RugbyL: Cup heartache motivates Hull's Heremaia

The disappointment of Wembley defeat is still all too raw for Hull FC but Aaron Heremaia insists his side have been given a shot at redemption they cannot afford to waste.

Heremaia came off the bench and was one of the few Hull players to impress in the Challenge Cup final two weekends ago as Wigan ran out 16-0 winners.

But Peter Gentle's side bounced back with a 34-33 revenge win over the Warriors in the Super League last weekend, a result that lifted them to sixth in the table.

And, with a chance to seal a home-playoff tie with a win over fifth-place St Helens on Friday, New Zealander Heremaia insists the Challenge Cup final defeat is their primary motivation.

"We've got a good opportunity to get a home tie for the first round of the play-offs," said Heremaia, who played for New Zealand Warriors in the NRL before moving to Europe.

"To get the home tie is massive, it's knockout rugby so any advantage you can get you want to have. We love playing at the KC Stadium and, with St Helens coming here, we are looking forward to it.

"It's almost like the play-offs are here already, Saints want a home tie as well so both teams will be going all out. It's been such a topsy-turvy season so to think we could finish it off by finishing fifth is amazing really."

Heremaia added: "It was a tough week after the Challenge Cup and I think a few guys were still feeling a bit sorry for themselves against Wigan.

"We were really disappointed with how we performed but the good thing is that normally you lose the big final and the season is over.

"But with the Challenge Cup coming earlier we have a chance for redemption. And we owe it to the fans but most importantly we owe it ourselves as players."

Elsewhere, Castleford round off their season with a trip to Wakefield on Sunday in what could well be Rangi Chase's last game for the club.

Chase, who played for St George in the NRL, has handed in a transfer request and been heavily linked with a move to Salford.

Castleford and Wakefield are both out of the play-off race and Tigers head coach Daryl Powell admits his side will struggle to replace Chase.

"Rangi is special player and he certainly is if you give him any time," said Powell. "You can't replace Rangi, you've got to play slightly differently.

"There's a lot of talk about Rangi but if he has seen fit to play somewhere else that's his prerogative."

London Broncos head coach Tony Rea breathed a sigh of relief after they ended a four-month wait for a Super League win with victory over Bradford Bulls last time out.

And, while the capital club remain bottom of the table, the former Brumbies coach has called for more of the same at Hull KR on Sunday.

"It certainly helps our cause -- it lifts everyone at the club and keeps everyone enthused about what we are doing," Rea said.

Fixtures (1900GMT unless stated)

Thursday: Wigan v Leeds

Friday: Hull v St Helens, Salford v Widnes

Saturday: Bradford v Huddersfield (1645GMT) Catalan Dragons v Warrington (1600GMT)

Sunday: Hull KR v London Broncos (1400GMT), Wakefield v Castleford (1430GMT)