Featherstone Rovers v Hull FC- Seeking Challenge Cup shock at Post Office Road
FEATHERSTONE Rovers full-back Craig Hall was not even born when his dad Dave helped Hull KR win the Challenge Cup but he has heard plenty since about those heroic feats.
Hall Senior played full-back when the Robins defeated fierce rivals Hull FC in that iconic 1980 final in front of 95,000 people at Wembley.
Due to the pandemic, unfortunately, there will only be a handful of people at Post Office Road tonight when Championship club Featherstone look to cause a Cup upset by defeating Super League Hull in the third round of this year’s competition.
Featherstone star Hall, who played for both Hull FC and Hull KR and still lives in his home city, hopes to now create his own Cup memories.
“I think my dad was pi!*ed for three months after that Wembley win!” said the 33-year-old. “You hear stories about how they’d take the Cup to various pubs all over east Hull to show people it and how everyone wanted to buy them beers.
“It was a massive having the derby at Wembley like that.
“I’ve had a few messages from Rovers fans this week asking us to make sure we knock Hull out.
“I’ve had a few from Hull fans, too, hoping we don’t go so well.
“But we’re looking forward to it. It’s a good chance to see where we are.
“We want to be a Super League club and this will give us a good indication of how we’re doing.”
Featherstone, of course, have their own rich Challenge Cup history against Hull, having caused a huge shock to defeat them in the 1983 final at Wembley.
Hall – who was a non-playing member of Hull’s 2008 Challenge Cup final squad – helped Featherstone get their Championship campaign off to a winning start with a 28-18 success over Batley Bulldogs on Good Friday.
However, there has been some upheaval at the West Yorkshire club, who remain under investigation by the RFL for allegedly breaking Covid protocols.
Featherstone’s ex-England second-row Brett Ferres was banned for 10 days after being identified as having taken part in a behind-closed-doors gathering in the bar at Rovers’ Millennium Stadium last month.
He is free to resume tonight but Featherstone have also seen their general manager, Steve Gill, stand down, not long after chief executive Davide Longo quit to take up a role at Bradford City.
Former Toronto Wolfpack UK business manager Martin Vickers has this week told supporters he has taken over as Featherstone’s chief executive.
Hall is concentrating on on-field matters as Featherstone go up against a Hull side who have won both their opening two Super League games under new head coach Brett Hodgson.
Australian stand-off Josh Reynolds, their big recruit from the NRL, has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a hamstring strain so young Ben McNamara – son of former England coach Steve McNamara – comes in for his first Hull game of the campaign.
Hall said: “Josh Reynolds had started well for them so he’ll be a big loss.
“Hull have a couple of injuries and might be resting a few players but you know they’ll be good under Brett Hodgson.”
Loose-forward Ligi Sao is also out with an injury picked up in the win at Salford but young prop Jack Brown (ankle) could feature for the first time this season and Josh Bowden (concussion) is also available once more.
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