Hull FC’s ascent up the Super League table in 2016 has been a delight to watch, and it’s very hard to argue that they don’t deserve to occupy the top spot at this stage of the season.
While their surge to the top of the table can’t be regarded as a changing of the guard just yet, there’s no reason why 2016 can’t be the year Hull FC secure silverware. Following a three-game losing streak at the start of the season, the Airlie Birds have gradually turned things around and have produced some of the best displays of the season.
As a team, they have everything. They’re clinical on the edges, have craft and guile in the halves and arguably have the best pack in the division. While their new signings rightly earn praise for their impact on the team, credit also goes to the likes of Marc Sneyd, Danny Houghton, Liam Watts and Mark Minichiello, who have all found new levels of performance as part of this successful team.
The key to any triumphant side is the ability to get the best out of each individual, and Lee Radford has managed to find a balance at the minute that allows his players to flourish.
There are many variables that could still determine their fate; most notably injuries. But Hull FC have a big squad at their disposal that makes absences easier to deal with. They’ve already been without the likes of Leon Pryce, Carlos Tuimavave and Mahe Fonua for extended periods this year but come through unscathed.
Hull’s title credentials will be scrutinised in the next four weeks. Fixtures against St Helens, Widnes, Warrington and Castleford will test the league leaders as the chasing pack intensify their efforts to knock them off top spot.
But with five straight victories under their belts and key players performing well, it will take something special to stop Hull in the next few weeks. They will suffer blows along the way, and although they may not remain at the top all year, they have as good a chance as any to secure silverware by the end of the season.