop Scott Taylor believes it will be a failure if the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup winners switch off from their Betfred Super League campaign and not secure their maiden Grand Final crown.

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 Warriors 18-14 in an absorbing final on Saturday.

The nail-biting victory sparked huge celebrations among the 30,000 Hull fans and they will continue with a civic reception on their return to the city on Monday but the players will have little time to bask in their glory as they prepare for a return to league action against Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Thursday.

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 first victory at Old Trafford.

"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."

The Airlie Birds were top of the table going to Wembley in 2016 but suffered a Cup hangover following their victory over Warrington, losing four of their last five Super 8s fixtures to miss out on both the League Leaders' Shield and the Grand Final.

"It was a whole new ball game for us last year, the first time most of us have had any silverware, so we can learn from what happened last year and kick on," said Hull hooker and vice-captain Danny Houghton.

Hull overcome the shock of conceding a fourth-minute try to John Bateman by establishing an 18-10 lead but were hanging on grimly by the end after Wigan winger Joe Burgess scored one try and had another disallowed in the last minute of a dramatic match.

"We've saved our best performances for the Challenge Cup," said Houghton. "These boys are special."

Taylor, who has won at Wembley three times in the last five years, initially with Wigan, believes the victory puts Hull alongside Super League's other big guns.

"We're in the history books now," Taylor said. "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."