6th December 2017, 10:16 | Hull

2017 season review: Hull FC

2017 season review: Hull FC

Betfred Super League: 3rd; semi-finals

Ladbrokes Challenge Cup: Winners

Top Scorer: Albert Kelly (19)

 

The Black and Whites enjoyed another strong season in 2017, but once again Wembley glory will be the stand-out memory as they lifted the Challenge Cup for a second year in a row.

As defending champions, Lee Radford’s men seemed to visibly step up their game in the competition; firstly thrashing Catalans Dragons 62-0 in round six before seeing off league leaders Castleford Tigers with an excellent performance in the quarter-finals.

They faced another tough test in the semi-finals when they took on Leeds, a team they hadn’t beaten in their last eight meetings, but again they were imperious and came away with a 43-24 win.

So, onto Wembley and history repeated itself. Despite a late fightback from opponents Wigan Warriors, the Airlie Birds held on to retain the trophy with an 18-14 win.

The focus would now switch to making it to Old Trafford and they were in a good position to make the play-offs entering the Super8s stage.

Despite not looking as strong as they did in the league in 2016, Hull had held a top four spot for the majority of the campaign.

However after the Wembley triumph, defeats to Leeds and Wigan had put their semi-final spot in jeopardy, with just two Super8s games remaining.

A dramatic 19-18 win over Wakefield Trinity thanks to a Marc Sneyd drop goal left a must-win game at Castleford. With the Tigers resting a number of key men ahead of their semi-final, FC triumphed to take third spot on the final weekend of games.

Leeds were their opponents in the semi-finals again and in an enthralling and bruising encounter, the Rhinos prevailed 18-16 to deny Hull a Grand Final spot.

 

The Coach: Lee Radford

Super League’s coach of the year in 2016, Radford enjoyed another strong campaign this year, memorably guiding his team to the Challenge Cup again.

The capture of Albert Kelly proved a master-stroke, with the half-back chipping in with plenty key tries over the campaign.

 

Player of the season: Albert Kelly

After making the controversial switch from cross-city rivals Hull KR, Kelly turned out to be one of the signings of the Super League season.

He started the season with 17 tries in his first 16 league games and went onto make the end-of-season Man of Steel shortlist.

 

Game of the Season: Challenge Cup Final

After ending their Wembley hoodoo 12 months before hand, Hull returned to the capital seeking to retain the title after superbly defending it through the previous three rounds.

An early effort from Fetuli Talanoa and two from the departing Mahe Fonua, sent him and the retiring Gareth Ellis off from the KCOM with silverware, despite Wigan threatening to pinch the win late in the game.

 

Try of the Season: Jamie Shaul

Jamie Shaul has scored some sensational solo run tries in 2017 but this brilliant piece of individual skill to score against Wigan tops all of them.

To land a perfectly-weighted chip over the Warriors backline and then touch down with an amazing finish, deservedly places this as Hull’s best try this year.