Hull FC coach Lee Radford has refused to get drawn into a war of words with Wigan coach Shaun Wane, despite his claims earlier this week that the Warriors were “huge underdogs” in tonight’s Challenge Cup semi-final with FC.
Both Wigan and Hull stand within 80 minutes of a trip to Wembley and the final next month, but on national radio earlier this week, Wane insisted Hull were favourites.
But Radford laughed off Wane’s comments earlier in the week, saying all he sees is two sides who are well-matched across the field.
“The bookies don’t say that do they – he needs to get himself in the betting shop,” Radford said when asked about Wane’s comments. “The bookies have got them as slight favourites. There’s two evenly matched teams from one to 17.
“Without bluffing anyone, there is not a great deal between the two sides. Whichever team turns up on Friday and makes the most of their opportunities will win the game.
“Offensively, Wigan are not as high as they’d like to be in terms of try scorers this season. “But they are right up there defensively that tells me when we have got a chance we have to put them to bed.”
Radford also defended his club’s policy with homegrown talent after comments made earlier in the year about Hull’s NRL contingent.
After they were drawn together in the Challenge Cup last month, Wane said: “They’re unbeatable but we’ll try to give them a game. I’d say we’re underdogs. I’ve not got 10 NRL players in my team, I’ve got 10 Wigan lads.”
But Radford replied: “It’s water off a duck’s back as far as I’m concerned. We’ve got the same quota spots as everyone else in the competition.
“I think we had 10 local lads playing last week; our youth production is something I’m really proud of, there’s actually three of our youth products on the coaching staff in Lasty (Andy Last), myself and Horney (Richard Horne); you couldn’t get much more of a homegrown club than ourselves really.”