Chris Satae believes Hull FC’s result and performance against Wigan Warriors shows they are capable of competing alongside the Super League’s top dogs.
The Black and Whites got back to winning ways emphatically on Saturday to claim their place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals, where they’ll meet St Helens for the chance to play at Wembley.
It comes at the start of a gruelling run of fixtures as FC take on Catalans Dragons on Monday in front of 6,000 fans, before travelling to Leeds Rhinos and St Helens ahead of meeting the Saints in the next round of the Cup.
However, Satae is confident the result will have sent out a message to the rest of the Super League and he hopes it can be built upon in the weeks and months ahead.
“That performance shows how much Hodgo has done this year,” Satae told Hull Live. “I think the most notable thing is our defence.
“Warrington are one of the big teams, we made a few errors and made it hard on ourselves and we drew, Wigan beat us the week before last, but we've shown we’ve got some guts about us.
“We know we haven’t won anything yet, but games like that set you up for the rest of the season. You know you can go the full 80, it gives you a bit of confidence as well.
“The performance we had against Wigan, we know teams will rock up at the KCOM or wherever and they’ll know they have to be in their best shape to play us.
“I think from now onwards we’ve set the bar and teams know they won’t just roll us over, we’re definitely going to give them something to think about.”
The prop forward was the standout performer at Headingley, scoring two tries and bullying Wigan’s pack in the process to earn himself the man of the match award and heaps of praise.
With forwards missing through injury and suspension, Satae was given the heads up that he’d be playing big minutes over smaller stints on the field and it undoubtedly brought out his best, keeping him fresher for longer.
A similarly strong performance will be needed from the prop if Hull are to reach the final of the Challenge Cup for the first time since lifting the trophy in 2017 and the thought of being one win from playing under the arch has Satae in a determined mood.
“For me it’s really exciting,” he added. “When we started the cup games we talked about how good of a feeling it is to actually play at Wembley.
"We saw clips of 2016 and 2017 and us boys from Down Under really want to experience that.
“Hopefully things go well and if we keep doing what we need to do on the field, hopefully we’ll get there.”
Satae is one of a host of players off contract at the end of the current Super League season, alongside the likes of Manu Ma’u, Andre Savelio and Adam Swift.
However, while he admits his future isn’t on his mind, he has loved his time with the Black and Whites so far and he doesn’t want it to end.
“I’m coming up to the end of my contract,” he said. “I’ve left everything to my management, I care but I’ve left it to them to sort everything out.
“I’m really enjoying myself over here, everything is opening up, the sun’s coming out, I’m loving it here in Hull and I can’t imagine going anywhere else. Like I say, I’ll leave it to my manager and they’ll sort it out.”