FOR one tiny section of Hull FC fans there was, at least, a small sense of satisfaction when Wigan Warriors defeated them at Wembley four years ago.
Nevertheless, it will no longer be there again if the result is repeated today.
Scott Taylor’s family, many of whom are ardent Old Faithful supporters, could take some crumb of comfort when, in Wigan colours, the rangy prop helped his side to a 16-0 win against their side in the 2013 showpiece.
It was a glorious moment in the young player’s career given it came in his first season since a £100,000 switch from Hull KR and was the first part of what would become a Supr League and Cup double.
However, now he is firmly back where he belongs with the club he supported as a boy, driving forward in black and white for Hull and intent on bringing his erstwhile employers to their knees this afternoon.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Taylor recalled: “That day in 2013 was brilliant.
“It was the first trophy I’d won as a professional and it meant everything to me just to be able to get to Wembley and play there.
“Obviously, a lot of people finish playing and don’t ever get the chance to step out there, let alone win, too.
“It was a great feeling doing that and getting that medal at the age of just 22 years old was an unbelievable feeling.
“But, yes, on my mum’s side, they all had their FC shirts on in the FC end...
It was the first trophy I’d won as a professional and it meant everything to me just to be able to get to Wembley and play there.Hull FC’s Scott Taylor
“I don’t know how happy they were. But I saw my family after the game and they were just really chuffed for me.
“It meant a lot to them knowing their son or family member had gone and won the Challenge Cup. It was an amazing thing.”
Not as amazing, though, as 12 months ago when Taylor returned there with Hull to finally end those irritating ‘You’ll never win at Wembley’ taunts.
Similarly, it was his first season with FC, having moved from Wigan, and the tense victory over Warrington Wolves ended 87 years of heartache for the East Yorkshire club at the famous national stadium.
“It was the best moment of my career so far to do that with Hull,” added Taylor, which, given he is a current England international, says plenty about the allure of this iconic knockout competition.
“What it meant to my family and just the emotions of it all...
“One of the reasons I came back to Hull was to try and get rid of that Wembley hoodoo. To do it in the first year was just the best feeling ever.
“But we want to do it again; lots of teams have won one Cup and then not gone back for a while.
“If we can retain the Cup, do it back-to-back and try and get to the Grand Final, too, then, arguably, this could be the best Hull FC team in history.
“To have the chance to be part of that, be history-makers and win a Grand Final would be unbelievable.
“It’s everything I dreamed of and why I came back to play for my home-town team Hull.”
Beating Wigan, though, will be a significant challenge. For all they have been inconsistent this season, Shaun Wane’s side are getting back to their best and have such talent at their disposal that dual-code England international Joel Tomkins may be left out.
Of that ’13 vintage lining up again today there is England captain Sean O’Loughlin along with international colleagues Sam Tomkins, Liam Farrell and Michael McIlorum, just a snapshot of their obvious calibre.
Taylor, in rich form again this term and hoping to head Down Under in the World Cup this autumn, added: “They’re a top team with some big-name players and a lot of internationals.
“We saw with the way they played against Salford last weekend (42-6 win) that they’re in some form now.
“But we’re more than comfortable in ourselves and know what we have got come the weekend.
“We’re both off scratch when it comes to Saturday and I feel like we have turned up for the big games this year and in the last two years.
“Our two best performances this season I’d probably say were Castleford and Leeds both in the Cup.
“Knocking those two teams out in the manner we did means we’re really confident and there’s no reason why we can’t turn up for another big game on Saturday.”
Given Hull are one of the biggest sides around and Wigan are hardly diminutive, too, it should be a colossal battle up front.
That is where the likes of Taylor and his fellow forwards such as Liam Watts and Mark Minichiello have thrived so much this term while the recent return to fitness of the veteran Gareth Ellis has served as a significant boost for Lee Radford’s side.
The 36-year-old’s battle at loose-forward with his former Great Britain colleague and rival captain O’Loughlin will be one of many sub-plots to keep an eye on as both sides strive for dominance to allow their relative backs to shine.
The one negative for Hull was their lacklustre display heading into this contest, a shoddy and heavy home defeat to Huddersfield Giants.
Taylor was rested for that game but he admitted: “It was a really poor performance.
“There were was only me, Alby (Albert Kelly) and Shauly (Jamie Shaul) missing.
“We had a great team out there and should have done the job. We didn’t play to our potential.
“That was a real disappointment as it’s put a lot of pressure on that Thursday (Super League) game against Leeds after Wembley now.
“This game is big but, win or lose, we have to have our heads on it for Thursday night as that is massive.
“If we lose that, then we’re going to lose that chance of a top-two finish and a home semi-final which is not what any of us want to happen.”