HULL FC’S Jamie Foster says his side will take inspiration from champions Leeds Rhinos as they bid to stun Warrington Wolves tomorrow night.
The prolific winger suffered at the hands of the West Yorkshire club in last season’s Grand Final when he featured in St Helens’ 32-16 loss at Old Trafford.
But Foster, currently on loan from Saints, points to the game which got Leeds to Manchester as the one which will now influence underdogs Hull.
“I remember being sat on the couch last year watching Leeds go there (Warrington) and I’d written them off before they’d even kicked of,” he recalled.
“Then the next thing I’m watching Kevin Sinfield steal the game in the last couple of minutes.
“Stranger things have happened and I’m real looking forward to hopefully surprising a few people now with Hull.
“I get asked this all the time ‘Do you think you can beat Warrington?’
“I never used to get asked these questions as when you play for St Helens it goes without saying.
“But I do genuinely believe that this Hull team has got enough to go to Warrington and win.”
Sinfield’s penalty saw fifth-placed Leeds dramatically thwart the minor premiers 26-24 in last year’s qualifying semi-final and deny high-flying Warrington, yet again, their maiden Grand Final appearance.
Challenge Cup winners Wolves came in second this term but were swatted aside 28-6 by St Helens on Saturday to leave them even in danger of missing out on the last four if Hull can cause another shock.
Foster had double reason to celebrate that victory; if Saints had lost, he would not have been able to play tomorrow night as part of his loan agreement.
“I wasn’t half cheering them on,” he laughed. “I was getting a few dirty looks at Warrington and I’m sure I’ll get a few on Saturday too.
“It comes with the job. I just want to keep playing. If it meant sitting in the stand watching a game for 80 minutes it’d have killed me so I’m glad it’s panned out the way it has.
“I just hope we don’t meet Saints in the Grand Final.”
Foster, 23, has thrived in his eight-game loan spell in the East Riding.
Super League’s top points scorer last year, and third in the try-scoring list, he fell out of favour at Saints this summer and was desperate for some game time.
His has responded with five tries so far, scoring a brace in Sunday night’s 46-10 destruction of Huddersfield Giants meaning, allied to his dead-eye goal-kicking, he has already passed the 100-point mark.
Hull were impressive with their professionalism as they unpicked Huddersfield – a first play-off win in five years – but Foster insisted: “That won’t be enough for Warrington. It’s as simple as that. We’ve got to pick up again.
“Obviously, I went to see them against Saints and they played pretty poorly so we’re going to get the backlash from that. If you don’t start well at Warrington they can rack up so many points it could be over at half-time and a case of damage limitation.
“If we start well, though, hopefully that’ll spook them.
“To go over the top of them and beat them we’ll have to improve again but we’re very confident of doing that.”
Hull’s sole Grand Final appearance was when Saints defeated them in 2006.
Saints, remarkably, have featured in every showpiece since yet, famously, lost all five.
Foster has played in each of the last two but said: “This would be my biggest achievement getting there with Hull.
“I’m not just saying it because they are any less of a club. I just think the way people speak about them it would be a massive shock to the rugby league world if Hull got there.
“I don’t see why they can’t.”
But if Saints arrive at the Theatre of Dreams on October 6 too, then there will be an interesting conversation to be had with his Saints boss Mike Rush...