VICE-CAPTAIN Danny Houghton is under no illusions that Hull FC will need their best performance of the season tonight to reach Old Trafford.
With the stakes so high – a Grand Final place goes to the winner of their game at Wigan Warriors – it is only right that that is the case.
Even though the East Yorkshire club have prospered at Wembley, winning this semi-final will be tougher still, argued their tireless hooker.
“We know what Wigan will bring,” said Houghton, as Hull look to correct a sequence that has seen them lose three of their last four games since lifting the Challenge Cup.
“You have to grind it out against them but, to be fair, we’ve done that in most games that have been really close this year.
“We know we’ve not been great since Wembley and know we have that performance in us but it won’t just happen.
“We realise we have to work hard for it. Friday will be the biggest game and biggest ‘ask’ we’ve had all year but I’m confident we can get the result.”
Houghton has every reason to be. He was named in the Super League Dream Team for the first time this week and has also been shortlisted for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel along with Hull’s Gareth Ellis and Castleford Tigers’ Denny Solomona.
“It felt special to get in the Dream Team,” said the 28-year-old, who is pushing for England recognition as well.
“To get an individual accolade like that, ahead of some of the number nines in the competition, is great especially when you look at Daryl Clark and James Roby.
“Every single nine is right at the top of their game at the moment so to pip them is a great feeling.
“I’d say this has probably been my best season to date. Our success as a team makes it even more special and, hopefully, we can go one step further at Wigan.
“They’ve just hit form at the right time and their place is a bit of a fortress.
“But we’ve been there and beaten them once before this season so we’ll take confidence from that.
“We know our form’s not been great of late but we’ve been right in games and, hopefully, our special players can come up with some big plays.”