Play-off dream offers chance for Wembley redemption
Tetley’s Challenge Cup final heartache could be the key to success in the 2013 Super League play-offs for Hull FC, according to two of the club’s rising stars, Tom Lineham and Ben Crooks.
As the Airlie Birds prepare to host Catalan Dragons at the KC Stadium on Friday night (8.00pm), the Super League Dream Team members believe Hull FC’s Challenge Cup experiences – both good and bad – will stand them in good stead.
“We’ve shown in the Challenge Cup that we can handle the pressure of knock-out competition and we have the talent and the ability to go all the way to the Grand Final,” said Crooks, who, at 20, is the youngest member of the 2013 Dream Team.
“Losing at Wembley was bitterly disappointing for us but I think that experience is driving us forward in the play-offs. We have learnt a lot from that.
“We want a taste of that ‘final’ mentality once again. I think we can make a real stamp on this competition and right a lot of wrongs by doing ourselves justice at Old Trafford.
“Look at the knock-out stages we’ve already played in a big final. The disappointment of losing on a big stage, we only use it as motivation - we have the desire to win silverware and I think if we can get to the final we will prove a lot of people wrong and we will perform.”
Lineham, Crooks’s 21-year-old wing partner, also points to Hull’s Cup run, including a stirring victory over Warrington Wolves, as evidence of the potential within Hull’s ranks.
“We know what we can do as a club, we have some talented players and when we play well, we can beat the best teams,” said Lineham.
“Obviously the belief through that Cup run and the desire that the players showed in those games, shows us and everyone else what we are capable of.
“It’s play-off rugby now and you can’t afford to lose: that brings a different type of pressure to a squad. Hopefully we can gain some momentum and play well as a team, and progress through the competition.”
Tickets for the Hull FC v Catalan Dragons play-off game at the KC Stadium on Friday September 13 (8.00pm) cost from £19 adult and £15 concession and can be purchased by calling the KC Stadium ticket office on 01482 505600.
Tickets for the 2013 Super League Grand Final at Manchester’s Old Trafford Stadium on Saturday October 5 (6.00pm) cost from just £20. Family tickets giving entry to two adults and two children are also available for £70 and can be purchased by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or calling 0844 856 1113.
For people with any form of disability the RFL offers a free assistant place when booking tickets. For people with a visual impairment or non-sighted disability we also offer audio visual descriptive commentary for all our events.