HULL FC prop Scott Taylor last night claimed the club will have “failed” if they do not pick up at least one piece of silverware this season.
They hope to reach Wembley by winning their Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final against Wigan Warriors tonight and also lead the way in Super League following a superb 2016 so far.
Hull could, in theory, repeat Leeds Rhinos’ treble antics last term if they can emerge on top after the seven rounds of Super 8s to clinch the League Leaders’ Shield before Grand Final glory.
Publicly, the East Yorkshire club are talking down such rhetoric given there is still so much football still to be played and, of course, they are relatively new to such situations.
Their last championship win was as long ago as 1983 and, though they lifted the 2005 Challenge Cup and reached their only Grand Final the year after, they have famously never won at Wembley.
However, privately, they know they have a genuine chance to secure trophies and, indeed, Taylor feels it will be unacceptable if they come away with nothing.
“We have been consistent so far and that’s important going into a game as big as this – a Challenge Cup semi-final,” he told The Yorkshire Post.
“But, for all we’ve won so many games and lead Super League, it all means nothing if we don’t win something at the end of it.
“It would be regarded as a hugely unsuccessful season, a failure, if we don’t have at least one trophy to show for it.
“Sport’s about winning. We’ve put ourselves in a good position but have to go on and do that now.”
Taylor has experience of doing just that having already completed the double with, ironically, Wigan in 2013.
To add to the interest, the Challenge Cup final victory was over Hull when Wigan won 16-0, which must have been a strange experience for the FC supporter.
“It wasn’t a bittersweet day to be honest – it was a brilliant one for me,” he maintained.
“I’m not too sure how my family felt in the immediate aftermath of it, though.
“They were all sat in the FC end with Hull shirts on but that’s not my problem. It didn’t matter who I did it against: to be 22 years of age and lifting the cup was special.
“But to do it with my hometown team? It would be twice as good.”
Taylor had joined Wigan in a £100,000 switch from Hull KR less than 12 months previously but now, after a season-long loan at Salford, is enjoying career-best form in his debut Hull campaign.
He recalled: “With Wigan in 2013, it was pretty similar to what we have here now at Hull.
“We had a really strong squad, were really happy with how we started the year and put ourselves in a great position to try converting that to trophies.
“We managed to do that. We had London in the semi-finals that year (a record-breaking 70-0 victory) and were big favourites.
“We knew deep down that if we played 80 per cent of our best we’d probably get the win whereas this Friday only 100 per cent is acceptable. It seems like it’s a bigger game already.”
Hull have sold more than 7,000 tickets for tonight’s game at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.
Shaun Wane’s Wigan are slight favourites, despite being third in Super League, and Taylor added: “I played there and know what Waney’s like. He’ll have them fired up and there will be some massive opening exchanges.
“They will come out firing and we have to stay patient, get through those opening 20 minutes and hopefully kick on at the back end of the game.
“But we really believe in each other here and we have to keep this winning culture going now until the end of the year.”