Houghton: We won’t fall away this year

Danny Houghton insists Hull FC will not allow a repeat of last season as they go in search of a place in the Grand Final.

The Challenge Cup winners take on Leeds this evening looking to avoid a repeat of last year’s campaign after they faded away following victory at Wembley.

Lee Radford’s side were on for the treble in 2016 but managed just one victory after winning at Wembley,  which resulted in them missing out on the League Leaders’ Shield before they missed out on the Grand Final following a semi-final defeat to Wigan.

Despite another rigorous run-in, Houghton insists the Black and Whites are ready to push on this year having learned lessons last season.

“I think we’ll be able to manage it better this year,” he said.

“We don’t want to get carried away and we want to enjoy this and retain some memories from this, but we will focus on the Grand Final properly now. We’ve got a real shot of getting there this year and we’ll have a real crack at it this year.

“We’ve got a special group of players here who keep turning up for one another and if we can keep sticking at it, there’s no reason why we can’t go all the way in the league.”

The first challenge for Houghton and co is a difficult trip to Headingley to face Leeds Rhinos, who are three points ahead of Hull in Super League.

Defeat would result in Hull all but surrendering second place – and a home semi-final – but Houghton insists they can defeat the Rhinos.

“There’s no hiding away from it, it’ll be tough. Any team that goes to Headingley and wins is a special team but like I say, we can definitely do it. There’s no reason why not. Everyone will put their hand up to play because we know how frustrating it was last year. We want another trophy now before this season is out.”