Hull FC v Warrington Wolves: Key to victory is snaring hooker Daryl Clark, says Danny Houghton

Danny Houghton of Hull FC in the Challenge Cup semi-final (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
Danny Houghton of Hull FC in the Challenge Cup semi-final (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
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HULL FC hooker Danny Houghton admits his side must snare his “rapid” opposite number Daryl Clark if they are going to lift the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup today.

Warrington Wolves’ Clark is beginning to recapture some of the electric form that saw him win Man of Steel and make his England debut while with Castleford Tigers in 2014.

The 23-year-old had a quiet debut season with the Cheshire club last term but is now showing all his dynamic attacking prowess.

“They are a team that likes to play on the front foot and try to play quick which suits him down to the ground,” said Houghton.

“He’s rapid out of there and is a strong kid. We have to keep an eye on that, make sure the game’s played at our tempo and not theirs.”

League leaders Hull head in as slight favourites over opponents who are just one point behind them in the table.

The durable Houghton, renowned for his 80-minute performances, had the rarity of coming off in the final quarter of last week’s 44-0 win over Catalans Dragons.

“I feel fresh as – ready to go another 100 rounds!” he joked.

“It’s the second game it’s happened. I got 24 seconds off at the end of the match before at Widnes!

“I do enjoy playing 80 minutes. It’s something you just adapt to; over time the body becomes used to it.

“And I think I’m more effective doing the full 80 rather than being in and off the field all the time. I’d sooner do it and if it’s better for the club and for me I’m happy to.”

Hull’s vice-captain is looking to make it third time lucky in the Challenge Cup.

He was in the FC side that lost to St Helens in 2008 and again to Wigan five years later.

Houghton, 27, admitted: “It was embarrassing to be nilled in 2013 as well and as a Hull lad to never have won at Wembley hurts. We want that monkey off our back but not just to stop the songs – we want trophies.”