Hull FC aim for Grand Final after losing grip on Challenge Cup

AS heartbroken as they are after their Ladbrokes Challenge Cup exit, Hull FC prop Scott Taylor says the club now has 'no excuses' in its bid to win a first league title in 35 years.

Hull FC's Scott Taylor: No excuses.

The England international defied a shoulder injury to play his part for the Cup holders in Sunday’s epic 25-22 quarter-final defeat at St Helens.

Hopes of winning at Wembley for a third successive season ended despite an heroic bid against the Super League leaders.

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Lee Radford’s depleted side suffered three yellow cards and two more major injury losses but still managed to run Saints close.

“We played with 11 men, 12 men, then back to 12 again later, and whether the calls are right or wrong, it is frustrating,” said Taylor, whose second-half try helped get Hull in touching distance.

“We’re doing it tough and scrambled to show what we’re about but they just snatched it.

“We’re all devastated. We wanted to go three on the bounce and know we’d have had a semi v Catalans to get to Wembley again.

“But there’s plenty of positives. If they (Saints) are top – the standard this year – I don’t think we’ve much to fear. We need to rally now. Let’s attack this Grand Final.

“It is going to be weird. We haven’t had any rest-ups in the last two years but the situation the squad is in at the minute I think it will do us a real favour.”

Hull, fifth ahead of Friday’s visit from Salford Red Devils, have not reached a Grand Final since 2006 but feel they were disrespected ahead of a classic Cup tie.

“I heard people during the week saying that Saints were going to hammer us,” added Taylor.

“But people need to remember we’d won the Challenge Cup the last two years and been in two Super League semi-finals during that time. We are a big, big team and nobody’s run away against us this year no matter what injuries we’ve had.

“We look each other in the eyes and are a very honest group. We have the culture right and know what it takes to get to that Grand Final. There’s no excuses now, no Cup hangover, so let’s get there. That’s the objective.”

Taylor, 27, revealed pain-killing injections have been having little effect on his damaged shoulder. He said: “We’re jabbing it up but it’s all on the rotator cuff so it’s hard to get the needle there.

“The jabs aren’t doing much. It’s just strapped up to the max. I need a few weeks to get it right but we don’t get that luxury in rugby league and I want to play these games. There’s lads playing on with a lot worse, too.

“I’ll probably sit down with Rads, have a talk and see what we’re going to do with it.”