Lee Radford’s Cup holders Hull FC ‘spike’ at the right time to puncture Castleford Tigers

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HULL FC head coach Lee Radford revealed his side were fired up for their Challenge Cup quarter-final victory – after seeing all the hype about Super League leaders Castleford Tigers.

The holders are just 80 minutes away from another Wembley appearance after producing a classy 32-24 win in searing heat at the KCOM Stadium. They were simply too good for Daryl Powell’s Castleford who, despite being six points clear at the top and favourites to win their first Challenge Cup since 1986, lost for the first time in nine matches.

Jamie Shaul of Hull FC scores their fourth try against Cas (Picture: SWPix.com)

Jamie Shaul of Hull FC scores their fourth try against Cas (Picture: SWPix.com)

“The media didn’t really give us any chance in this game,” said Radford, whose side face Leeds Rhinos in the semi-finals on the weekend of July 29/30.

“I think when the draw came out, the amount of pumping up of their tyres that Cas had really lit a fuse with some of our players. They’re top of the tree in Super League and I think Daryl’s done a super job but knockout football is where you’ve got to be at your best.

“This is the juicy bit of the year now, this is where the excitement starts. You’re making sure you’re spiking in those knockout games and spiking at the end of the Eights and we’ve showed a spike today. But I expect one or two other teams to step up towards the back end of the year, Wigan getting stronger and Huddersfield too.”

Hull are intent on not only reaching Wembley again but Old Trafford, too, after losing in last year’s Super League semi-finals.

This is the juicy bit of the year now, this is where the excitement starts. You’re making sure you’re spiking in those knockout games and spiking at the end of the Eights and we’ve showed a spike today. But I expect one or two other teams to step up towards the back end of the year.

Lee Radford

Report and reaction: Page 7

Hull's players and fans celebrate a huge win (Picture: SWPix.com)

Hull's players and fans celebrate a huge win (Picture: SWPix.com)

Ben Roberts crosses for Castleford as they rallied in the second half before ultimately coming up short. (Picture: Steve Riding)

Ben Roberts crosses for Castleford as they rallied in the second half before ultimately coming up short. (Picture: Steve Riding)