Rugby League

Lee Radford has overseen a fine run of form at Hull.

Lee Radford hails Hull's team spirit as they march into Challenge Cup semi-final

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Lee Radford said the togetherness of his Hull squad is keeping them challenging on all fronts in 2016.

The Black and Whites continued their stellar campaign with a 22-8 win over Catalans Dragons in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup, extending their sequence of victories to 10 in the process.

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Overall they have won 15 out of 16 and sit atop the Super League, producing form reminiscent of when they went all the way to the Grand Final in 2006 with 17 wins out of 18.

Radford played in that side and is no stranger to success after a trophy-laden time at Bradford, and sees the right qualities in his current squad.

The Hull coach said: "I'm really pleased, we're going to a semi-final, we felt we had to do it tough. We didn't have the possession we wanted but I felt we defended our line fantastically."

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On if his fortunes could improve, he added: "I could win the lottery tonight! But from a rugby point of view we are in a good place.

"I have no fear and am not scared - I don't have to run into people any more. We are up against teams who have been there and done it but we are a determined bunch who are working for one another.

"In 2006 we had a tight group and we maybe over-achieved when you looked at the teams we knocked off en route to the Grand Final. Our togetherness got us there and you can see that in this group."

When England coach Wayne Bennett brought together a 31-man party last week, only two players from Hull - Marc Sneyd and Scott Taylor - were among them.

A number of others could consider themselves unlucky and even though Taylor has been outstanding for Hull in 2016, Radford is not overly confident of his chances of pulling on an England shirt in the Four Nations.

With Bennett coaching domestically in the NRL, Radford said: "I'm done with the England thing. From what I'm led to believe, everyone whose played in the NRL has been guaranteed a spot.

"I think we'll get Scott a month's loan to an NRL club to get him that selection!"

Catalans Dragons actually took the lead, going 4-0 up through the returning Benjamin Garcia on his second debut, but they were ultimately left wanting.

"I am disappointed, we have ended our season in the Challenge Cup," coach Laurent Frayssinous said.

"They played pretty tough, but the score reflected the gap between the two teams. We made too many mistakes."

Frayssinous was unhappy with the condition of the KCOM Stadium pitch, though, describing a heavily-sanded surface as "s***".

The pitch has been relaid ahead of the new football season, and Frayssinous added: "It's ridiculous, for both teams."

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