For those who saw it, Thursday’s rampant 51-8 defeat of the holders highlighted more how they had advanced in less than a week after last Saturday’s 55-2 loss against Huddersfield.
However, returning hooker Houghton – who made such a difference after missing the last two games with a calf strain – admitted: “We seem to save our best for the bigger games.
“But I want to say, from where we’ve come from over the last 18 months – and 13 defeats on the bounce – to bounce back like we have, it is massive.
“I know we’ve had the blips but that’s part of the rollercoaster for me. If we can get performances like that on the big stage then hopefully come crunch time at the back end of the season I’m sure we’ll be challenging.
“Where we’ve come from, to where we are now, is massive for us and for the club as well.”
The losing run Houghton refers to dated back to last summer and only ended when they beat Wigan in February.
Although they have endured sporadic heavy defeats since against leaders St Helens, Warrington Wolves, Catalans – they lost 37-6 at the KCOM earlier this month – and Huddersfield, he feels FC, in fourth spot, are ready to progress on both fronts.
Houghton, 30, helped Hull win the Challenge Cup in 2016 and 2017 and said: “It’s close to our heart. We’ve had two great years in the last three and great memories. It just seems to bring the best out of us.
“Even last year when we got beat at St Helens, it was probably our best performance of the season. Hopefully, we’ve got another couple more of those in the bag for the semi and final.
“Right across the board from one to 17, our attitude, desperation and desire for one another was there in numbers.
“After Huddersfield, we had some home truths about trying to get to the bottom of these blips. It needed saying.
“But then we had to move on as this was a massive game for us and we only had three or four days. But we got the response we needed.”