Back-to-back finals would be “phenomenal achievement”, says Lee Radford

Hull coach Lee Radford insists back-to-back Challenge Cup finals would be a “phenomenal achievement” ahead of their semi-final showdown with Leeds today.

The reigning cup holders are within 80 minutes of a return to the scene of their greatest triumph – Wembley Stadium, where they won the cup 12 months ago with a dramatic victory over Warrington.

And Radford, who oversaw that win, admits it would be a monumental effort to reach the final for the second successive season.

To reach the final two years on the bounce would be a phenomenal achievement,” Radford said.

“If we could achieve that then it would be really, really special. Obviously that’s what we’re all striving towards – being able to show that we’re successful consistently.”

Radford is part of an elite club to win the Cup as a player and a head coach – but he says Hull will have to be sharper with ball in hand if they are to make it back to Wembley and see off the challenge of the Rhinos.

“I think we’ve got to have a little more zip in what we do in their end of the field,” he said.

“It’s usually the pivots who get blamed for a lack of energy, but if the middles aren’t hitting the lines then the pointing finger is aimed at the pivots.

“But on the whole, I think we’ve got some improvements to make in our middles to ensure our pivots can operate properly and we can perform well.”